The newest chapter in Bruce Springsteen’s monthly live archive series spotlights his December 29th, 1980 concert at Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum. It’s an epic show from The River tour featuring a rare rendition of “Night” and a killer “Incident on 57th Street” (later released on the 1987 Live Collection EP) that marked the last time he played it until the E Street Band reunion tour in 1999. You can hear “Badlands” from the show in the video above.
The concert is the second of three shows at the Nassau Coliseum that month, which culminated two days later with a marathon New Years Eve show many fans consider one of the best gigs of his career. But the 29th is nearly as memorable, with 12 songs from The River and moving covers of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Who’ll Stop The Rain.”
“This song was originally written as an angry song,” Springsteen said before performing “This Land Is Your Land.” “It was an answer to Irving Berlin who’d just wrote ‘God Bless America.’ It’s just about one of the most beautiful songs ever written.”
Springsteen releases a new archival live album on the first Friday of every month. Recent releases have included the Meadowlands July 25th, 1992, MetLife Stadium September 22nd, 2012 and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum September 27th, 1985. They touch on most every era of his career, though as of yet they haven’t released anything prior to 1975.
Springsteen’s newest album Western Stars came out on June 14th, though it was a low-profile release: He didn’t grant a single interview about the album and he hasn’t played any of its songs live in any context. He hasn’t spelled out his future plans in any detail, but he has said that he’s written songs for a new E Street Band album they will likely promote with a tour at some point in 2020.