“…all them bootleggers out there in radio-land, roll your tapes!”
– Bruce Springsteen (Roxy, 1978)
One of the best concerts in the history of rock took place at the Roxy 7 July in 1978.
Some of you may already be familiar with one of the many bootlegs from this show, but for those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure. I would strongly recommend you to seek it out, they are fairly easy to find on the web.
When I first got a copy of “Roxy Night” I played it constantly for four days. In the house, on my discman (google it, young folks) and in the car, I couldn’t get enough. It was and still is the best bootleg I have ever heard.
It’s a radio broadcast of a show Bruce Springsteen did at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles in July of 1978, 8 songs from this concert were used on Bruce’s official Live 1975-85 album, albeit in an edited form (and too extensive editing in a song or two, a 5 and a half minute long “Sad Eyes” interlude was cut out of the version of this performance included on the Live 1975-85 release). Once a person hears the unedited version of “Backstreets,” they realize how much that is missing in the released/edited version. This show must be heard in its unedited entirety.
Full Concert at The Roxy 1978:
I have more than 300 hundred Bruce Springsteen shows/bootlegs on CD/Vinyl or Hard-disk (and I’ve heard a lot more!) and this is one of my all time favorite shows.
It’s from the so called Darkness Tour. The atmosphere is electric throughout due to the intimacy of the venue (The Roxy only held 500 people) and the fact that those who did get in are really big fans (he apologizes at the start of the concert to those poor unfortunates who had queued up all day in the heat and were still unable to get in).
The performance is incredible, and though it is true that there are bootlegs from later on in the tour that collectors often prefer because the songs from the Darkness on the edge of town album are more full, more fleshed out (such as the radio broadcast of the Winterlands show in San Francisco from 15-12-78 or the Passaic shows), but they don’t have the electric energy that runs through this set, it is a perfect Bruce Springsteen concert.