Bruce Springsteen's top 10 iconic live performances

Bruce Springsteen's top 10 iconic live performances

From Live Aid to Springsteen on Broadway, these performances prove why Bruce Springsteen is 'the boss'.
18 September 2023 12:57PM

This week ‘The Boss’, Bruce Springsteen, celebrates his 74th birthday on September 23 and coincidently, it just so happens to also be the first official day of Spring in New Zealand. 

To celebrate, The Sound will kick off ‘Spring’ Steen, with some of Bruce’s most iconic songs playing all day long. 

While we count down the days till we can blow out Springsteen’s candles, we’ve compiled 10 of his best live performances that helped cement his status as one of the greatest live performances in history. 

Born to Run at Hammersmith Odeon (1975)

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's London's Hammersmith Odeon show is often regarded as a watershed moment in his career. The energy and passion they brought to "Born to Run" in this intimate venue captured the essence of Springsteen's live prowess, setting a high standard for future performances.

The River Tour at Madison Square Garden (1980)

The River Tour was a defining chapter in Springsteen's live history, and the four-night stand at Madison Square Garden in 1980 showcased the depth and range of his songwriting. 

Live Aid (1985)

Bruce Springsteen's appearance at the historic Live Aid benefit concert was a pivotal moment in his career. His rendition of "Born in the U.S.A." resonated with the crowd and viewers worldwide.

MTV Plugged (1992)

Springsteen's stripped-down, acoustic performance for MTV's "Unplugged" series showcased his versatility as an artist. Songs like "Atlantic City" and "Thunder Road" took on new life.

The Rising Tour at Asbury Park Convention Hall (2002)

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Springsteen's "The Rising" tour was a source of healing for many. The performance at Asbury Park Convention Hall, a place of personal significance to him, was an emotional journey through resilience and hope.

Super Bowl XLIII Halftime Show (2009)

Springsteen's halftime performance at Super Bowl XLIII was a spectacle that captivated millions. With hits like "Born to Run" and "Glory Days," he brought the spirit of his live shows to the biggest stage in sports, proving that the Boss could rock any venue.

Wrecking Ball Tour at MetLife Stadium (2012)

As the first artist to perform at the newly opened MetLife Stadium, Springsteen made history once again. The Wrecking Ball Tour was a powerful testament to his enduring relevance.

High Hopes Tour at Cape Town, South Africa (2014)

Bruce Springsteen's first-ever performance in South Africa was a memorable event. His rendition of "The Ghost of Tom Joad" with Tom Morello was a highlight, blending old and new elements of his career into a powerful musical statement.

Springsteen on Broadway (2017-2018)

Springsteen's solo residency on Broadway was a departure from his traditional arena shows, but it was no less iconic. Through storytelling and acoustic performances, he offered a deeply personal look at his life and music.

Western Stars – A Film by Bruce Springsteen (2019)

The cinematic release of "Western Stars" showcased Springsteen's ability to craft a narrative through music. The live performance of the entire album in Joshua Tree National Park, coupled with introspective storytelling, was a testament to his enduring artistry and creativity.