For my first selection – in an occasional series of great music live performances available to view on the internet – I have no hesitation in choosing Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) by American blue collar icon Bruce Springsteen, a song that appears on his 1973 second album The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle. The first time I saw it, in about 1980, it changed me from a Springsteen agnostic to a believer overnight.
Contrary to the belief of British audiences that Springsteen was an overnight success, his early career was a long, hard road of playing gigs in small town bars and halls. It took critic Jon Landau’s famous 1974 comment “I have seen the future or rock and roll and his name is Bruce Springsteen”, written after seeing him in concert at the Harvard Square Theater, and the issue of his unofficial almost last-try, highly-promoted, third album Born To Run the same year that finally ‘broke Springsteen at the age of twenty-four.
Recorded at a concert in Phoenix three years later in 1978, this rendition of Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) captures the musicality, energy and charisma of Springsteen, the great team camaraderie between him and his band and the envigorating sense of awe and excitement that great musical performances can generate in an audience who were there to have a good time on the night … and got it.
It’s worth watching it right through to the end. You’ll find you’ll almost wish you had been there.
Enjoy here – courtesy of YouTube – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN