1974-04-28 Scott Amphitheater, Swarthmore, PA

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Scheduled: 13:30 Local Start Time ??:?? / End Time ??:??

Info & Setlist | Venue

The first four tracks listed are from attendee recollections. One afternoon outdoor show, double bill, with Springsteen and band headlining and acoustic outfit Wire And Wood (Frank Collins, Craig Bickhardt and Rick Bell) opening. According to the school's newspaper if the weather was poor this show was to be held indoors (in Clothier Building Auditorium) but if the weather was fine it would be held outdoors in the school's small, stunningly beautiful Scott Amphitheater. Perfect, unseasonably warm weather prevailed so the concert was held outdoors in front of an audience of less than 300 lucky patrons. Apparently the quaint, picturesque atmosphere elicited a particularly jazzy performance by Bruce and the band. Mike Appel has stated that Springsteen planned to perform "Born To Run" at the college. If accurate, this would constitute the earliest confirmed performance of the song (though rumors of even earlier performances also circulate). Philadelphia Inquirer critic Bill Mandel, who attended this show, described Bruce and the band as performing "to a glade-full of barely clad satyrs and nymphs who writhed and danced in and out of the trees." Jim recalls: "The show was electrifying, and the crowd hung on every note. I'll never forget the audible gasps from the crowd when the band and the Boss tore through the stop-time part of "Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?" The tiny amphitheater audience was hot, sweaty and completely enthralled." Another recollection, this time from Michael: "The most unbelievable part of the show was that it was absolutely free with only 90 folks tops in attendance! My favorite recollections were a ridiculously long version of "Kitty's Back", the only time I witnessed 'The Song With the Funky Break' ("Blinded By The Light") and the only lead vocal by Clarence that I ever saw, ripping into a tune called "Gimme That Wine"." See our Gallery tab to view a set of stunning photographs of the show (and aftermath!) from Swarthmore College's 1974 Halcyon yearbook.

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