Review: Bruce Springsteen: “The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts” – Long awaited and great live document

After the Three Mile Island reactor accident in March 1979, protest movements formed against nuclear power plants (not to mention nuclear weapons). In September of that year, the Musicians United For Safe Energy organized a two-day festival in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Bruce Springsteen had hesitated about being harnessed to the cart, but decided it was the right one. His participation changed the program of the festival: after Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor and Tom Petty, Crosby, Stills & Nash could not close the concerts, because after the E Street Band no one wanted to perform.

They just completed the tour to “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”, Springsteen turned 30 on September 23rd. He worked on the album that was to be called “The Ties That Bind” and which then became “The River”. They begin the performance with “Prove It All Night”, followed by the hit songs “Badlands” and “The Promised Land”. Springsteen accepts a birthday cake from the audience (supposedly from Steven Van Zandt’s mother), whereupon he sings “The River” with all the force of an unreleased song.

“Sherry Darling” is an anticipation of the new record, from which there is no stopping, followed by an intimate version of “Thunder Road” and, rarely performed, “Jungleland”. After “Born To Run” and before the tumultuous Detroit medley, “Quarter To Three”, the 1961 hit by Gary US Bonds, and finally “Rave On”, Rosemary Butler, Tom Petty and Jackson Browne come for a bar boogie Version of “Stay” on stage.

The recordings of the one-and-a-half-hour concert circulated as bootlegs for more than forty years – now there is the film, which has been excellently restored by Thom Zimny ​​and cut by 16 millimeters, and the acoustic version on CD and vinyl. There was an elephant in the archive. The best of all possible Springsteens. (Sony)

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