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Just about any of the Springsteen concerts I've attended has to count as a contender.

There was the first one - Phoenix, 1974 (I think), the Celebrity Theater (which I understand no longer exists).

The Celebrity was set up as a Theater in the Round, with a turntable stage in the middle of the audience where the band set up and played. The turntable turned one direction the first half of the show: and reversed direction for the last half of the show. I don't think there was a bad seat anywhere in the house.

For that show, the E-Street Band consisted of Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici, Gary Tallent, David Sancious (piano), and Ernest Carter (drums). And some guy named Bruce played guitar and sang.

Partway through the show, Bruce broke a string on his guitar. The band shifted seamlessly into an extended jazzy piece, was Bruce replaced the string (wisecracking all the way).

The other major memory from that night was the intro to Thunder Road was the intro to Thunder Road - "This is the land of peace, justice, and no mercy - Thunder Road."

I suspect the series of concerts at Gammage Auditorium in 1976 would be a close second. It featured the lineup that would persist for a decade or two, and the memorable phrase "There's gonna be some damage in Gammage!" (Gammage had/has a famous flying balcony. Partway through the show, Bruce pointed at the balcony, which had several tens of feet of vertical excursion induced by audience members jumping up and down in unison).

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davidschroth

August 2017

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