Thursday, May 4, 2017
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Yes We're Going to a Party Party
Ann Arbor, MI
September 23, 1975
2nd Generation Reel > DAT > Wavelab 6 capture and master > Peak Pro XT (re-indexing) > xACT > FLAC
01 Thunder Road
02 Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
03 Spirit In The Night
04 Pretty Flamingo
05 Growin' Up
06 It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City
07 The E Street Shuffle
08 Sha La La
09 She's The One
10 Born To Run
12 Kitty's Back
14 Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
15 Detroit Medley > Back In The U.S.A.
16 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
17 Quarter To Three
19 Twist And Shout
-E Street Shuffle: seamless splice
-Carol: start cut
If you are well versed in Springsteen bootlegs (and if you hang around here, you most likely are), you're probably aware of some of the "birthday shows" that have occurred on or around Bruce's own birthday. Passaic 9/22/78 is a good example, where a cake was wheeled out (with a young lady inside, no less) to celebrate the occasion. Philadelphia 9/24/99 is another "birthday show," as Bruce turned 50 that year and the set had some special additions.
But what both those shows have in common besides celebrating Bruce's birthday is that they didn't happen ON his birthday. The truth of the matter is, Springsteen has only played three proper concerts on his actual birthday of September 23: the Oakland Amnesty show in 1988, Mile High Stadium in Denver in 1985 and this show in the heart of the Born to Run tour on the day Bruce turned 26.
The Amnesty shows weren't exactly normal anyway given the multi-artist bill, and though Oakland was one of Bruce's longest sets of the Amnesty tour, it wasn't down to the special occasion, but the fact that Sting had a scheduling conflict and the rest of the headlining artists' sets were extended as well. Like Passaic, Denver '85 featured a birthday cake, but the set that night is rather pedestrian and certainly not extended in celebration--in fact the next night is longer.
But Ann Arbor 9/23/75 feels like a true 26th birthday extravaganza, with four encores and the majestic slow "Thunder Road" moved to the opening slot for the first time. Moved from the Power Center to Hill Auditorium due to anticipated ticket demand, Brucebase calls it "an extra special performance" and it is hard to argue with that, in a set that includes not only current BTR tour covers like "Sha La La" and "Pretty Flamingo," but the rarer "Carol" and "Twist and Shout." Bruce also nods to "Stagger Lee" in "Spirit in the Night" and later "Nothing's Too Good For My Baby" in "Kitty's Back."
Ann Arbor '75 also marks the debut of what would become a concert staple for Springsteen for the next ten years, the "Detroit Medley." The arrangement is largely established even on night one, with the exception of the song ending away from Mitch Ryder and instead on Chuck Berry's "Back in the U.S.A.," played just a handful of times, but most famously on the Main Point broadcast in February.
This is a perfect example of a show that probably has not gotten its due because it wasn't a radio broadcast or a famously high-quality audience tape. Happily, the JEMS archive yielded a second-generation copy that is superior to what's long been in circulation, moving the quality firmly into the "solid for '75" category. The new JEMS transfer also lacks some of the cuts found in previous versions. Samples provided.
In addition to transferring his DAT copy of the show, Tapeboy shared some further memories around his first time seeing Bruce:
"I had seen the 'Born To Run' album on the end-cap display at the E.J. Korvette's department store in Roseville, Michigan (which had a great record department...spent many an hour there in my youth) for a week or so before I heard the last minute of the title track on radio one night at work. I bought the album at Korvette's the next day on the strength of those 60 seconds of genius.
After reading in the Detroit Free Press that Bruce was coming to play in Ann Arbor later that month, I got a pair of tickets, and had to convince a friend of mine to go to the show...convince! Ann Arbor was a great college town with record stores seemingly on every corner. I remember buying Bruce's first two albums at a store there the day of the show.
I tried to get my 8-track recorder into Hill Auditorium, but was unable to get it past security. That was the only disappointment of the night though. Like many a 'first time seeing Bruce' story, the show felt magical, from the solo 'Thunder Road' opening on the piano to the last notes of 'Twist and Shout' a marathon later. Unbeknownst to us at the time, it was Bruce's 26th birthday as well, and I'm sure that had a effect on the wonderful performance that evening.
Bob Seger was down front for the show, and I think Bruce ended up in his lap when he ventured into the crowd for 'Spirit In The Night.' Who ever heard of a rock performer going into the audience before Bruce? The mythical nature of the band was there in full force, too: The Big Man, Miami Steve, The Phantom and The Professor, all locked down by The Mighty Max and Garry W Tallent!"
Again taking this one the last mile is our comrade MJK5510. Thanks to him for final finishing and prepping.
BK for JEMS