Classic Rock Review

The home of old record and bootleg reviews…

Bruce Springsteen Piece De Resistance (Passaic, NJ, September 1978)


Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band live at the Capitol Theater, Passaic, New Jersey on Tues. 19th September 1978.

Bruce and the band were 5-months into their long USA Darkness On The Edge Of Town tour when they hit the Capitol Theater for 3-sold out shows (19th, 20th and the Boss’s birthday show on 21st). Playing in the Capitol Theater’s 3,000 seat hall, it was quite a show that night.

Tooled to the pitch of perfection from 5-months of touring and playing nearly every night, the band were as tight as they would ever be. The shows on this tour were to become legendary, but this show is a standout that is head and shoulders above all the rest. Absolutely superb, with Bruce and the band at their finest. The shows didn’t get any better than this.

The E. Street Band at this time was: Max Weinberg-drums, Garry Tallent-bass, Danny Federici-organ, Roy Bittan-piano, Steve Van Zant-guitars, Clarence Clemons-sax, and the Boss himself. A killer set-list with every song performed flawlessly. The tour began in Buffalo at Shea’s Theater on 23rd May, and ended with a show on New Years Day 1979 at the Richfield Coliseum in Cleveland. Over 120 shows had been booked, and Bruce and the band ended up playing 117 full shows. There were a couple of shows that had to be cancelled and some had to be re-booked because of various band members getting sick on the road during the long tour.

However, 117 shows was an absolute marathon tour, and Bruce and the band were thoroughly exhausted after the last show, taking a well-deserved year off to rest and record. Considering each show was some 2+1/2 to 3-hours long, no wonder the band was exhausted by the end of the tour. Check out the cover shot of Bruce with his well-worn Fender Telecaster on the cover…..months of hard touring were wearing the finish off his guitar.

This was, at the time, the most financially successful rock tour in history…..every show sold-out. This was the tour that made the Boss and his band millionaires…..and they gave million dollar performances… ! Writers at the time reviewed the tour, reporting that with this tour, the Boss insisted on military precision for all shows and conduct. Bruce insisted there was to be no drinking, drugs or bad behaviour from his band and crew.

To be sure, there were a few after-show celebration parties, however drinking and behavour was tightly controlled, with all aspects and band and staff being dedicated to the tour professionally. The discipline paid off, they all became millionares, and the shows were some of the best the E. Street Band ever gave. This is the entire, uncut concert from the first night on 19th Sept. 1978. The show was broadcast on the eastern USA seaboard FM radio live, so this accounts for the exquisite sound fidelity. Sound is superb, professionally recorded and mixed.

Bruce seriously considered releasing this show as an “official” live album way back in 1979, but for some reason shelved the project. Too bad….the show performances from this are better than the ones on the official Live 75-85 release. Springsteen at his finest, a dynamic performance… ! Long considered a “classic” bootleg, this show on Great Dane CD’s was produced from the master tapes in Italy in 1990.

One of the best Great Dane CD packages, it has superb packaging and presentation with original photographs from the actual show. This show was also professionally filmed by Bruce, and remains unreleased, however bootleg copies exist….again outstanding show performances….. Max Weinberg-drummer for the E. Street band once stated that the show from this tour at the Agora Club in Cleveland on 09th Aug.-1978 was the finest show the band ever did………I dunno… would be hard pressed to find a better show than this one at the Capitol Theater.

It’s a matter of personal taste, but both show’s are the best, probably rate a tie for #1 in the top ten shows of the Boss’s career. Set lists are slightly different, as the Boss changed the set list almost nightly, and each has their own respectively great songs. A superb show performance and outstanding stereo sound fidelity….the complete show with encores. Another benchmark in Bruce’s already legendary career….and he was only 28-years old.

They don’t get any better than this…. Seek it out at all costs… Highly Recommended.

January 3, 2014 Posted by | Bruce Springsteen Piece De Resistance | , | Leave a comment

Bruce Springsteen: Piece De Resistance (1978)


As CD trading via mail started to build in the 90s, I suddenly had an additional outlet to feed my growing love for live shows. No longer did that require purchasing bootleg CDs from local and mail order retailers because I finally had the ability via the internet to find others that were fans of artists that I also loved. Thanks to early trading friends like John and Hal, I quickly got my hands on rarities from some of my favorites like Sammy Hagar, Eddie Money, Night Ranger, and also various Cleveland shows that I didn’t have.

And of course, as a mondo Springsteen fan, I also began to accumulate a lot of Springsteen bootlegs. In the midst of my ongoing search for a quality copy of the Agora show, I picked up copies of the classic shows – Live at the Roxy, Live at Winterland, etc. etc. etc.

My early exposure to live Springsteen came as a result of the Live/1975-1985 box set, and it was interesting to finally hear the full shows that the 70s live material on that set was sourced from.

I think that the three shows that I hear people talk about the most, are the Agora show, the Winterland show, and a show recorded at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ on September 19th, 1978 that circulated initially as a bootleg famously known as Piece De Resistance.

The Passaic show was the opening night of a full weekend’s worth of three consecutive shows at the Capitol Theater, and the September 19th show was broadcast live by WNEW-FM in New York. The 9/19 bootleg is the most well known of the three shows, but luckily for Bruce fans, soundboards exist for all three nights.

From Brucebase:

Great versions of “Because The Night” and “Fire,” and also includes what many consider to be the best examples of “Racing In The Street” and “Thunder Road” ever! – Essential.

I don’t completely agree with that – I was listening to Passaic Night this week prior to reading the above, and was surprised at how much better the Agora version of “Thunder Road” is in comparison with the version here. I’m sure there’s at least one person that might argue that point, and that’s fine! The Passaic show does have one of my favorite versions of “Point Blank,” and I love the back to back “Independence Day” and “The Promised Land.”

The 30th anniversary deluxe edition for Darkness on the Edge of Town is allegedly still in the pipeline, now set for 2009. With no shortage of recorded material from the 1978 tour to choose from, you can be sure that when/if it does come out, it will be great. And I’ll be waiting semi-patiently for it to come out!

May 18, 2010 Posted by | Bruce Springsteen Piece De Resistance | , | Leave a comment