by Erik Flannigan, Bruce Springsteen Archivist
Red Bank is the fifth and final drop of Bruce Springsteen Live Archive catalog recordings on nugs.net, completing the addition of nearly 200 shows circa 1975-2017 to the streaming service.
The 44 show Red Bank drop begins with five from Bruce’s beloved 1988 Tunnel of Love Express Tour with the E Street Band, including the US leg closer at Madison Square Garden on May 23 (which featured a rare cover of Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops”) and Stockholm, July 3, originally broadcast live across the US on Fourth of July weekend 1988.
Next, two of the most extraordinary performances of Springsteen’s career, the November 16-17, 1990 acoustic performances to benefit the Christic Institute, held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Sharing a bill with Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne, Bruce performed his first solo shows in 16 years, debuting six new songs in the process, including the definitive reading of “Real World.” He also rearranged catalog classics to deliver riveting versions of “Darkness on the Edge of Town” on 12-string acoustic and “Tougher Than the Rest” on piano. These are truly essential recordings.
Most of the new songs debuted at the Shrine were later released on the companion albums Human Touch and Lucky Town in 1992. Springsteen assembled a new band for that tour, four shows from which are included in Red Bank: Meadowlands Arena, July 25, 1992; Boston Garden, December 13; Berlin’s Waldbühne, May 13, 1993; and the nearly four-hour, penultimate tour performance back at Meadowlands Arena on June 24 with guest appearances by Little Steven, Joe Ely, Southside Johnny, Max Weinberg, Clarence Clemons, Soozie Tyrell and the Miami Horns.
Five years after the Christic Shows, Springsteen mounted his first solo outing in support of The Ghost of Tom Joad, represented here by five concerts spanning the tour’s earliest days (a December 9 set at the Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA, where he last performed in 1975) through the 1997 European victory lap (Palais des Congrès Acropolis, Nice, France on May 18). Also featured are special homecoming gigs at Bruce’s primary school, St. Rose of Lima in Freehold, NJ, November 8, 1996, and the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park sixteen days later on November 24.
Last but not least, the 28-show European leg of 2016’s River tour rounds out the Red Bank drop. These performances include return visits to two of Springsteen’s favorite continental venues: Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden, June 25 and 27, along with San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, July 3 and 5.
- “Tunnel of Love” Madison Square Garden, May 23, 1988
- “Be True” Madison Square Garden, May 23, 1988
- “Roulette” Sports Arena, Los Angeles, April 23, 1988
- “Born In The U.S.A.” Stockholms Stadion, July 3, 1988
- “Walk Like A Man” Joe Louis Arena, March 28, 1988
- “Across The Borderline” Sports Arena, Los Angeles, April 28, 1988
- “Lonely Teardrops” Madison Square Garden, May 23, 1988
- “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” Shrine Auditorium, November 16, 1990
- “Real World” Shrine Auditorium, November 16, 1990
- “Tougher Than The Rest” Shrine Auditorium, November 17, 1990
- “Lucky Town” Boston Garden, December 13, 1992
- “Living Proof” Boston Garden, December 13, 1992
- “Open All Night” Meadowlands Arena, July 25, 1992
- “It’s Been A Long Time” Meadowlands Arena, June 24, 1993
- “Murder Incorporated” Tower Theater, December 9, 1995
- “Streets of Philadelphia” Tower Theater, December 9, 1995
- “Brothers Under The Bridge” King’s Hall, March 19, 1996
- “When You’re Alone” St. Rose of Lima School, November 8, 1996
- “Shut Out The Light” Paramount Theatre, November 24, 1996
- “Crush On You” Ethiad Stadium, May 25, 2016
- “From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)” Malieveld, June 14, 2016
- “Jackson Cage” Stadio San Siro, July 3, 2016
- “Stolen Car” Ullevi Stadium, July 23, 2016
- “None But The Brave” Stadion Letzigrund, July 31, 2016
Note: These concerts are only available to U.S. and Canada subscribers, and can be streamed now with a free trial to nugs.net.
Erik Flannigan is a music archivist, producer, author and manager. He has been writing about Bruce Springsteen’s live performances and recordings for more than 30 years.
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