Bruce Springsteen and the E Street’s Band September 25th, 1999, show at Philadelphia’s First Union Center has been a legendary bootleg in hardcore fan circles for the past two decades. It’s finally available with pristine sound (and through legal means) as the newest chapter of his monthly concert download series.
The show was the culmination of a six-night stand at the South Philadelphia Sports Complex where Springsteen performed at both the historic Spectrum arena and the modern First Union Center. He turned 50 during one of the off-days; every night of the stand had a celebratory vibe and the band played rarely heard tunes like “The Fever,” “Blinded by the Light” and “Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?”
Springsteen saved the biggest treat for the September 25th show when he opened with “Incident on 57th Street,” a tune from The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle that he hadn’t played in any capacity since 1980. There were also epic renditions of “New York City Serenade” and “Jungleland” along with tour standards like “Atlantic City,” “Murder Incorporated,” “Land of Hope and Dreams” and “Two Hearts.” It was also the last stop of the 1999/2000 reunion tour to feature “Streets of Philadelphia.” (It’s one of his most well-known songs, but he’s played it just eight times since that night.)
Springsteen has been releasing official bootlegs like this for the past six years. Shows from 1975 through 2017 are available, but they have yet to touch on any shows that predate Born to Run or the formation of the E Street Band.
The pandemic has made it impossible for Springsteen to tour this year, but he’s kept busy by recording his SiriusXM show From My House to Yours. “Empty and unused time, I don’t care for — especially at 70,” he said during a May broadcast. “I’m counting my days and, my friend, I’ve got things to do that involve me and you.”