Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bruce Springsteen in San Antonio

On July 14, 1978 at Municipal Auditorium, Bruce Springsteen played his only San Antonio show. The day before tickets went on sale, a friend and I went downtown to Joske's department store, which handled the sales. He sweet-talked a clerk into selling us fifth row seats. Tickets, as I recall, were $7.75 apiece.

The Boss opened with "Badlands" and shortly thereafter plunged into the crowd during "Spirit in the Night." Clarence "Big Man" Clemons followed him and wound up chatting casually with my roommate. When we requested "Fever," he said in mock dismay that he thought San Antonio would be the one town that didn't ask for it. Then he played "Fever." He gave us a choice between "Candy's Room" and "For You," played the former, and then said "This one's for the rest of you guys" before launching into the latter.

My sweet-talking friend recently forwarded some pictures of the that show, taken by the date of a buddy of his. Here they are:

Set List:
01 Badlands
02 Night
03 Spirit in the night
04 Darkness on the edge of town
05 Candy's room
06 For You
07 The promised land
08 Prove it all night [With long guitar intro]
09 Racing in the street
10 Thunder road
11 Jungleland

12 Paradise by the C
13 Fire
14 Adam raised a Cain
15 Mona
16 She's the one
17 Growin' up
18 Backstreets
19 The fever
20 Rosalita (Come out tonight)

21 The promise
22 Born to run
23 Because the night
24 Quarter to three

(Thanks to Killing Floor.)

Not a bad way to open:


Roy said...

Wow! $7.75 for 5th row seats! And to see The Boss, at that. I'll bet you couldn't get into a "casual" conversation with Clemmons these days.

And those are some fantastic shots! is the buddy's date still doing photography? If she is, I'll bet she's gone pro.

K. said...

They're excellent shots, aren't they? I'll pass along the compliment.

The first time I saw the Boss (1975), tickets were $4!

K. said...

Roy, I checked: She was and still is an amateur. #4 (guitar solo in spotlight) is especially outstanding.

Renegade Eye said...

Those were the days to hear him.

His concerts are tremendous.

Born in the USA was misused politically by the right.

RGG said...

That was the show that turned me from a casual fan to a fanatic and it remains the best concert I've ever seen. I've still got my ticket stub.
He hadn't played "The Fever" since 1974 and "The Promise" was a fairly new song that was never released until "18 Tracks".
The 1978 live version of "Prove It" with the guitar/piano intro is an all-time favorite.
I think I've got that entire Largo show on DVD.

K. said...

I've seen some great shows through the years, but I'm with RGG on this being the best.

Compared to Austin (75 miles north), San Antonio was a musical backwater at the time; those of us who lived there were thrilled any time a big-name act hit town. That being said, I saw some memorable performances in the 70s: The Rolling Thunder Review, Boz Scaggs with a 25-piece orchestra, Jackson Browne, and of course The Boss.

paula said...

Thanks for this! Perfect escape for a hot summer day. And, the photos are terrific!

Chico Harris said...

I enjoyed reading this very much. By this tour I had seen Bruce and the band only twice (Memphis and Jackson, Mississippi -1976) and did get to see New Orleans - Jackson - Memphis- Nashville on this tour, right after San Antonio.
I found this post by reading the Doug Harvey obituary in the New York Times today. A July 14, 1978, baseball story is told and I thought, "I think that's the San Antonio show." When I Googled to check, here was this great post with these fantastic photographs.

Oxford, Mississippi.