This is the best version of ‘Thunder Road’ by Bruce Springsteen (Opinion)
Yesterday, NJ.com's Bobby Olivier got me all hot and bothered when he reported Bruce Springsteen hinted at a tour in 2022.
Springsteen made an appearance at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park for a benefit supporting E Street bandmate Steven Van Zandt.
While there, Backstreets Magazine quoted The Boss with the following,
We’ll be out there in the world again next year, I hope, and I guarantee: if you bring your children and younger brothers and sisters or grandma for that matter, they’re going to see the band at its peak.
At its peak, Bruce? I'm not saying it can't be done, but most of the band is at least 70 years old now and the arrangements have slowed down considerably.
I'm not complaining, that's just what happens. I'll be happy with anything I can get as far as a full band Bruce Springsteen tour is concerned, but peak E Street Band? Maybe Viagra is keeping this band younger than we thought.
If you want to talk peak E Street, allow me to introduce you to what I believe to be the best live version of "Thunder Road" of all time.
It all happened on December 29, 1980, when Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band were doing a multi-night stint at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, NY. If you're familiar with Bruce's catalog, 1980 means the band was touring for Bruce's double album The River.
Songs from Born To Run released just five years earlier had already become highly sought after by fans at his shows, and when the opening "Thunder Road" harmonica note hits, you can hear the excitement in the air that night.
The E Street Band sounds so great in this recording, breathing entirely new life into a song that didn't need it.
Sit back and enjoy the audio from a performance for the ages.
Now THAT is peak E Street band.
Related reading: Ten great Bruce Springsteen songs that came out after 2002
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 producer, writer, and host Joe Votruba. Any opinions expressed are his own.