1973-12-20 Bristol Motor Inn, Bristol, RI

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

Info & Setlist | Venue

One show, with Bruce and the boys the only act advertised on the bill, but a newspaper review and recollections confirm that a cover band called Dick van and the Dykes were the opening act. Partial setlist listed comes from newspaper reviews of the performance. "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" is likely to have been performed at many of the gigs in this December Christmas period. Unusual show in that it was an official Roger Williams University school event but it was held off campus, inside the nightclub of the Bristol Motor Inn. A review in the student newspaper of the University, The Quill, goes into some detail about events prior to Springsteen and the band taking the stage. There are conflicting stories, it appears that Bruce and the band arrived to go on stage at around 10pm but were initially prevented from playing by the organizers because there were only around 100 tickets sold, which would result in a huge monetary loss for those in charge. The theory was, if the band don't play, they don't get paid. However, this was not the only issue: Springsteen's equipment was delayed, perhaps a result of his equipment manager quitting. So, Bruce went for a walk and the band dispersed with Vini Lopez, taking a seat in the bar and getting drunk. The opening acts concluded their sets at 12:10am, and it wasn't until around 12:35am that Bruce took to the stage, apologizing for a lot of backstage "hassles." This was not the end of the drama however, with the local curfew being 1am, just 35 minutes after Springsteen began his set. The police were in attendance to stop the show, nonetheless Bruce managed an enthusiastic 100-minute set for the lucky few before the power was cut after "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)". The closing paragraph of an article The Quill perhaps sums up the night: "On the surface, the Roger Williams sponsored Bruce Springsteen concert seems to be a classic example of collegiate incompetence, businesswise… But, despite the lies and the deceit and the disgustingly unethical behavior of the folks in charge, Springsteen did it all."

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