1975-07-28 Carter Barron Amphitheatre, Washington, DC

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Scheduled: 20:30 Local Start Time ??:?? / End Time ??:??

Info & Setlist | Venue

The first of three shows at Carter Barron Amphitheatre, a 4,200-seat open-air venue located in Rock Creek Park. This show was seriously disrupted by heavy rain that delayed the start, and as a result the concert did not finish until after midnight. WHFS-FM DJ Donald "Cerphe" Colwell, who'd MC'd an in-station Springsteen performance (see listing for June 2, 1973) as well as these three shows, has commented about the infamous storm-affected show. "About an hour into his performance", said Colwell, "it began raining. This was an outdoor show and because Carter Barron is inside a National Park, everything is controlled by the U.S. Park Police. They have rules and regulations regarding shows in the rain and they wanted it stopped. Bruce paced around backstage pleading for the show to go on. The rain started and stopped three times… finally, the stage was dried off and a soaked-to-the-skin audience got the performance of their life. People who were there still e-mail or call my radio show to reminisce about that legendary, rainy night." Evidence strongly suggests that Cerphe's recollections are not totally accurate. Analysis of the tape, attendee recollections, and press reports indicate that the start was delayed due to torrential rainfall just as the show was about to begin, not when the show was in progress. Further rain fell just as the stage was dried off after the initial rainstorm passed, resulting in another delay before Springsteen and the band finally took to the stage at around 10-10.30pm, some two hours after the scheduled 8.30pm start time. Moisture in the air would interfere with Springsteen's guitar throughout, leading him to repeatedly apologize for delays - there was an upside to this though in an extended version of the rare 1971 instrumental "Funk Song" while he retuned his guitar. A beautiful "Incident On 57th Street" opens the set, with only Roy Bittan's piano accompanying Springsteen. "The E Street Shuffle" includes "Having A Party". Other highlights include "It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City" and an excellent (sadly cut short) "New York City Serenade". Cerphe's story that the show was stopped is accurate and can be heard on the tape. Following "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" (which includes a snippet of "Theme From Shaft" in the midsection) an announcement that the show is over is made from the stage. It's hard to hear the exact words, but "it's very very very late" is clear, as is "we're sorry, but we cannot offer anymore this evening". This announcement predictably provokes a strong reaction from the crowd, which apparently refused to leave. After a time, however, Bruce and the band return to the stage for a spirited three-song, twenty-minute encore to the remaining 200 or so. Springsteen can be heard thanking the parks department for allowing him to continue. The closing "A Love So Fine" includes an interlude of "Shout". Please note that the setlist listed here was previously listed under 1975-07-29 - the radio interview from the following day and a newspaper review from the Washington Post confirm that the date listed on 'Talent & Feeling' is incorrect.

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