ASBURY PARK — Bruce Springsteen made his first appearance in five years at the annual Light of Day Winterfest benefit on Saturday night.

Springsteen played at the Paramount Theatre, following the week-long series of performances to raise money for those with Parkinson’s disease and related illnesses.

The 20th year of the event was expected to bring its cumulative total raised to fight Parkinson's disease to more than $6 million, as explained by festival organizers who visited New Jersey 101.5 studios when ticket sales launched in November 2019.

Springsteen joined headliner and longtime collaborators, Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers for a handful of songs, including "Darkness on the Edge of Town," "Pink Cadillac," "Promised Land," "Atlantic City," an acoustic version of "Thunder Road" and "Light of Day," the song that inspired the name of the annual fundraiser, as seen in videos posted to Youtube by concert goers.

"The Boss" played 10 songs with Grushecky and his band, according to a report by Variety.

Springsteen also performed with Jesse Malin and Willie Nile earlier in the night, as posted by Nile on Twitter, and was joined for a couple of songs by Ocean County "rockstar" photographer and musician Danny Clinch on harmonica.

Clinch shared footage of Springsteen on-stage in his Instagram stories.

The Light of Day foundation grew out of a "one night only" concert in Red Bank in 1998, in honor of artist manager Bob Benjamin's 40th birthday.

Benjamin, who was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's disease in 1996, was in attendance at this year's Winterfest and was among those on-stage for Saturday night's finale.

Springsteen had managed to make it back to Asbury Park from Florida, where he attended an equestrian event Friday for his daughter, Jessica Springsteen, according to Rolling Stone, which reported the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was among travelers who dealt with the impact of Saturday's winter storm on flight schedules.

Earlier in the week, Springsteen's son, Sam, was sworn in a a member of the Jersey City Fire Department.

Bruce Springsteen and son Sam embrace
Bruce Springsteen and son Sam embrace (City of Jersey City)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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