Perhaps some of the most sought-after bootlegs and performances of Springsteen’s long career stem from his 1978 Darkness On the Edge of Town Tour. One of his finest shows from the Darkness tour takes place at the historic Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, California. The concert has been official released and now sees the light of day to commemorate the show’s 40th anniversary.
The show was hastily put together nearly two days after Springsteen played The Forum in L.A., his first arena concert as a headliner. The 500-seat club was packed and was broadcast on the radio throughout California where fans would record the show and make it one of Springsteen’s rarest bootlegs.
The concert has now been remastered and remixed from the show’s master tapes. Eight of the songs from the Roxy performance were previously released on Springsteen’s Live 1975-85 box set in the ’80s but fans can now hear the concert in its entirety.
The album also features several covers that Springsteen had circulating in his sets at the time that include Buddy Holly’s “Rave On,” Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel,” and early tour version’s of Eddie Floyd’s “Raise Your Hand” and The Isley Brothers “Twist And Shout.” Both of which would end up being setlist staples for Springsteen today.
In addition to covers, fans can also hear an early version of the songs “Point Blank” and a solo piano rendition of “Independence Day,” both of which would later be released on Springsteen’s next album, The River.
Roxy ’78 is the fourth show from Springsteen’s Darkness tour to be released. Roxy is part of Springsteen’s initiative of allowing fans to download official bootlegs of his shows. The website live.brucespringsteen.net was announced nearly four years ago and is powered by nugs.net who is known for their leading industry work with artists such as Pearl Jame and Metallica. Since then, Springsteen has been remastering the older performances from previous years for fans to enjoy.
According to the Springsteen website Backstreets, Brad Sterling, CEO of nugs.net, stated the idea came about when Springsteen was looking at YouTube fan footage of his concerts.
“It was Bruce looking at YouTube and seeing fan-generated content from his recent shows, as well as archival stuff and he was like, ‘We can do better than this. We own the masters!’ What’s great is, he wasn’t saying, ‘F— those guys. Take that stuff down. Screw YouTube.’ It was, ‘If this is happening, we should be doing it officially.'”
Fans can purchase the show here in various formats such as CD, MP3, and FLAC.