1970-05-23 VCU Gym, Richmond, VA

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Scheduled: 19:00 Local Start Time ??:?? / End Time ??:??

Info & Setlist | Venue

One show, double bill, held in the VCU Gym, with Steel Mill headlining and Mercy Flight opening. This gig is infamous because it ended with Vini Lopez arrested for unruly behaviour. Mercy Flight’s co-manager, Russell Clem, can be heard introducing Steel Mill. During the middle of the country-rock inspired "I Am The Doctor", Springsteen tells the crowd, "We went swimming today down in the James River [outside Richmond] and we took our surfboards with us." During the intro to "Resurrection", Springsteen mentions canoeing earlier that afternoon. Bruce sings, "here we are back in Richmond, Virginia again" as the opening line of "Amplifier Blues". Earliest known performances for "Something's Gotta Break" and "Come On", and only known versions of "Temporarily Out Of Order", "Amplifier Blues", and "For What It's Worth". From the outset of this show there were problems with the school's generators. There was a power outage during Mercy Flight's opening tune, "Mississippi Queen" and the problems continued intermittently for the remainder of the evening. This, combined with VCU officials' complaints about the loudness of Steel Mill's performance, caused tension between the band and officials. Springsteen and Lopez can be heard making related comments during the show. Following "Jeannie I Want To Thank You", Bruce remarks to the crowd: "There's a weird thing going on between your officials and us." At another point Bruce can be heard exclaiming, "There should be no restrictions on me." At another point Bruce tells the crowd, "We're gonna finish this one with you guys and split to the middle of the road and play." Despite the drama the audience is enthusiastic and the band's performance is excellent. Although it has not surfaced as part of the circulating audio, there is attendee recollection that "He's Guilty (The Judge Song)" was performed following the opening instrumental "KT-88" (there's an edit so this is plausible). It is likely there was another song played after "Twenty More Miles" that's missing from the audio source, and it would seem it was during that point that VCU officials shut the band's power off as they overran the 11:00pm curfew. Lopez in an act of defiance continued playing his drums, which resulted in him being hauled way for disorderly conduct, an incident that Vini has jokingly referred to in several interviews.

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