Bruce Springsteen and wife Patti Scialfa joined together to perform two songs during the Jersey 4 Jersey COVID-19 relief telethon, which benefits the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. “We’re here tonight dedicated to our healthcare workers and of those who’ve lost loved ones,” he said at the start of the show, “and those who are suffering and dying with this terrible disease in our beloved state.”
They began with “Land of Hope and Dreams,” a moving song about the power and resiliency of the human spirit that Springsteen wrote for the 1999 E Street Band reunion tour. It was followed by commentary and performances by everyone from Jon Stewart, Chris Rock and Stephen Colbert to Halsey and Charlie Puth, who played a cover of Springsteen’s 1973 tune “Growin’ Up” on the piano.
Near the end of the broadcast, Springsteen and Scialfa returned to sing his beloved version of the 1980 Tom Waits song, “Jersey Girl.” Unlike many past renditions of the song, including the famous one on the Live 1975–85 box set, he did not sing the bonus “little brat of yours” verse that he wrote himself. It’s the first time he’s performed the song in any capacity since 2016.
This was Springsteen’s first performance since his surprise appearance alongside Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers at the annual Asbury Park Light of Day fundraiser on January 18th. He spoke of plans last year for a new E Street Band album and tour in 2020. The status of the album is unclear, but the tour will almost certainly not start until 2021 at the absolute soonest.