A capacity crowd packed East Rutherford, New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium on September 22nd, 2012 to watch Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band play their final area show of the Wrecking Ball Tour. It was his third straight show at the stadium and previous nights had seen a surprise reunion with original E Street Band drummer Vini Lopez, an unannounced mini-set with Gary U.S. Bonds and the live premiere of The River outtake “Living On The Edge of the World.”
But before the eagerly-anticipated show even started, a massive lightning storm forced an fans to leave their seats and wait for two hours in the concourse. By the time the band finally appeared it was 10:00 pm, just two hours until the strike of midnight and Springsteen’s 63rd birthday. “I think I just invited 55,000 people to my birthday party!” he said as he took the stage and the band kicked into “Out In The Street.”
What followed was one of Springsteen’s greatest New Jersey stadium concerts, an epic birthday blowout featuring another guest spot from Bonds and tour premieres of “Cynthia,” “In The Midnight Hour,” “Into The Fire” and “Meeting Across The River.” At the end, Springsteen’s mother “Adele,” sister Virginia, mother-in-law Pat Scialfa brother-in-law Michael Scialfa and Steve Van Zandt’s wife Maureen came onstage with a birthday cake that Bruce sliced up and gave to fans in the front row.
The show has been a favorite bootleg in Springsteen fan circles for years, but today he released it as the newest chapter of his monthly download series. Check out a full performance of “Into The Fire” from the show right here.
Springsteen and the E Street Band have been completely inactive since their 2017 tour of New Zealand and Australia, but they’re recording a new album later this year that Springsteen says they’ll support it with another tour. Just next week, Springsteen is releasing Western Stars, his first LP of new material in seven years.