1975-09-20 Darby Gymnasium, Grinnell, IA

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Info & Setlist | Venue

Held in the school's 1,000-seat Darby Gymnasium, with only 200 seats available to the non-student public. Bruce's first ever appearance in Iowa. There were wildfire rumors in the weeks leading up to this concert that hundreds of crazed New York and New Jersey Springsteen fanatics were planning on traveling 1,200 kilometers to sleepy Grinnell to gate crash the sold-out show. The event quickly became dubbed as 'The Springsteen Invasion' (note the pre-event promo cartoon on our News tab). Fearing trouble college officials hired a large contingent of police and security officers to keep order. It turned out to be a hoax, as no undesirables turned up and the concert went off without incident - and to overwhelming praise. Complete setlist for this show is not known. The listed eleven songs are culled from an attendee recollection combined with titles articulated in a post concert review of the show in the student newspaper. The titles are in the correct performing order but there were four or five additional songs sandwiched among them. "Pretty Flamingo" was played at the soundcheck but not during the show. "Incident On 57th Street" is semi-solo; "Thunder Road" is the slow version with Roy on piano and Bruce on harmonica and vocals. Springsteen went into the crowd during "Spirit In The Night". During "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)", which featured the "Come A Little Bit Closer" intro, Bruce jumped (the student newspaper says "fell") off the stage into the crowd. Carlson Smith, a co-organizer of the event, has told Brucebase that Springsteen's services were procured for only $2,500, further adding "we signed the deal the previous June, just before leaving for summer vacation. It probably would have been easy for Bruce to get out of the contract, as by this time they were getting a much higher appearance fee. His management should be commended in honoring their commitment to us. When they arrived they actually seemed eager and happy to play."

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