On November 22nd, 2005, Bruce Springsteen wrapped up his seven-month Devils and Dust tour with an unforgettable show at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, New Jersey. Like every night of the tour, this was a solo show where he pivoted between acoustic guitar, piano and organ to deliver a set packed with new tunes, lesser-known songs from his deep catalog and very few hits. And with it being the last night, he went to extreme lengths to make it an unforgettable show by busting out obscurities that only his most devoted fans could possibly recognize. It’s been a prized bootleg among Springsteen aficionados for the last fourteen years, but this month he finally released the entire show as part of his ongoing Bruce Springsteen Archives download series.
The show opened with a cover of Link Wray’s “Rumble” as a tribute to the guitar legend who died earlier that month. He went on to play “Fire” and “Mansion on the Hill” for the first time on the tour, the latter as a duet with Patti Scialfa, along with “Backstreets,” “All That Heaven Will Allow” and “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City.” The most shocking moment came early on when he broke out “Zero and Blind Terry,” an outtake from The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle that hadn’t been touched in concert since 1974 and hasn’t been even attempted a single time since.
Later in the night, he went back even further into his catalog to play out the Greetings From Asbury Park outtake, “Song for Orphans.” Up until the previous night in Trenton, it hadn’t been performed live since January 1973 and, unlike “Zero and Blind Terry,” it had never been released in any capacity. One could argue it is the rarest original song he’s played in concert at any point in the 2000s. You can hear it right here. He’s joined by Alan Fitzgerald on keyboard. Fitzgerald played offstage most nights of the tour but, since this was the finale, Springsteen brought him out so he could finally face a live audience.
Near the end of the show, Scialfa returned to the stage for the tour debut of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” and brought their three kids and many other members of the Springsteen family with her. The entire night was captured by a professional camera crew and there were reports at the time it would be released on DVD. We’re still waiting for that to happen, but in the meantime you can finally hear the whole thing in pristine audio.