1974-03-18 Gertie's, Dallas, TX (Early)

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

Info & Setlist | Venue

No set details known. First of two shows, with Springsteen and band the sole act on the bill. Opening of a four-night (eight-show) residency. This series of gigs was originally scheduled for a smaller club in Dallas called Mother Blues. However due to the rapturous reception and strong ticket sales that had occurred at the gigs in Houston and Austin, it was decided at the last moment to shift the residency to the larger Gertie's venue. The decision turned out to be unnecessary, as ticket sales in Dallas were very poor, with only 50 to 75 people present at most of the shows, an indication of just how dramatically Bruce's popularity varied from city to city at this point in his career. Brucebase reader Gary Mcgill attended the show and was kind enough to send us his recollections: "Gertie's was the sister club to Mother Blues and were both on Lemmon Avenue a few blocks apart. I was 18, living in an old house a few blocks away. I had no knowledge of Bruce Springsteen at the time, but often went to Gertie's and Mother Blues. We'd see local bands like the Werewolves, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughn when just starting out, Jonny Nitzinger (blues guitarist and author of some Bloodrock songs) and touring bands like Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, Ray Manzarek band (of the Doors), Tim Buckley, and many others. A friend from Austin told me I simply had to go see this guy Bruce Springsteen. He'd just played the Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin and my friend was amazed. So I went to the show at Gertie's (I just paid admission at the door….don't recall but it couldn't have been more than $2 or $3). I was on my own. My roommate worked the night shift and couldn't go to the show. Only 50 or 60 people in the entire club (and the club wasn't that big). I don't really recall two shows. I do know they did a set, then a long break, then another set. During the break, I stood at the bar and talked to (I think) Garry Tallent for quite a while. We chatted about Austin, The Armadillo, etc. Very nice fellow. Bruce and most of the band was outside. I recall thinking in the second set that maybe they didn't know many songs because they played a lot of things again. In retrospect that could have been because it was supposed to be two shows. I think the club management just let us all stay because the place was so empty. The stage at Gertie's is not very big and only a couple of feet taller than the floor in the place. Plus the ceiling is very low. I recall the band seeming a bit cramped on the stage. I also recall vividly that Bruce and band were playing as if they were in Madison Square Garden….putting on a hell of a show for even our small audience. And everyone there was loving it. Seems like the last song they played was a long cover of "Walking The Dog" with Bruce going wild on stage, totally sweat drenched. I've been to many hundreds of concerts, starting back in 1968 and seen almost every major rock act, particularly the late 60s and 70s. Still attend many concerts every year, but the Bruce Springsteen and E-Street Band show in that little club, Gertie's, is still one of my all time best concert experiences."

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