1971-07-23 Guggenheim Bandshell, New York City, NY

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Scheduled: 20:00 Local Start Time ??:?? / End Time ??:??

Info & Setlist | Venue

One show, with The Bruce Springsteen Band (along with several other unsigned groups) performing as part of the Guggenheim Memorial Concert Series that took place daily in Damrosch Park during the summer of 1971. According to the New York Times the headliner and scheduled show closer on July 23 was The Richard Goldman Band, a classical orchestra noted for its creative use of wind and brass instruments. Bruce and his team were one of several unnamed-in-print undercard acts, each of who were allocated hour-long performing slots. At one point Bruce can be heard off-mic asking "How much more time do we have?" The response back is "fifteen minutes" and Bruce times the end of his show impeccably. The fact that Bruce's mid-1971 lineup included horns may have been the reason Tinker got this particular booking. The trumpet and sax are highly prevalent throughout and the arrangements (likely created by Van Zandt) are outstanding. Although this was an outdoor event, Bruce and the band were performing within the Guggenheim Band Shell. The superb acoustics of that shell, combined with an un-degraded source tape, have resulted in a truly exceptional concert document. Add to this a tight, highly disciplined and inspired performance by the entire band and it's easy to see why most rate this Damrosch gig as the finest pre-CBS Springsteen concert currently in existence. This texture of this performance is more in keeping with the funkiness of Bruce's 1974 Wild & Innocent Tour dates and early Asbury Jukes shows. It is essential audio in any Springsteen collection. The nine-member Bruce Springsteen Band at Damrosch Park is the same as the ten-member contingent that performed at The Sunshine In ten days earlier (see July 11 listing) with the exception that Tinker West is not playing congas, it seems Tinker was busy working the soundboard. This show includes some of Bruce's finest early-period songwriting efforts. There are definitive live performances of "Jambalaya (Roll Over)" and "You Mean So Much To Me". Delores Holmes delivers the sexy Ronnie Spector-ish lead vocal on "I'm In Love Again" and "You Don't Leave Me No Choice". A Springsteen lead vocal of these two songs has yet to surface. Bruce's searing guitar work during "You Don't Leave Me No Choice" is among his all-time best. Extensive research has revealed little; the Bruce Springsteen Band was not mentioned in the program or the New York Times. Many thanks to Special Collections in Performing Arts at the University of Maryland.

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