The day after Ronald Reagan was elected America’s 40th president, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band brought their River tour to Tempe, Arizona with a four-camera crew to capture the vast majority of the blistering 1980 show on film. The footage has been sitting in a vault for the past 35 years, but on December 4th, fans will finally get the watch the concert when it’s released on The Ties That Bind: The River Collection box set. Springsteen has offered a complete performance of “Ramrod” as a preview of the set.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, director Thom Zimny said that a handful of shows were filmed on The River tour, but Tempe stood out. “The other shows are completely accessible online, and it would be a shame to not have this show out, especially with how powerful a show it is,” he said. “It’s not like we looked at Largo and said, ‘We’ve got a great copy of Largo here.’ This is the show from The River that both visually and sonically represent, for Bruce, a great example of the tour and the band at that time.”
The Ties That Bind: The River Collection also contains footage of Springsteen and The E Street Band rehearsing for the River tour, along with a documentary where Springsteen breaks down many key songs, a remastered version of the album and tons of studio outtakes. “When you open up the box, you’re in the era of The River,” said Zimny. “You’re going back in the journey of hearing the record, and then you get the outtakes, and that’s part of the story. Then you get to the documentary, and that’s another part of the story. Then you get the rehearsal footage and then Tempe. I think with all those elements, put together, you really get the exciting point of view of both making the record, but also how it played out live.”
Springsteen will play the annual Stand Up For Heroes veterans fundraiser at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 10th and heads to Los Angeles eight days later to play the Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America at the Shrine Auditorium.