There’s no shortage of beloved Bruce Springsteen bootlegs out there in the fan community, but one of the most cherished ones was taped at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey on September 19th, 1978. It was a smoking hot night midway through the Darkness on the Edge of Town tour when the E Street Band was in absolute prime form, and a broadcast on WNEW-FM New York and nine other Northeast stations meant that it was pressed onto vinyl with weeks and sold nationwide at hole-in-the-wall record stores that didn’t care about pesky things like copyright law. (The most famous bootleg from the show was called Piece De Resistance, but there were many others.)
It’s taken 41 years, but Springsteen’s team has finally dug out the original multi-track tapes, remixed them and placed the show for sale to fans as part of Springsteen’s ongoing live archive series. This has always been one of the best-sounding Springsteen bootlegs, but this new version makes all prior versions obsolete.
This was actually the first show of a three-night stand at the Capitol Theatre. The previous month Springsteen headlined Madison Square Garden for the first time in his career, but this was an intimate theater and tour standards like like “Thunder Road,” “Racing In the Street” and “Because The Night” never sounded better. Last year, the September 20th show at the Capitol Theatre was also officially released, but most fans feel the now-released September 19th performance is the superior night. It’s also high on the list of the greatest Springsteen shows of all time, with many fans placing it at the top.
Springsteen’s team has been selling fans official concert downloads for the past five years and over that time they’ve touched on most eras of his career with the very notable exception of anything prior to 1975; the main issue there appears to be the absence of quality tapes from that period. New shows are released the first Friday of every month.