Bruce Springsteen has selected a show recorded March 28th, 1988 at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena as the newest release from his ongoing live download series.
It’s an early stop on the Tunnel of Love Express tour featuring many songs from the album along with a solo acoustic rendition of “Born to Run,” a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” and a performance of the B-side “Be True” that was official released on Springsteen’s Chimes of Freedom EP later that year.
He’s only performed “Walk Like a Man” 30 times and it hasn’t been performed in any capacity since the Devils and Dust tour of 2005.
The Tunnel of Love tour was his final time hitting the road with the E Street Band — until they reformed in 1999. He had grown tired of the group’s ritualistic sets by this point and experimented by adding in a horn section, moving members to different sides of the stage and reworking some standards, like “Born to Run.”
“When I wrote this song, I guess I thought I was writing a song about a guy and a girl that wanted to run and keep on running,” he told the audience in Detroit before playing it without the rest of the band. “But as I sang it through the years, it seemed like its meaning changed as I began to be able to hear the meaning that I’d put into it. I began to understand that it was about two people searching for something better, looking out into the world, embracing life, trying to learn how to live with the fact that there’s so much beauty and so much sadness side by side. I realized that they were out there looking, looking for a home.”
Many of the songs from Tunnel of Love — besides the title track, “Tougher Than the Rest” and “Brilliant Disguise” — have rarely been heard live since this tour. He played many of his classic albums on tour in 2009, but he never got around to this one.