1978-08-09 Agora (The), Cleveland, OH

Scheduled: 21:00 Local Start Time ??:?? / End Time ??:??

Info & Setlist | Venue

Free concert to celebrate the tenth anniversary of WMMS, although the anniversary was somewhat artificial - it actually marked the change of call letters from WHK-FM to WMMS. The radio station drew postcards to give away almost 1200 tickets to the show. Broadcast by WMMS and simulcast by WABX in Detroit, WDVE in Pittsburgh, WEBN in Cincinnati, WLVO in Columbus, OH, WXRT in Chicago, KSHE in St. Louis and KQRS in Minneapolis with a total audience for the broadcast estimated at three million. Denny Sanders was the on-air DJ, while Kid Leo introduced Bruce on stage: round for round, pound for pound, there ain't no finer band around, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band! It's interesting to note that this show was later mastered by Bruce's management and given to KSAN in San Francisco who broadcast it as a replacement for a scheduled Winterland rebroadcast some time in 1979, WNEW-FM in New York City for a broadcast on Easter Sunday of 1979 and WWDC 101 in Washington D.C. on November 5. The song order of the WNEW-FM broadcast was adjusted, and the tape was edited to remove references to Cleveland. WMMS themselves also rebroadcast the entire gig on November 5. This remastered tape has fantastic stereo separation and coupled with the fact that this is a good show in the first place, it has to rank as one of the best of the available shows in 1978. 22-song set opens with "Summertime Blues" and closes with "Twist And Shout", performed some time after the radio broadcast had concluded. "Backstreets" is dedicated to Jim Kluter and Joe Juhasz, two of the 'Cleveland Boys', a group of hardcore fans that first met Bruce in Asbury Park in 1976, joining him for a benefit softball game. It's Jim and Joe's voices that you can hear along with Bruce's singing "explode into rock 'n' roll bands" during "Jungleland". Clarence's intro during "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" contains a snippet of The Village People's hit "Macho Man".

In May 2012 Cleveland's Plain Dealer reported that Agora owner Henry LoConti was attempting to release a four-CD set of the show. While one audio feed (for radio, produced by Jimmy Iovine) went to a production truck (actually an old school bus converted into a recording studio by Sam Kopper, a former announcer at Boston's WBCN) outside the venue, another went to Agency Recording, a studio located above the Agora, which recorded the show onto 24-track tape for a possible live album. (Although it appears that the masters LoConti owned were only 2-track. Perhaps while a 24-track feed did go to the recording studio, LoConti only kept a mixed-down, 2-track version. The location of any multi-track masters is currently unknown). LoConti transferred this tape and made ten copies of the box set, which also includes Springsteen's June 1974 set at the Agora. Copies were sent to Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt, and Springsteen's management asking permission to issue the set, with all proceeds going to the Western Reserve Historical Society. Unfortunately, no permission was forthcoming. In addition, LoConti also claimed that the set includes an extra track not included on bootlegs, but as far as we know, "Twist And Shout" was the final song, a position which is supported by press and fan reports. "Twist And Shout" was not included in the original broadcast, and may have been missing from the earliest vinyl bootlegs. "Twist And Shout" was first broadcast the following day, and on subsequent rebroadcasts of the show. Sadly, Henry "Hank" LoConti passed away in May 2014.

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