Bruce Springsteen fans that flocked to Asbury Park, New Jersey on Wednesday evening for the premiere of Blinded By The Light got an incredible surprise near the end of the evening when Springsteen himself showed up to perform four songs. Joined by Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, they played “Talk to Me,” the Wilson Pickett classic “634-5789,” “Sherry Darling” and Sam Cooke’s “We’re Having a Party.”
Blinded By the Light is an adaptation of Sarfraz Manzoor’s memoir Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll. It centers around his teenage years as a Bruce Springsteen fanatic growing up in England circa 1987. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and is rolling out at theaters across America later this month.
The performance comes one month after Springsteen made another surprise appearance with Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes during their annual July 4th concert at the Stone Pony. Earlier that night, he also performed a song with E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent and his solo show. He’s also popped up unannounced at two shows by Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul, a Netflix promotional event in Los Angeles and the Kristen Ann Carr Fund at the Tribeca Grill in New York City.
One thing Springsteen hasn’t done in public this year is perform a single song from his new album Western Stars. He did, however, play the entire album in private for director Thom Zimney’s camera crew and the resulting film will debut at the Toronto Film Festival in September. “We knew we weren’t going to tour,” Springsteen told E Street Radio in July, “so I was looking for a way to get some of the music live to an audience and so we figured that was the best way to do it.”
Springsteen hasn’t played with the E Street Band since the conclusion of The River tour in early 2017, but he has written songs for a new album he plans to record with the band and he’s said he hopes to be back on the road with them in 2020.