Just over a month after Bruce Springsteen launched his archival concert project live.brucespringsteen.net, the E Street Band rocker has updated the download service with one of the most in-demand gigs from his legendary Darkness on the Edge of Town jaunt: An August 9th, 1978 performance from Cleveland, Ohio’s Agora Theatre and Ballroom.
The Agora show was originally simulcast in its entirety by local rock station WMMS to celebrate that radio station’s 10th anniversary, Ultimate Classic Rock writes. The concert kicks off with a rendition of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” before Springsteen and the E Street Band deliver a setlist packed with Darkness tracks mixed with covers like “Gloria,” “Not Fade Away” and concert closer “Twist and Shout.” The Agora show also features the unique Darkness tour second set opener “Paradise By the ‘C’.”
As the concert was broadcast over the radio, bootleg copies of the gig have circulated for years, giving it a near-mythological reputation among fans. However, this archival release marks the first time the performance has been officially released. The concert offers pristine sound quality thanks to a stereo mix cultivated from seven 1/4-inch reels that Springsteen’s concert archivist Toby Scott unearthed after repeated requests to release the concert.
“I found the seven Agora tape reels in a box that had been returned from the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame,” Scott wrote of the Agora show. “The tapes were part of an exclusive Springsteen exhibit ‘Asbury Park to the Promised Land.’ It wasn’t until the request to release this show came up that the tapes needed to be found. Not at Sony, not at Thrill Hill Archives, not at the archiving company. Last known location was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They informed me what box to look in and there they were, marked with the original indication of speed, tracks and show date.”
The Agora concert is available to download now at live.brucespringsteen.net, while CD copies of the live album will start shipping January 23rd.