Put together with the New York Comedy Festival and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, the event was a fundraiser for injured veterans featuring musical performances (Brad Paisley, Mickey Guyton, Sheryl Crow), comedy skits (Tiffany Haddish, Iliza Shlesinger), and stories from the vets themselves.
Jon Stewart hosted the benefit this year, and he and Springsteen opened the show with a funny sketch involving a motorcycle and an empty bar in their native New Jersey. Throughout the hour-long event, Springsteen performed three acoustic tracks inside the small venue — a very downsized space from Madison Square Garden, where he usually hosts Stand Up for Heroes, but one that felt appropriate for the current pandemic crisis, which has taken an unfathomable toll on small businesses and music venues.
Springsteen acknowledged that toll with his first song, “House of a Thousand Guitars” (25:12), off his latest album Letter to You, which he performed alongside his wife and bandmate Patti Scialfa. “So wake and shake off your troubles my friend/We’ll go where the music never ends,” they sang. “From the stadiums to the small town bars/We’ll light up the house of a thousand guitars.” Later, Springsteen performed a solo rendition of “Long Walk Home” (42:34), a cut from his 2007 album Magic. Finally, to close the whole show out, Springsteen and Scialfa performed another Letter to You track, “I’ll See You in My Dreams” (55:45).