On the release day for Bruce Springsteen‘s Record Store Day EP American Beauty, he and the E Street Band shot an impromptu video for the song “American Beauty” before their Charlotte gig. But even on short notice, Springsteen mustered a charismatic performance, wearing sunglasses and thrusting his hand out as he sings about someone piercing his heart. His bandmates, including Rage Against the Machine‘s Tom Morello, writhe and shake in blurry Instagram-like shots as though the arena seats in front of them were packed. But even though the group had the song rehearsed right down to the blocking, it has yet to play the song in concert.
The song stems from a demo Springsteen had worked on with producer Brendan O’Brien. “It’s got some nice things on it,” Springsteen told Rolling Stone about the American Beauty EP as a whole. “This is material from the past decade. Some were demos that I never cut. . . I thought it’s a nice time to support the record stores, which are dwindling and get some new music out at the same time.” (The EP has since been made available on iTunes.)
In addition to getting some music out, Springsteen paid tribute to his band at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, where he anointed the E Street Band. “I thank you, my beautiful men and women of E Street,” he said. “You made me dream and love bigger than I could have ever without you.”