For the first time in nearly 30 years, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band took the stage for a theater show on May 7th — and shocked the crowd by tearing through the classic albums Darkness on the Edge of Town and Born to Run in their entirety. “Bruce said, ‘I should do something really special for the crowd,’ ” says Patti Scialfa, Springsteen’s wife and bandmate, who helped to organize the show – which raised $3 million to renovate the 1926 Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey. “People paid a lot of money for these tickets.” Most fans paid a minimum of $1,000 in an online auction to get into the nearly three-hour gig. Drummer Max Weinberg’s horn section from Late Night With Conan O’Brien joined the band, amping up “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and the encores of “Kitty’s Back,” “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” and the Stax soul cut “Raise Your Hand.” “We play most of these songs on a pretty regular basis in our set,” Scialfa says. “But when you hear them in order, it brings you back to the first time you heard them as a listener. Everything felt new again.”
This story is from the May 29, 2008 issue of Rolling Stone.