7 Must-See Live Springsteen Songs

If there is one constant in the lives of four out of the five writers at List Off (we are still working on Shawn) it’s Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. To us, and to the millions of his excessively devoted followers, Bruce Springsteen is a sacred musical entity—a perpetuating stream of songwriting and sonic power that never, ever wears. To the indifferent or opposed, well, we simply say ignorantly, “You just don’t get it.”

Or, “Just go see him live, OK?”

Amidst the soon-to-be released 17th studio album from Springsteen, entitled Wrecking Ball (due out March 6), the announcement was made on Tuesday that every Bruce enthusiast had hoped for: An international tour, beginning in the United States on March 18. It was inevitable, sure, but that doesn’t reduce the sudden jubilation knowing he’s returning to the platform that has turned so many casual or disinterested listeners into full-blown fans. Will this run be the last time we get to witness the heart-stopping, pants-dropping, house-rocking, love-making, earth-quaking, booty-shaking, Viagra-taking, history-making, legendary E Street Band? Who knows. No one ever knows. And really, that’s the best part.

If you need more convincing, here are seven must-see Springsteen songs in concert, accompanied with video and some crowd description.

Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out


The ultimate concert opener, with plenty of “Woah-a-ohs” leading up to Bruce’s  signature “1-2-3-4” count. And of course, the little pretties raise their hands.

Spirit in the Night


One of Bruce’s most soulful songs, yet know one really knows the corresponding dance move to “Spirit.” He and the audience share a heavy dosage of “all night”‘s, while every female obligatorily screams after the line, “Me and Crazy Janey were makin’ love in the dirt.”

The River


If you aren’t much of a Springsteen fan, this would be considered a “bathroom break” song. To everyone else, hearing “The River” live is pure bliss in its most somber form. The bone-chilling harmonica intro is enough to carry the goosebumps throughout the rest of the narrative. Bruce may also reach into his upper register and reveal his falsetto, like in this video.

Born to Run


The loudest, most powerful sing-along you wish could last forever. At least ten men over the age of 30 will be air-guitaring in your general vicinity, and it will be awesome.



Constant fist-pumping…the way it should be done.

Thunder Road


Any live version of “Thunder Road” is made for you and your buddy beside you. This song makes it completely fine to embrace with one arm over their shoulder, belting every word, with a drink raised toasting to one of the greatest songs in rock n’ roll history.

Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)


When Rosie comes out, typically during the encore or as the closer, no one is standing still. Out of the thousands in attendance, everyone is moving. People of all ages are out on the isles swing dancing, jumping, twirling, going completely and utterly nuts in a lasting effort to savor the magic of the night.

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3 Comments on “7 Must-See Live Springsteen Songs”

  1. Liz Connolly
    01.27.12 at 5:04 PM #

    Best. List. Ever.

  2. Colin Holmes
    01.27.12 at 6:36 PM #

    Super pumped to see Bruce live, but I have to say that the song I’m most excited to hear live is “Prove It All Night.”


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