1973-01-31 Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY (Early)

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Info & Setlist | Venue

First of two shows, double billing, with Springsteen and band opening for headliner Biff Rose. This was the opening of a six-night (12-show) residency at the club. As undercard Bruce's performances would have been limited to about 60 minutes per show. This is the earliest known performance of "Spirit In The Night". The show featured an introduction by Max's owner Mickey Ruskin. To start the show Bruce plays two solo numbers before bringing out the band. By prior arrangement with Mike Appel and Columbia Records, D.I.R. Broadcasting Corp was on hand to gather performance recordings of Bruce for use on its upcoming new syndicated radio program called "King Biscuit Flower Hour". The DIR Engineers had been in Buffalo two days earlier recording The Mahavishnu Orchestra and the week before that in Dallas recording a Blood Sweat & Tears concert. The King Biscuit Flower Hour used a two-four week delayed broadcast formula and the show made its debut on February 18 and February 19 (date depended on the locale). As it turned out the program that aired featured mostly Blood, Sweat & Tears (major stars at this time). Only one Mahavishnu Orchestra track was broadcast and only one Springsteen song, "Bishop Danced". This is the recording of "Bishop Danced" that ended up on the official Tracks boxed set, although the liner notes mistakenly list the broadcast date as the recording date. "Bishop Danced" was re-broadcast by King Biscuit several times in subsequent years, including part one of the 500th Broadcast Celebration of the program on April 15, 1984. "Mary Queen Of Arkansas" and "Spirit In The Night" were aired a week later in part two. "Spirit In The Night" also formed part of the pre-show broadcast of the Stockholm 1988 concert, but none of the other Springsteen material recorded by them on this night was ever aired, perhaps due to rights issues. In 1980 "Bishop Danced" formed part of a program titled "Rock On The Road (A Million Miles of Rock 'N' Roll)" that was produced by D.I.R. Broadcasting and aired on radio stations across the country on November 7, 8 and 9, depending on the radio station. A memo was distributed to all radio stations by D.I.R. on November 8 issuing an instruction to not air the Springsteen content, which also included the promotional recording of "Prove It All Night" from July 1, 1978 and an excerpt of a radio interview with Dave Herman from the same year. Presumably D.I.R. did not have permission to use Springsteen's material and only realized after the program was aired on November 7. Recordings from this show are often misidentified as coming from solo Springsteen shows at Max's Kansas City in mid-1972. The listed setlist is culled from circulating soundboard recordings of both shows from this night. The early show is believed to be complete.

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