Bruce Springsteen in East Rutherford, New Jersey, 8/19/1984

ARCHIVE RELEASE: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Brendan Byrne Arena, E. Rutherford, New Jersey, August 19, 1984

A Beacon Calling Me In The Night

by Erik Flannigan

As measured by cultural impact and mass popularity, Bruce Springsteen’s 1984-85 World Tour was the apex. Considering its stunning scale, playing multi-night stadium stands, it’s easy to forget that 1984 was a rebirth of sorts, the start of a new era as much as a continuation of what came before it. On the biggest tour of his career, Springsteen was rebuilding the engine while the plane was flying.

Synthesizers like the Yamaha CS-80 had been part of Springsteen’s sonic signature since The River tour, albeit in a subtle manner that was more about background tones and mood. With Born in the U.S.A., synths moved front of the mix (playing lead, so to speak) on the title track and the smash single “Dancing in the Dark.” Fun fact: Did you know a CS-80 tips the scales at over 200 pounds?

When the tour kicked off at the St. Paul Civic Center in June 1984, Springsteen hadn’t performed a proper concert in nearly three years, but he had released two new albums, including Nebraska, his first-ever solo and acoustic effort. How would those songs work on stage with the E Street Band?

There were moves on that Street too, with longtime foil Steven Van Zandt exiting stage left to pursue his own solo career. Nils Lofgren stepped in stage right to take his place, bringing fresh energy and new textures to the band’s already evolving sound, bolstered further by the addition of backing singer Patti Scialfa, restoring E Street’s gender diversity first established by violinist Suki Lahav in late 1974.

The Live Archive series already features the first two shows and the final night of Bruce and the band’s ten-show stand at Brendan Byrne Arena in New Jersey. With the addition of 8/19/84, the penultimate show of the run, we get perhaps our clearest picture yet of Springsteen flying live without a net when the stakes were highest.

While he doesn’t come in for praise as often as other band members given his position in the sonic landscape, Garry W. Tallent is the anchor of the E Street sound, and he stands out especially loud and proud in Jon Altschiller’s new multitrack mix of August 19. His playing is thicker than ever in “Born in the U.S.A,” especially the bridge before the final breakdown, and Garry and Max carry a powerful “Atlantic City” that’s as good as any captured on tape.

ARCHIVE RELEASE: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Brendan Byrne Arena, E. Rutherford, New Jersey, August 19, 1984

Bruce’s own guitar strumming in the opening verse of “Atlantic City” is crystalline crisp. His vocals here and throughout the night are in peak form, a model of power and total control. Tallent’s bass part in the song’s final verse and chorus is sinewy, moody, and, as always, flawless. There’s also fine work from Danny Federici on organ as Bruce sings, “Put on your stockings, babe, ’cause the night’s getting cold.” Lastly, Lofgren’s background vocals in the final chorus ring true just before Bruce yells, “Draw blood!” They crushed it.

The 8/19/84 Nebraska mini-set offers two other striking turns. “Reason to Believe” is the one track from this show featured on Live/1975-85, but it gains additional meaning heard here in context immediately after “Atlantic City” in a different mix that again spotlights Garry Tallent’s superb bass arrangement.

Then there’s “My Father’s House,” in only its second performance ever and one of but five on the entire tour. Bruce introduces the song with a short anecdote about sneaking through the woods at dusk, “and then I had to get home and get by my old man…Sometimes that was scarier.”

In what might be the vocal highlight of the entire show, Bruce sings “My Father’s House” with vivid frankness, backed by the sympathetic support of Tallent on bass, Lofgren on mandolin, Weinberg on brushes, and Bittan on synth. When Springsteen’s rich voice rises with the line, “It stands like a beacon, calling me in the night” you’ll feel the chills. The solo acoustic “My Father’s House” from the Christic benefit show performed in 1990 and released in the Live Archive series is excellent, but this rare band arrangement is stunning.

The rest of the first set remains true to form for the period, with a nice stretch of BIUSA songs coming out of the Nebraska trio and classics like “Badlands” and “Thunder Road”  leading into the break. It’s worth noting that 8/19/84 offers notable readings of “Darkness On the Edge of Town” in the first set and “Prove It All Night” in the second. Both benefit from Springsteen’s stirring vocals and guitar work, and, in Van Zandt’s absence, Lofgren steps up. You can feel him meshing with Bruce, resulting in refreshed performances of two Darkness stalwarts.

The second set is as good as the first, and momentum is building. After the playful trio of “Hungry Heart,” “Dancing in the Dark” and “Cadillac Ranch” coming out of intermission, Bruce taps the Miami Horns for the first time since 1977 on “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” in a preview of their appearance on closing night 24 hours hence. The horns add much joy and vigor to the song, and while he was already having a good night, Clarence Clemons seems to take it up a notch, too.

A tender, solo “No Surrender” is next, then the aforementioned “Prove It All Night” and a stellar, crowd-pleasing version of “Fire.” The crowd certainly knows this one, singing along in full voice, and as good as the Big Man’s saxophone playing is, boy does his baritone voice sound sweet. He and Bruce milk “Fire” for all its worth. “Growin’ Up” keeps the sweetness and local landmarks flowing, complete with Jim the Dancing Bear (who wasn’t done for the night) and massive cheers for “Route 9” and “Toms River” in a tall tale about the early days of Bruce and Clarence on the shore.

Riding in on the emotional nostalgia of “Growin’ Up,”, “Bobby Jean” has heart to burn — and it resonates in a way it hasn’t consistently in recent times, as a standalone song in the encore. Bruce sings it as if Little Stevie were listening (maybe he was in the crowd that night, ahead of his appearance the next evening) and the Big Man lands the solo masterfully.

The set turns back to Darkness again for a pacey “Racing in the Street,” the coda for which is always a showcase for Bittan and Federici, with Bruce adding subtle guitar texture to their interplay. A long, loose “Rosalita” closes the set with extended and particularly funny band intros (e.g. “You may have read [Bittan’s] study of the lost tribes of Hoboken”), and this new model E Street Band is soaring — and most importantly, having fun doing it.

The encore moves from “Jungleland” (with Lofgren stepping up to fill one of Van Zandt’s best-known solos) to “Born to Run” (Federici’s glockenspiel rings out thrillingly) before the Miami Horns return to punctuate “Detroit Medley” and “Twist and Shout – Do You Love Me?” to cap the evening.

Nine nights into a homecoming stand for the ages, 8/19/84 captures Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band sounding different than ever before but every bit as good, their confidence rightly rising on the strength of outstanding performances by the individual players coalescing at the start of a new era.

Stream The Latest Drop of Exclusive Bruce Springsteen Shows

LISTEN NOW: Just added Bruce Springsteen Concert recordings.

Note: These concerts are only available to U.S. and Canada subscribers, and can be streamed now with a free trial to nugs.net.

by Erik Flannigan, Bruce Springsteen Archivist

Live Springsteen streaming on nugs.net expands with Asbury Park, the second of five monthly drops bringing Bruce’s Live Archive catalog to the platform. 

Asbury Park offers an additional 33 shows circa 1978 to 2014, including nine from the legendary Darkness On the Edge of Town tour in 1978. These include new multitrack mixes of the tour’s five beloved radio broadcasts from which spawned several of the most famous Springsteen bootleg of all time: July 7 at The Roxy in West Hollywood; August 9 at The Agora in Cleveland; September 19 at The Capitol Theatre in Passaic; September 30 at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta; and December 15 at Bill Graham’s Winterland in San Francisco.

The Asbury Park drop also features Springsteen’s emotional appearance with the Seeger Sessions Band at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on April 30, 2006 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, plus their inspired set at London’s Wembley Arena on November 11 of the same year. All five shows released to date from the Magic tour are here, notably the late Danny Federici’s last proper show (Boston, November 19, 2007) and appearance (Indianapolis, March 20, 2008) with the E Street Band, plus the rarities-laden penultimate performance from St. Louis, August 23, 2008. Asbury Park wraps with 16 shows from the US leg of 2014’s High Hopes tour, a stretch of concerts that saw fans making and the band delivering on dozens of inspired cover- and rare-song requests.

Erik Flannigan’s Asbury Park Compilation Album

  1. “Backstreets” The Roxy, July 7, 1978
  2. “Darkness on the Edge of Town” The Agora, August 9, 1978
  3. “Racing in the Street” Capitol Theatre, September 19, 1978
  4. “Prove It All Night” Fox Theatre, September 30, 1978
  5. “The Fever” Winterland, December 15, 1978
  6. “How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?” Jazz Fest, April 30, 2006
  7. “Long Walk Home” Wembley Arena, November 11, 2006
  8. “Gypsy Biker” TD Banknorth Garden, November 19, 2007
  9. “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” Conseco Fieldhouse, March 20, 2008
  10. “Growin’ Up” St. Pete Times Forum, April 22, 2008
  11. “Then She Kissed Me” Scottrade Center, August 23, 2008
  12. “Seaside Bar Song” Farm Bureau Live At Virginia Beach, April 12, 2014
  13. “Burning Love” Bridgestone Arena, April 17, 2014
  14. “Brothers Under The Bridge” MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, May 1, 2014
  15. “Be True” HersheyPark Stadium, May 14, 2014

LISTEN NOW: Start a free trial to stream live Bruce Springsteen archives.

Note: These concerts are only available to U.S. and Canada subscribers, and can be streamed now with a free trial to nugs.net.


Erik Flannigan is a music archivist, producer, author and manager. He has been writing about Bruce Springsteen’s live performances and recordings for more than 30 years.

Now Streaming Live Grateful Dead

nugs.net is now the home of live Grateful Dead

Subscribers can stream over 100 of the officially released shows from The Grateful Dead Vault, organized for the first time with Deadheads in mind — browse by show date instead of album title or release date.  Each show is streaming in standard and CD-Quality lossless formats, and hi-res MQA where available.  We’re thrilled to partner with Rhino Entertainment, the keeper of Warner Music Group’s legacy catalog, to stream many of the previously released iconic concert recordings including Fillmore East ’69, the entirety of Europe ’72, The Field Trip ’72, Cornell ’77, Winterland ‘77, Egypt ’78, Nassau ‘81, Alpine ‘82, MSG ‘90, and a whole lot more.

In addition to these classic Grateful Dead shows, stream professionally mixed concert audio from Dead & Company, Jerry Garcia Band, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros, Phil Lesh & Friends, and more from the Grateful Dead family of bands.  

nugs.net will be updating our Grateful Dead catalog with the entire studio album collection and other live releases in the coming months  — follow Grateful Dead in the app to see new additions first.   Additionally, we are adding some of the Crown Jewels of classic rock including album catalogs from Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, The Doors, and Yes. 

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Recap: Pearl Jam in California, May 2022

NOW STREAMING: Pearl Jam at Pinkpop Festival on June 18, 2022.

by Jonathan Cohen

Pearl Jam fans have spent the past 30+ years expecting the unexpected from the Seattle group, but there’s one thing that’s nearly never been in doubt: which members of the band would take the stage that night.

Indeed, Pearl Jam has only played a single show without one of its core five members — September 23, 2002 at the House of Blues in Chicago, when guitarist Stone Gossard was absent due to a prior commitment with Conservation International. It’s a remarkable streak that came to an end on May 12 in Oakland, CA, when drummer Matt Cameron tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to miss the gig.

Enter touring member Josh Klinghoffer, whose Pearl Jam fandom runs so deep that he owns the kit former drummer Jack Irons used in the band in the mid-1990s, and Richard Stuverud, a longtime collaborator of Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament who was once in consideration to fill the PJ drum seat. On 24 hours’ notice, they divided and conquered a set list and were ready for a Pearl Jam first: a show without Matt Cameron.

“Matt Cameron is a true artist and he’s a force of nature. However, even his superhero status could not prevent him from testing positive,” Eddie Vedder joked two songs into the set, which opened strong with a cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” From there, we get to hear Klinghoffer and Stuverud put their own unique stamp on the Pearl Jam catalog, with some fascinating results.

Stuverud played “Even Flow” much more slowly than Cameron, its tempo in line with the 1992-era live versions with then-new drummer Dave Abbruzzese. On the other hand, “Jeremy” is almost too slow, sounding like a different song entirely. Klinghoffer gives “Why Go” a loose feel that sounds like really old Pearl Jam — a deviation from Cameron’s ultra-precise, ultra-powerful attack. With Klinghoffer on drums, “Corduroy” has steady propulsion with just the right bit of swing.

Things only got more interesting the next night at the same venue, with Klinghoffer pulling off “Once” very nicely and infusing the punky rarity “Brain of J” with the reckless abandon so crucial to its studio version from 1998’s “Yield.” Stuverud was excellent on drums on “W.M.A.,” which was played for the first time in six years as a full song and not just as a tag at the end of another. “Dissident” sounded great, too, in its new lower key, despite a couple flubbed transitions, while Klinghoffer deftly navigated the measured tension and release of the classic “Immortality” and didn’t hurry “Rearviewmirror.”

In what surely must have been a dream come true, Mill Valley high school student Kai Neukermans played drums on “Mind Your Manners,” after having been brought to Vedder’s attention by his similarly aged daughter Olivia. The song’s furious pace was no trouble at all for the young musician, who plays in a band called The Alive.

When you’re down a drummer, why not dust off a rarity that doesn’t have drums on it? Enter “Bee Girl,” only the ninth performance of the non-album cut since 2014.

These first two Oakland shows already would have gone down in Pearl Jam lore for their lack of Cameron and for the band’s innovative solution to the problem, but the May 16 performance in Fresno, CA, offered an even bigger surprise. For just the second time since he left the band in 1991, original drummer Dave Krusen joined Pearl Jam on stage — the only other being when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the group in 2017 and played a solitary song with them.

“That first record seems to be a record that affected so many people,” Vedder says of Ten. “It’s such a nice thing. Our friend that was playing drums at that time, the amount of shows he got to play with us was fairly limited. This week, we’ll get to make up for that.”

Hearing an astonishing nine songs from Ten, all played by the man whose parts are immortalized on the album, is a revelation. Krusen either practiced a lot in a short period of time or possesses incredible muscle memory — maybe both. His command of the material is truly impressive after such a long time away from it, both on uncommon gems like a slow-burning take on “Garden” or familiar early ‘90s favorites like “State of Love and Trust,” which has a delightful garage-y flair here.

As easy as it could have been for Krusen to steal the show in Fresno, Klinghoffer isn’t to be upstaged on a lead vocal duet with Vedder on Prince’s “Purple Rain,” performed here for the first time ever by Pearl Jam (Vedder and Klinghoffer previously tried the song with The Earthlings a few months back). Momentarily taking the spotlight off his drumstick-wielding mates, guitarist Mike McCready goes to town on a solo cover of Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption,” while guitarist Stone Gossard takes a rare mic turn on the outtake “Don’t Gimme No Lip,” only its 14th time ever played live.

In addition, Stuverud’s presence is felt on “Quick Escape,” one of the heaviest new songs from Pearl Jam’s latest release, 2020’s Gigaton, and he has the bash-and-pop flavor of Keith Moon on the penultimate song of the evening, The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.”

“Thanks for this tonight. Thank you. I won’t forget this one,” Vedder said after the show-closing “Yellow Ledbetter.”

Sadly, Pearl Jam had another bout of bad luck post-Fresno, when Ament himself tested positive for COVID. The final two shows were canceled, leaving the three without Cameron as true outliers in the Pearl Jam live catalog. As Vedder said at Oakland night one, drummers are like engines, and for these unusual shows, it was a treat to experience how these different engines powered Pearl Jam’s music.

LISTEN NOW: Stream soundboard audio from Pearl Jam’s full tour.


Jonathan Cohen is a veteran journalist and talent booker known for his work at Billboard, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Variety and Spin. He is also the author of the 2011 New York Times-bestselling authorized biography of Pearl Jam, “Pearl Jam 20.”

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band in Paris, July 4 and 5, 2012

ARCHIVE RELEASE: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band live in Paris, July 4 and 5, 2012

The Hype Is Real

by Erik Flannigan

The Wrecking Ball tour was big on multiple levels, from the length of the shows (eventually reaching four hours, breaking Bruce’s all-time record), to the number of band members on stage (hitting 17 on occasion), to the scale of the venues—especially in Europe, where the 2012 tour hit stadiums across the continent… save for one special stand in Paris.

For reasons that have never been explained, when Springsteen brought the Wrecking Ball caravan to France to open the second half of the Euro leg, he downsized from stadiums back to arena-scale for just one pair of shows that fell on the fourth and fifth of July. Those back-to-back performances, which featured an impressive 44 different songs between them, have long been lauded as some of the best of the tour. In that spirit of bigness and in celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the gigs, it seemed only fitting to add both Paris 2012 shows to the Live Archive series.

The Paris concerts combined offer over seven hours of music and a bounty of special moments and performances. Here are several worth noting.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy, July 4, 2012

The charms of the expanded 2012 band bear fruit in a delightful, unhurried version of “The E Street Shuffle” performed as a sign request. The song was played more in 2012 than any other year since 1975, when it thrived in a completely different arrangement. The Wrecking Ball tour edition takes advantage of the horn section, Everett Bradley’s percussion, and the E Street Choir on background vocals for a fully realized rendition that follows the original album structure of prelude, main song, and a storming, extended coda. In Paris, the crowd keeps singing the melody after the whole thing ends, indicative of just how into the show they are, and it compels Bruce to start the “E Street Shuffle” back up again for a second coda.

Springsteen keeps the Asbury Park setting, linking “Shuffle” to “Sandy” in his transition: “And then, down from town, about five blocks in on the boardwalk… if you listen hard, you could hear…” He sings the accordion-led, Fourth of July special in a low voice at times, adding a bit of age and wisdom to the tale, which on this night includes the sometimes-omitted third verse about the “waitress who lost her desire for me.” The background singers bring lushness to the final chorus as the sun sets on the boardwalk via Paris.

When Bruce opened his Fourth of July playlist for this show, he clicked them all—which means “Darlington County.” Stevie Van Zandt veers the song towards the edge of the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women” before Bruce sings his first line about that memorable drive he and Wayne took from New York City all those years ago. The Paris take is long, with an extended horn and sax section at the end. 

With Patti back on stage for the first time on the Euro tour, “Easy Money” returns to the set in one of only 18 performances ever. Bruce’s untamed falsetto vocals start things out, and one has to credit the Paris crowd for their consistently high level of participation as they sing along strongly here. Patti’s vocal contributions are a key element to “Easy Money,” which is why the song wasn’t performed without her.

In the most special nod to the occasion, Bruce moves to the piano for a rare solo-piano performance of “Independence Day.” Bruce released a video of this version in 2012 on his official YouTube channel, and it is great to have the audio available through the Live Archive series. Having played the instrument every night of the Devils & Dust tour, Springsteen’s piano playing is more confident than ever. Listen to the fine solo he takes in lieu of Clarence’s memorable sax before the third verse. Like so many older songs performed in this era, the bit of age in Springsteen’s voice only adds gravitas.

No Fourth of July performance would be complete without “Born in the U.S.A.” in its still-awe-inspiring, full-band arrangement. Bruce has no trouble finding his 1984 vocal range “forty years down the road” in a crackling rendition that puts the electric guitars on a level playing field with the synthesizers. Max Weinberg is also up to the task: while the horns add heft to the outro, Max smashes his legendary fills as hard as ever.

ARCHIVE RELEASE: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band live in Paris, July 4 and 5, 2012

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy, July 5, 2012

If anyone needed a sign that the second show in Paris would be materially different from the first, look no further than the top of the set when Bruce and the band reel off six songs in a row not featured the previous night. Deviating from his own written setlist, the band starts what sounds for all the world like “We Take Care of Our Own” only to shift gears into a bright “The Ties That Bind,” led by Roy Bittan’s piano and rich with the voices of the background singers in the chorus and bridge. Jake Clemons takes a sharp solo, too. The stellar reading of “Ties” is followed in bang-bang succession by breathtaking runs of “No Surrender,” “Two Hearts,” “Downbound Train,” “Candy’s Room,” and lastly a scintillating “Something in the Night.” Fans in attendance said the July 5 show was truly something special, and you can hear that imprinted in Jon Altschiler’s full-bodied mix. The six-song start of the second Paris set is as good as it gets in the post-Reunion era.

“Something In The Night,” Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live in Paris, 7/5/2012

In all, Paris night two boasts 15 changes from the previous show, including three certified epics starting with “Incident on 57th Street.” As vocal as they have been all night, the Paris audience treats the Wild & Innocent masterpiece with fitting reverence. Bruce tells Nils to take the initial guitar lead, which rises above Charlie Giordano’s swirling organ.

“Working on the Highway” and “I’m Goin’ Down” add a dose of levity and self-deprecation to the evening. The horn section and background singers give “Working on the Highway” a big jolt of energy, while the audience does the same for “I’m Goin’ Down,” yielding reinvigorated versions of both songs.

After a solo “Independence Day” on July 4, Bruce sits at the piano bench night two and delivers “For You.” This one is triumphant, reaching the heady heights of the song’s solo outings in 1975 (such as the extraordinary take on the Live Archive release of Greenvale, NY 12/12/75). Like “Indy” the night before, Springsteen plays the piano brilliantly, and he commits to every line of the lyrics to staggering effect. He also hits the last note resoundingly when he sings “When it was my turn to be the God.” As the kids say, “Chills.”

From “For You” straight into evening’s epic denouement, “Racing in the Street”—another time-defying performance. It can be difficult to describe in the written word what it feels like when a performer is in the moment, not simply performing their music, but embodying it, living the words and melodies anew. But you can hear it. That goes for every member of the band, too—special credit to Bittan and Bradley, first among equals in this performance of “Racing.”

The sequence of “For You” to “Racing in the Street,” and the top of the July 5 show as well, all capture Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing in the moment. For years, they did so more consistently than any other band in concert. On this fantastic recording of Paris 2012, so many years down the road, they undeniably do so again.

ARCHIVE RELEASE: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band live in Paris, July 4 and 5, 2012


Erik Flannigan is a music archivist, producer, author and manager. He has been writing about Bruce Springsteen’s live performances and recordings for more than 30 years.

Livestream Peach Music Festival 2022

Peach Fest celebrates its tenth anniversary this year after a two-year hiatus, and we’re thrilled to livestream select sets from the Allman Brothers Band-founded festival for free, exclusively for our subscribers!

Check out the full schedule of festival livestreams June 30–July 3.

LIVESTREAM THE PEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL

LIVESTREAM THURSDAY’S LINEUP

On Thursday June 30, watch Midnight North and Samantha Fish open the festival, headliner Billy Strings, and a late-night set from Allman Brothers tribute band Trouble No More.

LIVESTREAM FRIDAY’S LINEUP

Start the afternoon with Eggy, ease into the weekend with JRAD and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, and catch every set in between.

LIVESTREAM SATURDAY’S LINEUP

Don’t miss Karina Rykman, The Revivalists, and back-to-back sets from Trey Anastasio and Goose.

LIVESTREAM SUNDAY’S LINEUP

Close out the weekend with Duane Betts, Maggie Rose, The Wailers, and G. Love.

For answers to any questions, check out our Subscriber Exclusive Livestream help page.

Stream Exclusive Bruce Springsteen Concert Recordings

LISTEN NOW: Stream our first drop of exclusive live Bruce Springsteen audio.

Note: These concerts are only available to U.S. and Canada subscribers, and can be streamed now with a free trial to nugs.net.

by Erik Flannigan, Bruce Springsteen Archivist

Live Springsteen streaming on nugs.net kicks off with Freehold, the first of five monthly drops. Freehold presents 35 shows circa 1975 to 2014, starting at the legendary Roxy in West Hollywood on the Born To Run tour. Bruce’s October 18, 1975 appearance at the club with the E Street Band featured a rare cover of Carole King’s “Goin’ Back” in the encore.

From later that same year we get the legendary December 12 gig at CW Post College on Long Island, at which Springsteen’s beloved version of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” was recorded. From 1977, a rare pair of shows in Albany and Rochester that extend the BTR tour, but showcase newly written songs like “Something in the Night,” “Rendezvous” and “The Promise.” Freehold includes all six shows released to date from the 1999-2000 Reunion tour with the E Street Band, from September 25, 1999 in Philadelphia (and the first “Incident on 57th Street” performed in 19 years) to July 1, 2000, the final show at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The Rising tour is represented by the June 16, 2003 show in Helsinki, while 2005’s Devils & Dust tour contributes five concerts, each with a rarities-packed setlist. The start of the 2014 High Hopes tour completes the Freehold drop, offering 14 shows performed in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, a run that included unexpected cover songs like AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” and Lorde’s “Royals.”

Erik Flannigan’s Freehold Compilation Album

  1. “Goin’ Back” The Roxy, October 18, 1975
  2. “For You” Hammersmith Odeon, November 24, 1975
  3. “Mountain of Love” Tower Theater, December 31, 1975
  4. “Something in the Night” Palace Theatre, February 7, 1977
  5. “Incident on 57th Street” First Union Center, September 25, 1999
  6. “Adam Raised a Cain” United Center, September 30, 1999
  7. “Take ‘Em’ as They Come” Staples Center, October 23, 1999
  8. “Empty Sky” Olympiastadion, June 16, 2003
  9. “Real World” Tower Theater, May 17, 2005
  10. “Valentine’s Day” Value City Theatre, Schottenstein Center, July 31, 2005
  11. “Tunnel of Love” Van Andel Arena, August 3, 2005
  12. “Highway to Hell” Perth Arena, February 8, 2014
  13. “Better Days” Adelaide Entertainment Centre, February 12, 2014
  14. “Stayin’ Alive” Brisbane Entertainment Centre, February 26, 2014
  15. “Royals” Mt. Smart Stadium, March 2, 2014

LISTEN NOW: Start a free trial to stream live Bruce Springsteen archives.

Note: These concerts are only available to U.S. and Canada subscribers, and can be streamed now with a free trial to nugs.net.


Erik Flannigan is a music archivist, producer, author and manager. He has been writing about Bruce Springsteen’s live performances and recordings for more than 30 years.

Recap: Metallica 2022 South American Tour

NOW STREAMING: Concert audio and video from Metallica’s full South American tour.

By B. Getz 

Among the biggest bands of all time, Metallica are no strangers to South American headbangers. The global godfathers of thrash metal have a storied history touring the continent, starting with  1989’s And Justice For All-era jaunt, then returning half-a-dozen more times over their celebrated forty-year career.

After the pandemic forced the April 2020 South American tour to be postponed — not once but twice over the course of two years — Metallica barnstormed back in Spring 2022 for shows in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. The band uncorked a total of six scorching performances to typically teeming crowds, delivering their trademark brand of punishing metal across scalding sets, brimming with Metallica classics. 

As 2021 came to a close, guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich, lead guitarist Kirk Hammet, and bassist Robert Trujillo were riding mighty high off a pair of historic 40th Anniversary shows, a monumental throwdown in their hometown of San Francisco. A one-off Las Vegas engagement in February was the group’s only public performance of 2022 before they headed south of the equator at the end of April. 

South American fans are among the most rabid, loyal, and die-hard as they come, traveling long distances at great expense to see their favorite heavy metal and hard rock bands pack their many stadiums, race tracks, and large-scale venues. The reverberations of the two tour postponements were felt far and wide within the region.

Each time the band was forced to cancel their plans, hundreds of thousands were holding onto hope that one day circumstances would allow for Metallica to finally honor these long-promised dates. The last time they’d made it to the continent was for Lollapalooza 2017. Some fans expressed concern that, with the state of the world being what it has been, these concerts may ever even happen.

“For those of you who have hung in there with us over the last 18 months since the original shows were supposed to happen, thank you for your tremendous patience!” the band said in a statement when they announced the rescheduled dates to Spring 2022.

After all of the pandemic uncertainty and delays, as Metallica prepared to take over Club Hípico in Santiago, Chile on April 27th, a torrential rainstorm threatened the show in the hours leading up, only further adding to the suspense that had built for the better part of two years. The concert had already been relocated from a local stadium to a horse-racing track.

To kick off the tour, Metallica launched into one of their earliest compositions in “Whiplash,” a breakneck thrasher culled from 1983’s debut LP Kill ‘Em All, setting the tone with a cut that would serve as show opener for each of the six concerts. Other Santiago highlights included the run’s only rendition of The Black Album deep cut “Through the Never.” 

The South America working setlist would run the gamut of their canon; it was primarily weighted towards their famed first five records, with a curveball or two from night to night. Fans could expect to rage to thorough renditions of “Master of Puppets,” “One,” “Seek & Destroy,” “Ride the Lightning,” “The Unforgiven,” among others, plus a double encore sendoff of “Nothing Else Matters” and “Enter Sandman,” their two most recognizable tracks around the world.

On April 30th, Metallica moved onto Campo Argentino de Polo Buenos Aires in Argentina, for their lone 2022 appearance in the country. Another equestrian venue but, unlike Hípico, located in an urban city, Campo Argentino allowed for local residents to hear parts of the performance from their homes nearby. This night saw the quartet reaching back to 1984 for a ferocious take on one of their most beloved anthems, the seminal thrash masterpiece “Creeping Death.” Metallica saw fit to dust off “Fuel” from 1997’s Reload and “Holier Than Thou” from The Black Album, too.

Asked in 2017 about playing for Brazilian audiences, Hetfield said, “When other people take your art to their heart and you connect with them, there’s always an extra feeling of belonging, of home, of connection, of family. So Brazil is certainly one of Metallica’s most fanatical countries of them all.”

After a few days to relax and regroup, on May 5 Metallica arrived in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to perform the first of four shows in the longtime South American Metallica stronghold at Estacionamento da Fiergs, a venue near the Atlantic coast, at the northern end of the Patos Lagoon. In addition to beloved standards performed every night of the run, the group busted out three tour debuts: the sledgehammer of “Harvester of Sorrow” from …And Justice For All, the furious “No Remorse” from their first LP Kill ‘Em All, and the chilling “Welcome Home Sanitarium” from 1986’s masterpiece Master of Puppets.

Just a couple nights later, on May 7 the group pulled into Estádio Couto Pereira Curitiba, home to the Coritiba Foot Ball Club. Metallica mowed down song after song with a youthful reckless abandon and broke out the Irish traditional “Whiskey in the Jar,” from their Garage Inc. covers album. What made this concert legendary had more to do with the enormous crowd than anything onstage.

Brazilian fan Joice M. Figueiró was 39 weeks pregnant when she attended the Metallica concert. Of course she didn’t mosh or crowd surf, but Figueiro watched from an accessible area, and reportedly had a fantastic time until she started having contractions shortly after the band took the stage. The baby wanted out, and according to the new mom, he arrived as Metallica concluded their set with their biggest hit, “Enter Sandman.” The family even received a congratulatory phone call from James Hetfield after the band got the news.

As Metallica pulled into Estádio do Morumbi in São Paulo, they knew it would be a special night. In what was likely the finest performance of the short tour, the band reached for “Dirty Window,” a deep cut from 2004’s much-maligned St. Anger. The group also performed “No Leaf Clover,” amid the usual tornado of 80s thrash classics.

For the final night of this long-awaited South American tour, Metallica arrived at Mineirão in Belo Horizonte, finishing strong with a torrid set that delivered the goods: the galloping title track to their most recent album Hardwired to Self Destruct, as well as “Cyanide” from Death Magnetic and the treasured “Fight Fire With Fire” from 1984’s Ride the Lightning. 

What this last tour stop is likely most remembered for is a tender moment that James Hetfield shared with the crowd, and his bandmates, just before “Sad But True.” “Papa Het,” as the hardcores affectionately call him, spoke vulnerably about aging and performance insecurities. The emotional scene was heartwarming, ending with a group hug that affirmed the brotherhood these gentlemen continue to enjoy and exemplified the undying bond Metallica maintains with their fans around the world.


NOW STREAMING: Concert audio and video from Metallica’s full South American tour.


B.Getz is a music-culture reporter & podcaster hailing from the Philly area who’s called northern California home for nearly a decade. Senior Correspondent at Live For Live Music, longtime contributor to JamBase, formerly with Everfest/Fest300, & host of The Upful LIFE Podcast. Check out all things B.Getz at www.UpfulLife.com 

Stream the Best of the Dead and Company 2021 Tour

With Dead & Company’s 2022 summer tour underway, we asked David Gans, one half of the dynamic Deadhead duo behind SiriusXM’s “Tales from the Golden Road,” to create a playlist with his favorite moments from last year’s tour. He and his cohost Gary Lambert also virtually host our Dead & Company livestreams with special guests like Bobby Weir and Grateful Dead archivist David Lemieux.

Check out Gans’s playlist of 2021 highlights and grab passes to livestream Dead & Company on tour this summer.


I listened to every note of the 2021 Dead & Company tour, and because I have a radio show that features the best of this music, I made notes and excerpted highlights from every concert. I wouldn’t say that these are all the great moments, but the list is a pretty good representation of what they did. The band’s musical conversation has operated at a very high level from the start, and I am really looking forward to another season of magical music-making. — David Gans

Stream David Gans’s Dead & Company 2021 Summer Tour Highlights


WATCH LIVE: Passes to Dead & Company summer 2022 concert livestreams are on sale now.

Interview With Pixies Drummer David Lovering

Photo by Michael Barrett.

by Jonathan Cohen

nugs.net is streaming nine newly added, full-length concerts from alternative rock icons Pixies, including recordings from the band’s unexpected, massively anticipated 2004–2005 reunion tour — its first shows since their 1992 split. All shows feature the band’s original lineup of guitarist/vocalist Black Francis (real name: Charles Thompson), guitarist Joey Santiago, bassist Kim Deal, and drummer David Lovering.

Pixies’ reunion was initially pegged to an appearance at the 2004 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, CA, but the quartet understandably needed a little time to warm up before playing in the desert in front of 50,000 people at sunset. Hence, a run of small club dates in out-of-the-way locales was scheduled beforehand, opening April 13, 2004, at the 650-capacity Fine Line in Minneapolis. At that show, the group’s weird, loud, profoundly influential sound crackles through the speakers from the first seconds of “Bone Machine” to the last screeching guitar notes of the Deal-sung “Into the White” that closed the 27-song set, as screaming fans lose their minds.

Beyond the triumphant Coachella performance, the live Pixies collection also features a sold-out, four-night June 2004 run at London’s Brixton Academy plus several gigs from the following year, including a set at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Two rare 1991 shows from France (Lyon, May 27) and Bordeaux (June 1) offer an equally fascinating peek into the fierce live incarnation of a band that would be broken up less than a year later.

nugs.net spoke with Lovering about the early run of 2004 reunion dates, including that infamous Coachella set. Pixies are touring extensively this year, beginning June 22 in Rouen, France and wrapping Dec. 17 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Jonathan Cohen: Take me back in time to early 2004. How long did the band rehearse before the Minneapolis show?

David Lovering: Gosh, if I remember, I don’t think it was very long. I think we might have rehearsed for maybe two days, possibly? The Fine Line in Minneapolis was the first real test. If I recall, it was like riding a bike. It really was. There was nothing new I had to learn. It was all stuff that was nostalgic. This is what I grew up with and learned how to play. It was very easy, I think, for all of us. We just went over the stuff enough and trusted that the Fine Line would get us back in order.

That’s pretty remarkable after not having played together in 12 years!

Yeah! It’s funny now, because for this world tour coming up, we’re going to meet in France. We’ll do one rehearsal at the venue the day before the show, and it’s probably going to last four hours. Then we’ll say, yeah, we know it. We know it [laughs]. And then we’ll just show up the next day and start playing. That’s the way it is now.

Had you yourself played any Pixies songs on your own between the original breakup and the reunion?

Never, never. No. I mean, I pretty much gave up the drums for a period of time. I was resigned to the fact that the Pixies were a love that I had and something so special to me, but one that wasn’t going to happen again. I finally gave up drums and became a magician, believe it or not. It’s only a couple of letters off from ‘musician’ [laughs]. I really didn’t pick up the drums again until I knew we were re-forming, and that’s when I started playing. I bought a Roland electronic kit because I lived in a place where I couldn’t play drums, and an electronic kit was much more conducive for that environment. For two months, I started playing again.

What were those first few shows back like pre-Coachella?

I can say that it was the same feeling from rehearsals to actually doing the first gig. At the Fine Line, we were apprehensive and a little nervous. We hadn’t done it in a long time in front of an audience. But being out there, nothing had changed. The only thing that changed was, it was a different climate for us. In our absence, I know our popularity grew. At that first show, we were just kind of going balls out, if you’ll excuse the word. We all got blisters! We were sweating! But we were enjoying it. It was a small, intimate environment where you can feed off the crowd. We had a blast. That set us up for Coachella, but Coachella was another world in itself. When we went out there, it was a sea of kids who may not have been born when we were initially a band. But they knew the words and they were singing along. It was surreal. I had the chills playing. I’d never experienced that before. It was something else.

I was there at Coachella, and I remember you coming out from behind your drum kit to take photos of the crowd and the other band members.

Yes, I did. That was just something to behold.

The best part is that Radiohead went on right after Pixies. What a one-two punch!

Thom Yorke has said that he didn’t want to follow us [laughs]. He was a fan.

I remember talking to Charles around that time, and he told me the size of the Coachella crowd was almost lost on him because he could only really see out so far from the stage. Did you feel the same?

I did. At large festivals or shows like that, other than the first few rows that you can see, it’s hard to feel that intimacy. With Coachella, with everyone singing and holding up their lighters and phones, it gave the show a sense of unity.

How did the band evolve as a live entity during the time away? Or was Pixies in 2004 the same as it was in 1992?

I think it was the same as ’92. We knew how to play our instruments. It was really just, we came back to do what we did. It’s only in more recent history, from 2004 until now, when we’ve really been honing our craft, I think.

Were there songs you found a renewed love of playing? Or songs that were never or rarely played live in the original era?

I have no problem playing these songs. I love touring. I could play them forever. I don’t get sick of them at all. Nothing stood out in the gap that came to me later, but I know that we started playing “Here Comes Your Man,” which we never played back in the day. That was a pop song that was forbidden. We couldn’t play it. But once 2004 hit, we had the freedom and the right to do it, and we’ve been playing it ever since. I had to learn that song.

I know you had some personal challenges during that first tour as well.

My dad was dying. It was interesting, because in 2004, he did travel to England to see us, and that was a thrill. He had seen the Pixies years before, and for him to see us again on a different level, that was a treat for him. It was kind of heavy and did play a part in the experience. I remember him telling me that he was in the balcony with my mom — this older couple up there with all these young kids in Brixton. A conversation struck up and my mom said, oh yeah, that’s my son up there, and fans went wild. He hadn’t seen fans react like that before.

It’s hard to believe it has been almost 30 years since Pixies originally broke up.

At the seven-year mark of us having gotten back together in 2011, that was a longer period of time of us playing together than when we were initially a band. That was crazy. And to think now it’s 2022? It’s even more crazy.


New audio from nine 2004–2005 Pixies concerts is now streaming on nugs.net. Stream this latest drop and our entire catalog of live Pixies recordings.


Jonathan Cohen is a veteran journalist and talent booker known for his work at Billboard, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Variety, and Spin. He is also the author of the 2011 New York Times-bestselling authorized biography of Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam 20.

Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders at Keystone Berkeley, 11/2/74

LISTEN: Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders perform live in Berkeley, CA.

This post is excerpted from Garcia Family Provisions.

GarciaLive Volume 18: November 2nd, 1974 Keystone Berkeley presents the complete and previously uncirculated two-set Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders performance originally recorded to 1/4” analog reels by Betty Cantor Jackson.

Is there a more iconic venue for Garcia/Saunders than the Keystone Berkeley? The Bay Area haunt was the setting for the performances contained on the legendary Live at the Keystone releases and yielded at least a half-dozen other celebrated official live releases. Be it the quaint, unassuming setting or the proximity to home, magic never seemed to be in short supply — and this evening in November was no different.

In addition to the ever-present John Kahn on bass, the rhythm section this evening was bolstered by one of the most in demand session drummers of his day, the great Paul Humphrey whose credits range from Marvin Gaye and Joe Cocker to the Lawrence Welk Show. Future Legion of Mary bandmate Martin Fierro rounds out the ensemble.

The performance itself is nothing short of exceptional, particularly the monstrous 1st set combination of “Valdez in the Country,” The Harder They Come,” and “You Can Leave Your Hat On” which destroy any notion of genre as Garcia, Saunders & co somehow fuse seemingly disparate originals by Donny Hathaway, Jimmy Cliff & Randy Newman into a sound all their own. After a brief set-break, the group returns for a super-charged 2nd set highlighted by extended versions of “Freedom Jazz Dance” and Merl’s own “Wondering Why” before closing the evening with a fiery “Mystery Train.” Always ones to stretch the bounds, you get the sense they would’ve gone all night if not for the venue’s pesky 2am curfew.

Set One

  1. Neighbor, Neighbor
  2. Valdez In The Country
  3. The Harder They Come
  4. You Can Leave Your Hat On
  5. That’s The Touch I Like

Set Two

  1. Freedom Jazz Dance
  2. Tough Mama
  3. Wondering Why
  4. People Make the World Go Round
  5. Mystery Train

Start a free trial to stream live concert recordings from Jerry Garcia, Dead & Company, Bobby Weir, and more from the Grateful Dead family of bands.

Live Music Festivals This Summer You Should Not Miss

Welcome back to every live music lover’s favorite time of year: it’s summer festival season. It’s time to pack up the camping gear, load up the car with friends and family and heed the melodious call of live summer music.

The 2022 summer music festival season marks the triumphant return of many of the music festivals we all missed out on during the worst of the pandemic. There is nothing quite like the sense of community inherent in enjoying great live music as a collective. There are memories to be made, people to meet, and most importantly, great music to enjoy. The music, the sunshine, the food…it all adds up to a fantastic time. If you’re a music fan, there’s no better way to spend your time than at one of these unique summer music festivals in 2022.

For the Jamband Lover: The Peach Music Festival

The Peach Music Festival celebrates its tenth anniversary with a much-anticipated return from its two-year hiatus! This summer music festival is a good choice for the festival attendee who wants to enjoy a stellar line-up of the best improvisational guitar music. The Allman Brothers founded the Peach Music Festival in 2012. It features a heavy-hitting lineup, a camper-friendly atmosphere, and a fantastic community ambiance amongst festival-goers.

When and where: The Festival will be from June 30 through July 3 at the Montage Mountain Ski Resort in Scranton, PA.

Who’s Playing: Billy Strings, Trey Anastasio, The Black Crowes, Goose, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Keller Williams, The Revivalists, Doom Flamingo, The Nth Power, Eggy, Consider The Source, Yam Yam, Maggie Rose, TAUK, Daniel Donato, and more.

Learn more about The Peach Music Festival.

For the Entire Family: Hog Farm Hideaway

Hog Farm Hideaway is making its long-awaited debut at the Black Oak Ranch during the 2022 summer music festival season. Festival-goers will enjoy an intimate setting for the summer festival and a beautiful backdrop of sprawling meadows and majestic oak woodlands. The Black Oak Ranch is home to Hog Farm, one of the oldest communes in the country. They have a long history of involvement in music festivals, most notable among them being Woodstock in 1969. Hog Farm Hideaway is named in their honor and is billed as a musical treat for the entire family.  The lineup is a fun mash-up of different styles of jam. The festival will feature an area for children, a healing sanctuary, an activist alley, and visual arts center. Hog Farm Hideaway is an excellent choice for festival-goers who are hoping to enjoy music and community in a family-friendly environment.

When and where: Hog Farm Hideaway will take place from June 10 through June 12 at the Iconic Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, CA.

LIVESTREAM: Get single or three-night passes to watch The String Cheese Incident live at Hog Farm Hideaway.

Who’s playing: The String Cheese Incident, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Galactic, The Infamous String Dusters, Holly Bowling, and many more.

Learn more about Hog Farm Hideaway.

For The EDM Enthusiast: Electric Forest

If you’re looking to experience something transcendent, then look no further. Electric Forest is nothing short of a magical experience. The festival is nestled in the Sherwood Forest, a gorgeous wonderland of art installations and twinkling lights. This summer music festival is the first of its kind, as its lineup is a fantastical blend of jam bands and electronic dance music that will have anyone on their feet. Electric Forest is a delight to the senses from the moment you step on the festival grounds to the moment you leave. 

When and where: Electric Forest will light up the sky from June 23 to the 26 at the Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, MI.

Who’s playing: The Disco Biscuits, Disclosure, The String Cheese Incident, Lettuce, Lotus, Marco Benevento, Big Gigantic, Kitchen Dwellers, The Nth Power, Star Kitchen, and more.

Learn more about Electric Forest.

For the Food and Drink Fan: Bourbon and Beyond

Bourbon and Beyond is a four-day summer music festival that features an eclectic lineup of indie rock, soul, country and southern rock. This festival features an impressively inclusive lineup that highlights some of the most talented emerging artists in the world of soul, blues, country, and some of the biggest names in indie rock. It also showcases an impressive amount of food and beverage vendors offering the best libations that Kentucky has to offer. This festival is a great choice for attendees who are passionate about good food, great music, and excellent whiskey.

When and where: The Bourbon and Beyond festival will take place from September 15 through the 18 and will take place at the Highland Festival Grounds at The Kentucky Expo Center.

Who’s playing: Jack White, Pearl Jam, The Revivalists, Jason Isbell, Crowded House, and more!

Learn more about Bourbon and Beyond.

For the Natural Beauty Lover: High Sierra

If you’re looking to see your favorite artists while surrounded by the majesty of nature, then High Sierra is the festival for you. High Sierra is celebrating 30 years of music nestled in the beauty of the Sierra mountains during this year’s summer festival season. This festival features an eclectic lineup, optional VIP packages, daily costume themes, and a family area. High Sierra is a great place to experience the beauty of the surrounding mountainside while enjoying the beating pulse of great summer music. 

When and where: High Sierra will take place from June 30 through July 3 at the Plumas County Fairgrounds in East Quincy, CA. 

Who’s playing: JRAD, Greensky Bluegrass, The Disco Biscuits, Goose, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Railroad Earth, Lettuce, The California Honeydrops, Spafford, Twiddle, SunSquabi, The Nth Power, and more!

Learn more about High Sierra.

For the Banjo Strummer: Telluride Bluegrass Festival

This legendary bluegrass festival has a reputation for spotlighting only the best emerging artists in the bluegrass and indie-folk space. It has been a part of the summer festival season since 1974 and anticipates over ten thousand yearly visitors. Telluride Bluegrass Festival is a unique experience that celebrates music, comedy, and circus performances. It features an annual battle of the bands and songwriting competition, as well as a family-friendly atmosphere. Telluride Bluegrass Festival is the perfect summer music festival for the attendee that wants to hear great bluegrass in the majesty of the Colorado wilderness. 

When and where: Telluride Bluegrass Festival kicks off its 49th festival in Telluride, CO from June 16 through the 19. 

Who’s playing: Tenacious D, Tyler Childers, The Infamous String Dusters, The Turnpike Troubadours, Peter Rowan, Kitchen Dwellers, and more! 

Learn more about Telluride Bluegrass.

If you can’t make it to a festival this summer, nugs.net has you covered. Start a free trial to listen to live soundboard audio, watch full concert videos, and livestream exclusive shows.

10 Years In, The Nth Power Is Just Getting Started

The Nth Power. Photo by Cedric Pilard.

By B. Getz

LISTEN: Stream The Nth Power live concert recordings.

Impassioned purveyors of spiritualized dance music, The Nth Power makes a beeline straight for the soul. The torrid trio defies expectation and eschews industry norms, enjoying a profound emotional connection with fans that probes far deeper than surface levels.

“We want to be the biggest band on the planet, you know what I mean?” declares drummer Nikki Glaspie, co-founder of The Nth Power. “Who doesn’t want that for their band? But even more so, we want to make a positive difference in people’s lives.” 

Celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2022, The Nth Power is an anomaly in today’s musical landscape: a band whose mission is completely predicated on the healing power of music, and the concept of spreading love through song. Striving to be a genre-bending outfit, the unit thrives in the live setting, searing stages without sacrificing a modicum of integrity nor authenticity.

Infusing an amalgam of rooted elements — funk, soul, R&B, gospel, jazz and folklore — into their mellifluous elixir, The Nth Power’s infectious exploits have been described as “psychedelic church music wrapped up in heavy metal soul.” 

A decade into the game, this has proven to be an accurate assessment of sorts. Born as a quartet, swelling to a five-piece and eventually distilling to a tectonic trio, The Nth Power is on a prodigal path of righteousness, spreading joy, numbing pain, and making people dance their chaos away.

“The majority of our songwriting incorporates ideas that are both spiritual and timeless in equal measure,” says Nick Cassarino, guitarist/vocalist/co-founder of the ever-blossoming crew he leads with Glaspie and Nate Edgar (bass).  

Riding high on the heels of 2021’s critically acclaimed full-length LP Reverence, The Nth Power is experiencing a resurgence of sorts. Ably assisted by luminaries like Maceo Parker, Dumpstaphunk’s Ivan Neville, Nick Daniels III, and late, great mentor Kofi Burbridge, Reverence was nearly four years in the making, and reflects a leveling up in their writing, a band stepping into their maturity.

“We learned so much from being around Kofi,” laments bassist Edgar, ruminating on the memories of the dearly-departed keyboardist/flutist, who passed away in 2019 after a long illness. “Kofi taught us about ‘oneness’ — in the music, and just with each other as a unit, as a family. He showed us a lot, and we loved hanging out with Kofi. We miss him every day.”

With ten years now in the rearview mirror, there’s quite a bit to look back on along The Nth Power’s fantastic voyage thus far. It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride, not without its diversions and disappointment, trials and tribulations. Yet theirs is ultimately a thunder of triumph, a story told in music, art, community, family, and something bigger than the individuals making sounds onstage or those soaking them up in the audience.

Glaspie, Cassarino, and Edgar can trace their humble roots back to fertile Crescent City soil. The Nth Power famously first coalesced at the Maple Leaf Bar, way uptown in New Orleans, in May 2012 during one of the marathon all nighters that go down at Jazz Fest after dark. The well-worn origin story tells that the founding members were booked to perform in something of an all-star crew behind Jennifer Hartswick, the trumpet player and vocalist best known from Trey Anastasio Band. 

420 Fest, Atlanta, Georgia. May 1, 2022 featuring Jennifer Hartswick. Photo by Adam Berta.

An electrifying frontman and guitarist, Cassarino had been working with Hartswick since their days in the Green Mountain State; the jazz-schooled guitarist a contributor to various incarnations of her solo band. Cassarino has always wielded a bit of punk rock energy with his mojo; he’d also rocked with golden-era emcee Big Daddy Kane, as part of live hip-hop ensemble The Lifted Crew.

Glaspie is a veteran of several iconic bands over the past two decades; in the early 2000s she first hit the jam scene with funk-sax hero Sam Kinninger. Soon the powerhouse was drafted to drive the beats for Beyonce’s all-female backing band Suga Mama for five years. In the dizzying tailwind of numerous world tours with the R&B superstar, Glaspie jetted down to the Bayou to power the slammin’ grooves of Dumpstaphunk, Ivan Neville’s greasy New Orleans institution. 

Glaspie’s connection with Hartswick also dated back nearly a decade; when the drummer first approached the then-fledgling trumpet star on her home turf in Vermont, she inquired where to find some cannabis. Glaspie scored no smoke but made an important new friend, one who would call her for a gig that would swiftly change her career trajectory and her life. 

A multi-hued stylist on the bass guitar, Edgar is a virtuoso steeped in the fertile 90s/early 00s jam scene of the Northeast, most notably logging time with Groovechild and seminal American reggae band John Brown’s Body. Rather serendipitously, Edgar got the call from Glaspie and dropped everything to decamp to New Orleans and shred tunes for the Hartswick late-night performance at the Maple Leaf. 

On that fateful first night the three musicians were also joined by Nigel Hall, a talented keyboardist/vocalist and Lettuce/Soulive affiliate who’d recently relocated to New Orleans. In a matter of moments, the group would gel together mightily, and quickly prove adept at pushing grooves deep into the night, as is custom down there at that time of year. 

Yet as early as soundcheck before the gig, there was a certain spark in the air, an undeniable electricity between these seasoned players. Almost immediately, the four musicians realized there was something more profound within their midst. 

“We sorta knew that there was something there, almost right away. This was a connection that felt different. It felt powerful,” reflects Edgar, remembering the band’s somewhat spontaneous inception. “It felt like… us.”

Drummer Nikki Glaspie. One Eyed Jacks, New Orleans. April 28, 2018. Photo by Marc Millman.

Glaspie too felt the pull of something spectacular, and she left the bold-font bookings of Dumpstaphunk behind to start over at square one with a new vision called The Nth Power. She was willing to forgo sure-shot opportunities and a measure of security in this business to build something brand new, because she believed in it — and it was the band’s to grow from the ground up.

“You only get one life… at least that we know of. And we don’t actually get a lot of time in this life. The time that we spend here…is extremely valuable,” said Glaspie. “Each of us knew, like, right away that we had to do this.”

With that magical onstage alchemy established, The Nth Power was born to the world. 

When they first announced embarkation, the band was swiftly branded a “supergroup” side project, something they themselves may have initially considered. However it didn’t take long for the inspired group to refocus their attention wholly on this newly-divine endeavor.  

“Earth Wind & Power” tribute set. April 28, 2016. Photo by Marc Millman.
L to R: Courtney Smith, Kofi Burbridge, Oteil Burbridge, Farnell Newton, Nick Cassarino, Nikki Glaspie, James Casey, Natalie Cressman, Ian Neville, Weedie Braimah

In its infancy, The Nth Power channeled the grown and sexy vibes, wielding a fiery passion for funky R&B, touching on everything from Frankie Beverly & Maze to Earth Wind & Fire and Steely Dan to disco-era Four Tops. All of the classics were interpreted with an effortless swagger native to this assembly and their captivating sonic brew. 

The first handful of original Nth joints set a blueprint for what this band’s early sound would reveal: spirituality, sensuality, and unpredictability. Cassarino immediately stepped up with intricate, intimate songs, soon markedly enhanced by the cosmic contributions of his new bandmates. The squadron stopped at nothing to learn them inside and out, each adding their own specialized sauce to the stew. 

Weedie Braimah was the next to join the fold, hopping onboard in 2013. The renowned djembefola and percussionist proved a mighty addition; Braimah propelled the band’s ample musical and geographical wingspan to expand even wider. Vintage R&B jams were electro-charged with undercurrents powered by ancient African rhythms and drum languages. The Nth Power revealed oscillating, layered multi-part vocal harmonies, embedding them within their songs alongside funky jazz chords and uplifting invocations.  

Thanks to Braimah, a 100-plus generation ancestral djembe master, The Nth Power began to incorporate polyrhythmic elements to their gospelized gumbo, stunning elitist purists and hooking wide-eared funkateers alike. Some of the band’s ambitious, nascent explorations can be heard on their debut EP Basic Minimum Skills Test, released independently in 2013.

“We’re not building rockets over here, so it’s OK to veer off the usual path. Extending solos and going wherever feels natural in the moment onstage. Each composition has certain sections where we can flex in terms of improvisation. But, for the most part, we try to convey a complete idea and tell a whole story through a song,” Cassarino explains.

When tensions flared within and Hall departed in 2015, The Nth Power added keyboardist Courtney Smith to the fold, plucked from Braimah’s St. Louis-based contingent Kreative Pandemonium. With this change of personnel, their original songs and improvisational styles took a turn for the folkloric, incorporating more traditional and international influences to the recalescent tunes. 

Braimah left the group the following year rather amicably; he sought to pursue The Hands of Time, his own international all-star band curated in the folkloric tradition. Keys wiz Smith stayed on a while longer; The Nth Power continued to push the envelope on debut full length LP Abundance, released in 2016. This quartet configuration took ample advantage of Smith’s prominent church influence, as well as his sturdy R&B chops and elastic vocal range. 

The Nth Power trucked onward and upward with their patented brand of gospelized funk and throwback soul, while occasionally traversing toward the quiet storm of the 80s. This stylistic cross-section is best heard on vibrant live record Live to Be Free, released in 2017.  

Regardless of who is onstage alongside Glaspie, Edgar, and Cassarino — and these days it’s often just the power trio alone — The Nth Power still brings its stirring spirituality to the stage. The band’s aspirational medicine music continues to offer an opportunity for fans to receive something more profound than just a beat to boogie to.

“Throughout our time as a band, the intention has always been to put a focus on the healing power of music,” Edgar concurs. The Nth Power’s impassioned live shows are often so gripping that audience members regularly break out in tears. 

“We want to make music for people to dance to. Because not everybody wants to come to a show and start crying,” Cassarino admits. “I love it when people cry, because it means we’ve touched them deeply. But we also want them to have fun, too.” 

In addition to the rather unavoidable emotional quotient pulsating through their performances, the energy and messages within reveal an optional pathway for one to connect – or reconnect- with something bigger than ourselves, whatever that may mean to the individual. The Nth Power’s music is reverberating with such connection, yet devoid of any religious-type dogma, preaching, or judgements. 

“There’s Spirit swirling all around us, and as a band, we’re in touch with that,” Glaspie says. “We all believe in different things, but we all believe in something that’s more important than the physical realm. And it’s in the music.”

In addition to a catalog of scintillating original music, the group’s smattering of heavenly tributes to the likes of Earth Wind & Fire, Bob Marley & the Wailers, Steely Dan, Nirvana, and Marvin Gaye have raised the bar considerably for concerts of this kind. (The Nth Power’s 2018 Nirvana tribute show is now streaming on nugs.net.) Most often performed in New Orleans during Jazz Fest, or at assorted summer camping festivals around the country, The Nth Power’s trademark tribute sets have leveled up what’s possible in this capacity. 

Each concert is performed by a custom-curated ensemble of some of the finest players in the game. The faithful fashion in which they inhabit the legendary artists they’re covering — and the spirit of their songs — enables the band to reimagine iconic songbooks with a verve and panache that belies their relative youth. 

A prime example of this peerless tribute prowess can be heard on their live release Rebel Music: A Tribute to the Message of Bob Marley, an invigorating gallop through a smattering of Nesta’s most inspired cuts. 

In April 2022 The Nth Power unveiled a different look, taking the hallowed Amphitheater Stage at Spirit of Suwannee Music Park on a joyride through the annals of jam-rock history as part of the unprecedented The Nth Power Ball. In May, the group is bringing back the famed Earth, Wind & Power set with a new lineup for Jazz Fest 2022.

Yet the current day focus of The Nth Power is the core trio of OGs: Glapsie, Cassarino, and Edgar; a rock-solid musical family who’ve persevered through adversity without condition nor reservation. Each player continues to elevate their game with each emotionally-resonant chapter of their story. 

Brooklyn Bowl, New York, NY. Dec. 4, 2014. Photo by Marc Millman.
L to R: Nigel Hall, Nick Cassarino, Nikki Glaspie, Nate Edgar, Weedie Braimah 

A living, breathing organism, The Nth Power has taken numerous shapes and iterations over their unique evolution as a band. They’ve added and subtracted players, mounted all-star ensembles, performed and reunited in various lineups and incarnations. The extended musical family has become something of a collective. 

“It’s interesting to see how the band has shifted, evolved. We’ve taken all these different ebbs, flows and turns through our career,” notes Edgar. 

In recent years, Glapsie, Cassarino and Edgar have found their way back to working with Hall and Braimah, reuniting as The Original Nth Power for select engagements and unearthing several long-shelved classics from the early days.

“We’re like a family,” the bassist continues. “And you might have an estranged bro or something, but they’re gonna hopefully come back sometime, you know what I mean? And we get to hang out again and play music again.”

The Nth Power loves you. They tell you so all the time, the message is in the music. Ten years in, it still feels like they’ve only just begun. Thank you for the light.

B.Getz is a music-culture reporter and podcaster hailing from the Philly area who’s called northern California home for nearly a decade. Senior Correspondent at Live For Live Music, longtime contributor to JamBase, formerly with Everfest/Fest300, and host of The Upful LIFE Podcast — check out all things B.Getz at www.UpfulLife.com 

Benefits of Live Music to Physical and Mental Health

If you’re a nugs.net subscriber, chances are you already love live music. As it turns out, though, live music loves you back. In recent years, study after study has shown that concerts have a huge impact on physical and mental health. The health benefits of live music range from physical to mental: Concerts reduce stress, release happy hormones like oxytocin and dopamine, improve brain function and longevity, provide essential social connection, and even relieve pain. Essentially, your live music habit is really, really good for you.

Concerts are a communal experience

Sociologist Émile Durkheim coined the term “collective effervescence” to describe the sense of communal energy and shared emotion people feel when they come together for a single purpose. Before public spaces were shut down at the onset of the pandemic, these moments were baked into our everyday lives; in one study, the majority of people reported experiencing collective effervescence weekly, or even daily. We went to live concerts, sports events, movie theaters, and crowded bars, all of which provided us with connection and some kind of common purpose. Those activities spark a unique kind of connected joy and fulfill our need for belonging in a way that studio albums or binge-in-your-own-time TV series simply can’t replicate. Even as many aspects of our lives return to some version of pre-COVID normalcy, it is necessary to actively seek out these experiences in a way that it wasn’t before, whether by watching live sports, going to the movies, or, of course, streaming a live concert.

Live music benefits physical health

Psychology and sociology researchers are increasingly interested in the impact of the arts on health and, more specifically, the impact of live music on physical health. Studies show that live concerts reduce the release of cortisol, the stress hormone which controls our body’s responses to stress (sustained spikes in cortisol are linked to heart disease and diabetes). Researchers also noticed that participants had reduced blood pressure and heart rate after experiencing live music. Live music experiences can even act as a natural pain management method; concerts can relieve physical pain by triggering the release of endorphins, which reduces a person’s perception of pain, or even intercepting pain signals before they reach the brain. 

Live concerts improve mental health

There are significant benefits of live music on mental health. One study shows that “engaging with music” — which the researchers in this case defined as dancing or attending a concert — leads to an overall sense of well-being, with participants reporting improved mood and a sense of connection to others. Concerts are a unique opportunity to experience both music and social interaction. There’s a neurochemical connection between music and mental health with hugely positive impacts. Live music has been shown to trigger the release of oxytocin — improving our senses of vitality, companionship, and trust — as well as dopamine. Music in general has even been prescribed to treat depression and improve mood and fine motor control in patients with Parkinson’s disease. One study even described live music as “better for your mental health than yoga.” Hormonal and chemical shifts aside, music creates space for emotional expression and processing beyond what we’re able to put into words.

Live music improves brain function

Listening to live or new music also challenges the brain — it has to work to understand a new sound — acting as a workout for the brain. Music improves creativity, memory, alertness, and clarity, and live music has been linked to improved cognitive function in patients with dementia. When looking at subjects’ brain activity in MRI scans, researchers found that music activates more areas of the brain than even language; in fact, in early development, babies start processing music before they can process speech. Studies have shown that listening to music releases brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which promotes neurogenesis: the growth of new neurons. Essentially, listening to music, recorded or live, keeps your brain young. 

People who regularly experience live music boost their creativity and cognitive abilities; reduce stress hormone levels while increasing the production of endorphins, dopamine, and oxytocin; experience consistent social connection or “collective effervescence; and even live longer (up to nine years longer, in fact). 

Bruce Springsteen Live at Madison Square Garden, May 16, 1988

LISTEN NOW: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – May 16, 1988

In Dreams You’re Mine All Of The Time

by Erik Flannigan

The Tunnel of Love tour again? That’s surely a sentiment some are expressing with this month’s release of New York 5/16/88, the outstanding opening night performance from the final, five-show stand on the US leg of the 1988 tour.

On the surface the POV is understandable, as most shows on the Tunnel of Love Express Tour shared the same narrative arc and core songs. However beautifully realized it was, the argument goes, how distinctive is one Tunnel show from another?

It’s curious that 1988 comes in for such carping when one of Bruce’s most-beloved tours, in support of Darkness on the Edge of Town ten years earlier, followed a similar formula, largely sticking to a consistent group of songs for the core set, augmented by select cover versions and rarities that made a particular show extra special.

Both tours showcased a trove of material not found on Springsteen’s studio albums. In 1988, that included originals “Be True,” “Seeds,” “Part Man, Part Monkey,” “Light of Day,” and “I’m a Coward,” the latter a (nearly) complete rewrite of Geno Washington’s “Geno Is a Coward.” Bruce played those five songs across the US tour. But as the Express rolled on, cover songs—most entirely new to Springsteen setlists—began to appear, seemingly out of nowhere. But behind the scenes, their origin was part of the 1988 journey all along.

While the ’88 main set stayed consistent over the tour’s first two months, Bruce and the band operated as a virtual jukebox during their afternoon soundchecks,, test-driving dozens of cover songs. Eventually, some graduated from these private rehearsals to the main set.

These pre-show performances were explorations of the music Bruce and the band—and importantly, the horn section—grew up on or newly admired. Long soundchecks, like those that took place in Atlanta, Tacoma, and New York, were practically mini-concerts played for their own enjoyment.

On opening night at Madison Square Garden, cover songs born in soundchecks ultimately tip the show from good to great. Now released in brilliant, multi-track audio with one very special bonus track, in the immortal words of Nigel Tufnel, MSG Night One “goes to 11.”

John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” is the first cover of the night, newly added to the set two shows prior in Minneapolis. Gritty guitar and horns combine to give “Boom Boom” swagger, and its inclusion feels topical given the subject matter (“take you in my arms, I’m in love with you”). Bruce tosses in a long, bonus “make loooove” to eliminate any ambiguity.

Between “Boom Boom” and the first set’s other cover, Edwin Starr’s depressingly still-appropriate “War ” we are treated to a number of terrific performances. “Adam Raised a Cain,” reborn in 1988, offers a weighty lead vocal, including a fresh exchange with Nils towards the end. Bruce’s guitar work at the top of “Adam” and later in the solo are fiery, and the horns raise the drama to arena level. “Two Faces” is thoughtfully rendered and thematically resonant, as is “Cover Me”: Bruce dips into lyrics from the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” declaring “I need a little shelter now,” “It’s just a kiss away,” and his own revealing improvisation, “I can’t see no sunshine.” Not surprisingly given the circumstances we get an especially earnest “Brilliant Disguise,” too.

The cracking first set ends with another epic “Born in the U.S.A.,” played at a seemingly pacier tempo and loaded with emotive guitar soloing, synthesizer pitch-wheel bending, and a nifty bit of Max Weinberg cymbal pinging between channels as Bruce’s voice rises to sing, “I’ve got a picture of him in her arms.”

The second set keeps pace with the first, and while there are no surprises per se (those are still to come), the band is playing at their 1988 peak. For highlights, first among equals is “Walk Like a Man,” making its second full-band appearance in the Archive series and sounding more vivid and widescreen than the version captured in Detroit in March. The arrangement features what might be the best work by the Horns of Love of the entire tour. While everyone in the band is playing brilliantly, Garry Tallent’s bass gives the song a lush bed on which the other instrumentation flourishes. It’s a stunner.

The encores on the 1988 tour were consistently strong, and the addition of “Have Love, Will Travel” by The Sonics delightfully balances the Memphis soul of “Raise Your Hand” and “Sweet Soul Music” with Northwest garage rock. “Have Love” is another song that graduated from the encore to the main set, and for the night’s most special moment, Bruce played that hand again. 

“I’m gonna do a song now that’s a favorite song of mine,” he says. “I don’t sing it as good as the guy that originally sang it, but I like it a lot, and this is my night in the big room. I just love this song.”

What follows is a majestic, reverent, and perfectly arranged rendition of Roy Oribson’s “Crying.” Optimized for his vocal range, the performance features Springsteen singing with stunning control. What Orbison brings the song in soaring, operatic notes, Bruce makes up for with power and conviction. What a treat to add it to the master song list of the Live Archive series.

It’s no surprise that Bruce was feeling triumphant at the end of the night, and his band commemorates the moment in the most Big Apple way possible, playing an instrumental “New York, New York” for his walk-off music.

“New York, New York” was the last song of the 5/16/88 show, but it isn’t the final track on this release. We’re gifted a glimpse into those legendary soundtracks with the inclusion of “In Dreams,” recorded pre-show.

Bruce’s Orbison bonafides were well established even before participating in the television tribute special A Black and White Night, shot in September 1987. He had explored The Big O’s music in soundchecks for weeks leading up to New York City. The only E Street Band performances of “Crying” appeared during this MSG run, but “In Dreams” never even made it to the show. 

The Archive has been fortunate to feature two other songs from 1988 soundchecks, “For You Love” from 5/23 and “Reason to Believe” from 3/28. But “In Dreams,” perhaps the most mystical song in the Orbison canon, feels most like we’ve snuck into the venue early and heard something only intended for the musicians on stage. What a treat. When “In Dreams” finishes, Bruce offers a self-review of their performance that I won’t spoil, but you’re sure to smile as I did. 

The first night at Madison Square Garden in 1988 is an outstanding Tunnel of Love performance and, better still, a previously unheard and worthy homage to one of the biggest musical influences in Springsteen’s career.

LISTEN NOW: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – May 16, 1988

Livestream Billy Strings at Ryman Auditorium May 6–8

Billy Strings Concert at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

Introducing Exclusive Concert Livestreams for nugs.net Subscribers

We’re excited to announce our newest feature — Subscriber Exclusive Livestreams. In addition to unlimited streaming of our massive, unrivaled catalog of music including over 25,000 official live concert recordings and 100s of full video-on-demand concerts in HD and 4K, subscribers will now have special access to an exclusive slate of free livestreams and performances included with their subscription service. With this incredible, new benefit, paid subscribers will have a front row seat to watch their favorite artists perform live from anywhere in the world, at no extra cost. 

Learn more about Subscriber Exclusive Livestreams.

Billy Strings Live at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN

We’ve teamed up with GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, and musician Billy Strings to offer subscribers exclusive access to Strings’ three-night run of shows from Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium on May 6, 7, & 8. An ongoing slate of iconic, genre-spanning performances will be announced over the next few weeks, including not-to-be-missed concerts streaming live from Tipitina’s JazzFest in New Orleans, Philadelphia’s Ardmore Music Hall, and Colorado’s iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Sign up to access nugs.net’s growing lineup of Subscriber Exclusive Livestreams at nugs.net/exclusive.

nugs.net Expands Live Concert Recording Catalog with Top Artists

nugs.net is thrilled to announce exciting new additions to its catalog of live concert recordings.

Over the past two decades, pioneer live music streaming platform nugs.net has evolved into the leading source for official live concert recordings from the largest touring artists in the world. With an ever-expanding digital archive of more than 25,000 concerts and hundreds of on-demand videos of full shows from marquee acts like Metallica, Pearl Jam, The Rolling Stones, Dead & Company, and Phish, nugs.net provides music fans VIP access to their favorite concerts anytime, anywhere. Throughout April, nugs.net is adding an iconic, genre-spanning collection of new artists and live concert recordings to their massive, unrivaled streaming library, including an epic selection of new and archival shows from Jack White, DARKSIDE, Pixies and more. 

Jack White’s Supply Chain Issues Tour Concert Audio

On the heels of releasing his eagerly awaited new album, FEAR OF THE DAWN, Jack White kicked off his Supply Chain Issues Tour last week with two sold-out shows at Detroit’s Masonic Temple Theatre. The tour, which features White’s first headline shows in four years, will make 50+ stops across North America, Europe, and the United Kingdom through late August. In partnership with nugs.net, White will offer official soundboard audio from every stop on the tour, available to stream exclusively via nugs.net here: nugs.net/jackwhite. Of the new partnership, Third Man Records co-founder Ben Blackwell shares, “While we’ve been recording all Jack White live shows for years, only now did it finally feel right to release all of them quickly after the performance. And with nugs.net as our partner…we couldn’t be happier with the results.”

Six Epic Sets from Psychedelic Duo DARKSIDE

Beginning today, music fans around the globe can enjoy full-length concerts from DARKSIDE, the psychedelic collaboration between electronic producer Nicolas Jaar and guitarist Dave Harrington, who have partnered with nugs.net to bring two visually driven, atmospheric performances, as well as official soundboard audio from five epic concerts to the platform’s extensive streaming catalog for the first time. Watch DARKSIDE’s intimate sunset show overlooking the Manhattan skyline, Psychic Live set at Stereolux in Nantes, and more streaming exclusively on nugs.net here: nugs.net/DARKSIDE.

26 Pixies Archive Concert Recordings

Alt-rock icons Pixies also join nugs.net this month. 26 full-length concerts from the archives, including recordings from 1991 and the band’s 2004 reunion tour, will be available to stream on April 21 at nugs.net/thepixies. All shows feature the band’s original lineup: frontman Black Francis, guitarist Joey Santiago, bassist Kim Deal, and drummer David Lovering. Highlights include Pixies’ first show in 11 years at the intimate Fine Line in Minneapolis, a performance on the mainstage at Coachella, and a 2004 sold-out, four-night run at Brixton Academy in London. 

Immersive 360 Reality Audio

Throughout the month, nugs.net will continue to bring the live concert experience to music lovers worldwide. Stream iconic performances and classic albums by David Bowie, Pink Floyd, and Janis Joplin in immersive 360 Reality Audio, which brings the electricity of live music and the energy of a crowd to you like never before. Experience exclusive live recordings from the Bruce Springsteen Archives, like The Roxy ’75, as if you were in the room with the E Street Band on the Born to Run Tour. Listen to the classic Jefferson Airplane Volunteers album the way it sounded in the studio, and hear David Gilmour play “Wish You Were Here” with the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra like you’re in the crowd of 50,000 fans. For more information and to start listening visit: try.nugs.net/360.

The Weekly Stash Vol. VI, April 15, 2022

Listen to The Weekly Stash with nugs.net founder Brad Serling every Friday at 5 pm ET on nugs.net radio, SiriusXM 716.

The Weekly Stash Playlist 4/15/22

  1. What’s the Trick?
    Jack White
    4/9/22 Detroit, MI
  2. Steady, As She Goes
    Jack White
    4/9/22 Detroit, MI
  3. Wharf Rat
    Billy Strings
    4/10/22 Santa Barbara, CA
  4. Me And Bobby McGee
    Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros (w/ Margo Price)
    3/9/22 Nashville, TN
  5. Whirled
    Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
    4/9/22 Brooklyn, NY
  6. Backdoor Funk
    Spafford
    4/12/22 Pittsburgh, PA
  7. Caterpillar
    The Disco Biscuits
    4/9/22 Denver, CO

Listen to Bowie, Springsteen, and More in Immersive 360 Reality Audio

Start listening in 360 Reality Audio.

nugs.net is excited to stream selected shows and albums in immersive 360 Reality Audio, which brings the electricity of live music and the energy of a crowd to you like never before. Using spatial audio technology, 360 Reality Audio captures vocals, instruments, and the sounds of a live audience and brings them to you in spherical sound. 

Stream iconic performances and classic albums by David Bowie, Pink Floyd, and Janis Joplin on the nugs.net app. Experience exclusive live recordings from the Bruce Springsteen Archives, like The Roxy ’75, as if you were in the room with the E Street Band on the Born to Run Tour. Listen to the classic Jefferson Airplane Volunteers album the way it sounded in the studio, and hear David Gilmour play “Wish You Were Here” with the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra like you’re in the crowd of 50,000 fans. 

Each recording is also streaming in stereo for our Premium subscribers, and select concert videos have been newly mixed with 360 Reality Audio sound for the first time ever and are now streaming on demand.

Start listening on the nugs.net mobile app now with a free 30-day HiFi Tier trial subscription, and stay tuned for more content in 360 Reality Audio coming soon.

Listen to The Revivalists at Truman Waterfront Park on nugs.net Radio

Every Saturday, nugs.net founder Brad Serling broadcasts a handpicked show in full on Concert of the Week, his new show on nugs.net radio (SiriusXM 716). Up next on April 9 at 8 pm ET: The Revivalists‘ Key West show in 2019. Hear the New Orleans-based roots band, known for electric live shows (and a super-passionate fan base), play a set spanning their first four albums following the release of 2018’s Take Good Care.

nugs.net is excited to be working with SiriusXM to make live music even more accessible to fans across the country. Listen to nugs.net radio on SiriusXM Channel 716 for new live recordings and full concerts from Billy Strings, Dead & Company, Pearl Jam, and more. In addition to the Saturday 8 pm ET Concert of the Week, Brad also broadcasts The Weekly Live Stash, which he’d previously hosted for a decade on SiriusXM’s JamOn, on Fridays at 5 pm with a curated mix of recent live shows.

In case you missed this week’s Weekly Live Stash, nugs.net subscribers can stream Brad’s playlist on demand:

“Soul Sacrifice,” Santana
The Adams Center in Missoula, MT on April 2, 2022

“Like a Buddha,” Railroad Earth
The Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, VA on March 26, 2022

“Vassillios,” The Disco Biscuits
The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY on April 2, 2022

“Live It Up,” Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
House of Blues in Boston, MA on April 2, 2022

“Shadow,” Eggy
10 Mile Music Hall in Frisco, CO on March 31, 2022

“All Fall Down,” Billy Strings 
Winter Wondergrass in Palisades Tahoe, CA on April 1, 2022

Listen to Bowie, Springsteen, and More in Immersive 360 Reality Audio

Start listening in 360 Reality Audio.

nugs.net is excited to stream selected shows and albums in immersive 360 Reality Audio, which brings the electricity of live music and the energy of a crowd to you like never before. Using spatial audio technology, 360 Reality Audio captures vocals, instruments, and the sounds of a live audience and brings them to you in spherical sound. 

Stream iconic performances and classic albums by David Bowie, Pink Floyd, and Janis Joplin on the nugs.net app. Experience exclusive live recordings from the Bruce Springsteen Archives, like The Roxy ’75, as if you were in the room with the E Street Band on the Born to Run Tour. Listen to the classic Jefferson Airplane Volunteers album the way it sounded in the studio, and hear David Gilmour play “Wish You Were Here” with the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra like you’re in the crowd of 50,000 fans. 

Each recording is also streaming in stereo for our Premium subscribers, and select concert videos have been newly mixed with 360 Reality Audio sound for the first time ever and are now streaming on demand.

Start listening on the nugs.net mobile app now with a free 30-day HiFi Tier trial subscription, and stay tuned for more content in 360 Reality Audio coming soon.

Golden Smog Reunion Concert at First Avenue, April 2022

Golden Smog Reunion- First Avenue, Minneapolis

By Tyler Asay

The supergroup Golden Smog was first formed in Minneapolis in 1989. The band was always seen as a rotating cast of musical characters from the Midwest dedicated to alternative country and superior songwriting and has included members of all your favorite bands: Big Star, The Replacements, Soul Asylum, The Jayhawks, Wilco, and more. They have put out four records as Golden Smog since 1995 and hadn’t performed live since 2019. 

These Golden Smog reunion shows were originally scheduled for April of 2020 but were obviously postponed due to the pandemic. Over the weekend, Golden Smog got back together for two nights to perform at Minneapolis’s legendary First Avenue with Jeff Tweedy from Wilco, Gary Louris & Marc Perlman from The Jayhawks, Dan Murphy from Soul Asylum, Kraig Johnson, and Jody Stephens from Big Star.

Night one, Saturday, April 2nd, had the band take the stage in great spirits to open with “Looking Forward To Seeing You” from 1998’s Weird Tales. The band sounded great together; a bunch of old pals getting back together like they were high schoolers in a garage (except with probably combined 50+ years of touring experience under their belts). 

The charm of Golden Smog comes down to everyone taking turns at the mic. Like a Gen X Traveling Wilburys, it’s exciting to hear Louris sing a cover of David Bowie’s “Starman” before  Tweedy goes right into “Walk Where He Walked.” The encore on night one started with Tweedy & Louris as a duo singing “Radio King” from Down By The Old Mainstream

Night two featured similar setlists with some important differences: Different covers were performed each night (night one had the Brian Wilson classic “Love And Mercy” and night two includes a take on The Kinks’ “Strangers”). Both nights featured Jeff Tweedy’s son, Sammy, joining for a cover of Neil Young’s “Helpless”. To have these old friends back together, playing this music that is absolutely timeless, has got to be one of life’s most special gifts. To quote “Radio King”:

“Your music fills my car
And your voice breaks every time
I’m still wonderin’
If I know who you are
I hang on every line”

Setlist (Night 1):
Looking Forward to Seeing You
Lost Love
To Call My Own
V
Yesterday Cried
Glad & Sorry (Faces cover)
Red Headed Stepchild
Starman (David Bowie cover)
Walk Where He Walked
He’s a Dick
Pecan Pie
Ill Fated
Long Time Ago
Signed D.C. (Love cover)
I Can’t Keep From Talking
Won’t Be Coming Home
You Make It Easy
Love and Mercy (Brian Wilson cover)
If I Only Had a Car
Corvette

Encore:
Radio King
Listen Joe
Helpless (Neil Young cover) (Sammy Tweedy on lead vocals)
Until You Came Along

Setlist (Night 2):
Looking Forward to Seeing You
Lost Love
To Call My Own
V
Making Waves
Glad & Sorry (Faces cover)
Red Headed Stepchild
All the Same to Me
Easy to Be Hard (Galt MacDermot cover)
Frying Pan Eyes
Listen Joe
Long Time Ago
Pecan Pie
You Make It Easy
Ill Fated
Strangers (The Kinks cover)
Scotch on Ice
She Don’t Have to See You
Won’t Be Coming Home
I Can’t Keep From Talking
If I Only Had a Car

Encore:
Please Tell My Brother
Radio King
Helpless (Neil Young cover) (with Sammy Tweedy)
Until You Came Along (with Sammy Tweedy)

Encore 2:
Revolution Blues (Neil Young cover)

Stream Bruce Springsteen in Berlin from 1993

Bruce Springsteen

LISTEN NOW: Waldbühne, Berlin, Germany – May 14, 1993

By Erik Flannigan

Though Springsteen’s 1992-93 World Tour ran a full calendar year, his first outing sans E Street Band carried the sense of a perpetual work in progress for good reason.

Bruce had not one but two albums’ worth of material to integrate from Human Touch and Lucky Town; a challenging balance to strike between familiar and new material; and a bigger, rootsy-er band attempting to hold its own in the shadow of E Street, but from which he could summon the magical vocal power of a gospel choir. As my friend Aaron would say, a tricky biscuit.

The previous Archive release from this tour, Boston 12/13/92, featured 16 songs from the new companion albums. Five months later in Berlin, the main set shifted significantly, as nine songs from Human Touch and Lucky Town are joined by 14 “classics” (six culled from Born in the U.S.A.), five covers, plus a four-song acoustic appetizer to open the show, a unique design feature of the European gigs.

What the result lacks in narrative cohesion it makes up for in distinct, compelling moments as Bruce—alone, and with his new (save for Roy Bittan) companions—walks an alternate musical path through it all. Berlin 5/14/93 serves as an exemplar of the unique period that was Europe ’93.

As the lone keyboard player on the 1992-93 tour, Bittan does a lot of heavy lifting. A greater-than-usual reliance on synthesizers, primarily via Roy’s Yamaha DX7 (the first widely adopted digital synth), is akin to Max Weinberg’s drum triggers on the back half of the Born in the U.S.A. tour.

Both belong to a specific place and time in the sonic landscape, because they are so prominent in the live mix of their respective eras, they can feel obtrusive by today’s standards. If you find yourself bumping on Roy’s DX7, recalibrate your modern ears—this is the sound of 1992-93.

Berlin opens with something we can all agree on: a wonderful, four-song acoustic set that commences with the Christic Institute arrangements of “Darkness on the Edge of Town” and “Adam Raised a Cain.” How thrilling it must have been to see these solo performances in their striking new renditions, and Bruce was just getting started.

The world premiere of “Satan’s Jeweled Crown” follows, with Bruce joined by the backup singers who emphasize the church-pew side of the “country-gospel song” first popularized by the Louvin Brothers. The stately hymn only appeared in the set six times, five in Europe in 1993, making this a rare and welcome addition to the Live Archive series.

If those three tunes to start weren’t enough, how about the shorts-soiling inclusion of unreleased-at-the-time BIUSA outtake “This Hard Land”? When met with a knowing cheer, Bruce responds, “Yeah, you bought the bootlegs. You shouldn’t have done it.” The song was still two years away from its official release on Greatest Hits In 1995, so for hardcore fans, “This Hard Land” in the show was a holy grail.

As noted above, Springsteen taps his classic catalog further in Berlin than he did in 1992, with some tracks translating off E Street more successfully than others. The choir vocals of the backup singers bring a soulful sweetness to songs like “Hungry Heart” and “Working on the Highway.” The 1992-93 band always nails “Badlands” and does here, too.

A spare take of “The River,” which the audience greets with an enormous cheer, is the vocal highlight. Bruce sings it fresh, poignant, and true above Bittan’s gorgeous piano. The peak comes with the trio of “Downbound Train,” “Because the Night,” and “Brilliant Disguise.” The last of these offers unexpectedly intriguing guitar from Shane Fontayne, while Bruce himself tears off a steamy solo in “Because the Night,” which also gains gravitas from the vocalists.

But there’s no mistaking the rise in Bruce’s enthusiasm when he moves from songs like “Atlantic City” and “My Hometown” to Human Touch/Lucky Town material like “Man’s Job” and “Leap of Faith.” Vocal inflection and energy signal his commitment, and, to a song, the recent additions have strong outings in Berlin, with fine performances of “Better Days,” “Lucky Town,” “Human Touch,” and the elegiac, underrated encore high point, “My Beautiful Reward.”

The one place where old and new combine to stirring effect is the denouement coupling of “Souls of the Departed” and “Born in the U.S.A.,” framed by several Jimi Hendrix-inspired bars of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” With Roy Bittan triggering news soundbites of troubles, domestic and foreign, these parallel stories of the human toll taken by such conflicts form one seamless, biting statement that lands harder than anything else in the show.

Bruce’s choice of covers also confers deep resonance on the Berlin performance. The aforementioned “Satan’s Jeweled Crown” is a God-fearing, serious tune and sits right at the intersection of the church and the Opry. “Who’ll Stop the Rain” and “Rockin’ All Over the World” are familiar fare, yet always welcome, especially with big gospel voices adding layers of soul. Those voices come up even bigger on Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross,” presented in straightforward and powerful fashion. It was one of the consistent highlights of these 1993 concerts.

Speaking of resurrections, after four sterling performances on 1988’s Tunnel of Love Express Tour, Springsteen brought “Across the Borderline” back into four 1993 setlists, the last of which was Berlin. The song is most closely associated with Ry Cooder, who wrote it with John Hiatt and Jim Dickson. Like Tom Waits’ “Jersey Girl,” “Across the Borderline” is a leading candidate for the most Springsteen-esque song Bruce has covered but didn’t write. The Berlin version is blessed with the heartfelt vocals of Gia Ciambotti, Carol Dennis, Cleopatra Kennedy, Bobby King, and Angel Rogers, who bring majesty to a predominantly synthesizer- and guitar-led arrangement.

Such 1993 highpoints surely inspired Springsteen to combine the best of both worlds in 2012 as the Wrecking Ball tour brought E Street Band and E Street Choir together. In fact, “Many Rivers to Cross” featured in the last warm-up gig in Austin before the start of the proper Wrecking Ball tour.

Work-in-progress or not, the 1993 European tour, as captured on a May night in Berlin, remains a fascinating exploration of Bruce’s wide, musical aperture, especially when seen as the antecedent for some of what was to come.

Trouble No More Picks Up Where the Allman Brothers Left Off in New York

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Eat A Peach.

Trouble No More is picking up where the Allman Brothers Band left off. The new group celebrating the Allmans will play their debut this weekend at the Beacon Theater in New York, where the Allman Brothers played some of their most special shows and performed for the last time in 2014. The two-night run on March 25th & 26th falls 53 years exactly from the Allman Brothers’ first rehearsal and marks the 50th anniversary of their 1972 album Eat a Peach

Booking agent CJ Strock, who represented ABB for many years, pulled the band together. Named for the Muddy Waters cover that started the Allman Brothers’ career, Trouble No More is fittingly founded on another sibling duo, guitarist Brandon “Taz” Niederauer and bassist Dylan Niederauer, who are eager to keep up their idols’ tradition of electric live shows. Peter Levin, who played keyboard with the Gregg Allman Band, is on board and Lamar Williams, Jr., whose father was the Allman Brothers’ bassist for several years, will lead vocals. Trouble No More also features guitarist and singer Daniel Donato, drummer Jack Ryan, pedal steel guitarist Roosevelt Collier, and drummer Nikki Glaspie from The Nth Power. 

In honor of the album’s anniversary, Trouble No More curated a playlist of the best live tracks from Eat a Peach, available exclusively in the nugs.net app.

Trouble No More’s Friday night show is sold out, but tickets are still available for Saturday night, which marks the 53 year anniversary of the Allman Brothers Band’s very first rehearsal together on March 26, 1969. Follow @nugsnet on Twitter for a chance to win front row seats for Saturday, March 26th at the Beacon Theater!

Wilco (The Band) At The Royal Theatre, February 12, 2010

Wilco Front of House Series 21

Wilco

LISTEN NOW: The Royal Theatre, Victoria, BC – February 10, 2010

By Tyler Asay

Wilco is a band. Wilco (The Album) is a record by the band Wilco. Released in June of 2009, Wilco’s self-referential seventh studio album brought Wilco (The Tour) to about 140 cities throughout ‘09 and ‘10, including a stop at Victoria, British Columbia’s Royal Theatre (Capacity: 1,416) on February 12th, 2010. 

The Chicago band, led by singer/songwriter Jeff Tweedy, has always been notorious for riotous live shows that tow the line between full-hearted American rock and roll with jammy interludes and a sweet, sensitive delicacy that always promotes musicianship. This show at the Royal Theatre shows Wilco at the peak of their powers; a band that has found their groove that they will ride all the way to present day, and they haven’t lost a step since. Listening back twelve years later, and you can hear this beloved rock act delivering the goods to a crowd that truly cares.

The show opens with “Wilco (The Song)”, the album’s (and band’s) title track. “Wilco love you, baby” winks the chorus, with a proto-Siri styled voice announcing the band members to the crowd: “On bass, John Stirratt; on keys, Mikael Jorgensen; multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone; on drums, Glenn Kotche; on guitars, Nels Cline; & and on lead vocals and guitar, Jeff Tweedy

“Ladies & Gentlemen, Wilco.”

Wilco immediately follows up with the bombastic opener from their classic 2002 record Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart.” In comes the noise, in comes the drums, in comes the acoustic guitar. “I am an American aquarium drinker,” sings Tweedy over a cacophony of whirling guitars, and the show is on. “What was I thinking when I said…” is answered by an ecstatic fan:

“HELLO!” 

In 2010, Wilco was at the point of their career where every song, including deep cuts, felt like a hit parade. Seven albums in and jumping back and forth between the rollicking jam “Bull Black Nova” and the total groove of Sky Blue Sky’s “You Are My Face” feels absolutely natural, especially since the band has settled into this natural live setting. Even though the band is known for their ever-changing studio evolution record to record, this six-piece pulls these songs apart and pieces them back together. Perfect example: A song like “A Shot In The Arm,” from 1999’s power pop leaning Summerteeth, retains its sunshine bright harmonies but leans into the darkness a little, especially when played up against the bitter and beautiful “At Least That’s What You Said.”

Before launching into “Nothing’severgoinastandinmyway(again)”, Tweedy told the audience that Victoria has “Shot up their list of favorite places” and mentioned the only way to get to the city is by boat. This was Wilco’s first time playing in Victoria, BC. The band played at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle two nights before (February 10th, 2010) and at David Lam Park in Vancouver the night after (February 13th).

The communal vibe of this Wilco show was ever present in a “Jesus, Etc.” singalong which Tweedy described as a “litmus test to see if we should come back to a city.” Through laughter, applause, and pure joy heard in the voice of the crowd, you can hear Tweedy’s positive response. “That was good! That was great, that was better than good!”

2010 was a raw and ragged period for the live version of Wilco, and this show presents a portrait of the band hitting their stride and playing loose with the setlist and arrangements. Towards the end of set one, the band knocked all of their “fan favorites” out of the way in a row: a super slick seven minute “Impossible Germany” (“This is the first time Nels ever worn tennis shoes on stage, and I think he just dunked on you guys” – Jeff Tweedy) goes right into a blissful “California Stars.” Wilco is rounding the bases here, it’s all a homerun.

The main set reaches a climax with Wilco (The Album) deep cut “Sonny Feeling,” a spirited jangle doused in sunshine bright harmonies. Tweedy reflects on the hypocrisy of suburbia and sharp wordplay with lines about “mini-mart clerks” and “Eminem’s suburban gangster flow” while the band rockets through a power pop bounce and a classic Nels Cline ripper of a solo. Tweedy sings in an skeptical but optimistic voice,

I’m on my way home

From my high school

I’m always contemplating

Why the kids are still cruel

Oh, the kids are still cruel

Wilco then brings it home with the Beatles-styled strut of Sky Blue Sky’s “Hate It Here” and “Walken”, before closing out with live classic “I’m The Man Who Loves You.” After a brief break and cheering applause, the band returns to the stage with a surprise: a cover of Buffalo Springfield’s epic “Broken Arrow.”

“Broken Arrow”’s construction reflects its title: a fractured tower of razor sharp melodies, masterfully pieced together by one of the few modern bands who could feasibly do it. Wilco’s take is a little heartier than Buffalo Springfield’s original, with Nels Cline’s beefed up guitars and some heavy, soupy layers of synth. It’s cut in the middle with a spirited take on “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” before Tweedy returns with:

Eighteen years of American dream

He saw that his brother had sworn on the wall

He hung up his eyelids and ran down the hall

His mother had told him a trip was a fall

And don’t mention babies at all

Did you see him?

Did you see him?

The first encore closes out with a raging 12-minute “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” and an upbeat “Hummingbird,” both from 2004’s A Ghost Is Born. After an absolutely rousing round of applause, Wilco returned to the stage for a second encore of older classics. “Heavy Metal Drummer” burns right into the one-two punch of “Red-Eyed And Blue” and “I Got You (At The End Of The Century)” from their landmark double LP, Being There

Wilco is a band aware of their place in the history of American rock and roll, especially when it comes to live music, and they are eternally selfless and courteous to their fans. Going to Wilco show is like hanging out with old friends, and their February 12th, 2010 performance at the Royal Theatre in Victoria, BC is the ultimate hang.

Setlist:

​​Wilco (The Song) 

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

Bull Black Nova 

You Are My Face 

One Wing 

A Shot in the Arm

At Least That’s What You Said

Nothing’severgonnastandinmyway(again)

Jesus, Etc.

Misunderstood

Handshake Drugs

Deeper Down

Impossible Germany

California Stars

Sonny Feeling

Hate It Here

Walken

I’m the Man Who Loves You

Encore:

Broken Arrow (Buffalo Springfield cover)

Spiders (Kidsmoke)

Hummingbird

Encore 2:

Heavy Metal Drummer

Red-Eyed and Blue

I Got You (At the End of the Century)

Hoodoo Voodoo (Billy Bragg & Wilco cover)

I’m a Wheel

You can see Wilco live in concert this April in Chicago and New York, and headlining the Solid Sound Festival in May before they head to Europe in June! 

Stream Live Music & Concerts with nugs.net on SiriusXM (Ch. 716)

The leading music platform for live concert streams and recordings, nugs.net, has teamed up with SiriusXM to launch an epic, new streaming channel, nugs.net radio, that will bring the live concert experience to music lovers nationwide – listen now on the nugs.net SiriusXM station. 

nugs.net radio is available on Channel 716 and includes recent live music, complete concerts, and comprehensive coverage of the world’s biggest touring acts and emerging superstars of the stage. Stay up to date with the latest concert recordings from Pearl Jam, Metallica, Dead & Company, Billy Strings and more.

The new channel also includes weekly speciality programming. Premiering every Friday at 5pm ET, nugs.net founder Brad Serling hosts The Weekly Live Stash, an exclusive show featuring recent highlights from the world of live music, including hand-picked live performances from the past week.

“Launching nugs.net radio on SiriusXM is the culmination of over a decade of work. For ten years I hosted The Weekly Live Stash on SiriusXM JamOn, and I am excited to bring it back to the airwaves on our own channel, nugs.net radio,” Serling shares.

Fans can also tune in every Saturday at 8pm ET to hear the Concert of the Week featuring a live broadcast and full concert recording from nugs.net’s artist partners. The Concert of the Week kicks off this Saturday, March 12 with a live broadcast of a sold-out performance from GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, and musician Billy Strings from Cincinnati on his ongoing, massive headline tour.

Billy Strings Live from Cincinnati

The concert will also be a live 4K Pay-Per-View event on nugs.net as part of the month-long series of performances Strings is streaming live on the platform. Tickets are on-sale now with a selection of purchase options, including a variety of special bundles and packages that include access to shows across multiple nights throughout the month of March. Full ticket and bundle details can be found at nugs.net/BillyStringsLivestream.

TONIGHT’S GONNA BE EVERYTHING THAT I SAID

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH, November 10, 2009

By Erik Flannigan

The start-to-finish performance of an album in concert, despite having so much in common with the music format so many of us were weaned on, is a far different animal than a listening session with the LP or CD itself.

Great concerts thrive on internal mechanics, intentional peaks and valleys that, when done well, take the audience on a journey. Bruce Springsteen famously crafts that journey through setlist choices, dialing in the dynamics that make his concerts so electrifying, while also creating a narrative arc—more pronounced on some tours than others, but always present in some form—from the opening song to the encore closer.

Playing an album like Born to Run from start to finish inside a concert runs the risk of disrupting that journey. For many Springsteen aficionados, some of his most famous songs, “Thunder Road” and “Born to Run” in particular, have become more associated with their historic places in the set than their slots in the album sequence.

Perhaps that’s precisely what makes hearing Born to Run performed front to back in Cleveland so interesting. Relieved of now-familiar in-concert roles and restored to their original context, the songs of Born to Run shift tone. Their storytelling qualities rise as their anthemic, crowd-pleasing function is stripped. It would go too far to say it’s like hearing the music anew, but a chance for reappreciation? Absolutely.

Though recordings from 2014 have been available, Cleveland 11/10/09 brings the album performance of Born to Run to the Live Archive series for the first time—in the context of the Working on a Dream tour, when he began this particular trick. Springsteen opens the show in a familiar fashion for this part of the 2009 tour, with the defiant statement of “Wrecking Ball,” followed by an edgy “Prove It All Night.” The latter is marked by two fine guitar solos, lively Max Weinberg drum fills, and an emphatic vocal turn from Stevie Van Zandt that buoys Springsteen’s own performance.

That dynamic duo slides into “Hungry Heart,” and the Cleveland boys (and girls) are well prepared to sing verse one with gusto. That word also suits “Working on a Dream,” which Bruce and the band play with full conviction. (Does anyone else think of the Beach Boys’ earworm “Kokomo” when they hear “Working on a Dream”?) Jon Altschiller unpacks each player in the mix, letting otherwise background parts like Clarence Clemons’ rich baritone sax shine through. 

Then the eight-song show-within-a-show arrives. ”[We wanted to do] “something special…for the fans towards this last stretch [of the tour],” says Bruce, “so we’ve been playing some of our albums.” He goes on to explain that after failing to break through commercially with his first two LPs, and sensing he had but one more swing at the plate in 1975, “this was the album where we started a lifelong conversation with most of you.”

WIth that, “Thunder Road” and our story begins. It’s been theorized that Born to Run was originally meant to depict a single day from bright morning to the dark of night, and elements of that come through in this setting. “Thunder Road” in Cleveland is on the sprightly side, feeling more like a beginning than a culmination as it is so often in concert. 

High spirits and comradery ensue via “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out,” which remains a celebration of the band itself. Curt Ramm was a returning special guest for this portion of the tour (presaging the full horn section to come in 2012), and his trumpet adds extra juice to the song’s indelible horn hook. “Night” arrives, and we’re moving quickly through side one, with The Big Man leading the way in a fine rendition. Kudos to Charlie Giordano, too, who wraps sinewy organ and chiming glockenspiel around the band’s wall of sound.

The aforementioned shift from peak to valley hits with “Backstreets.” Van Zandt teases out lovely licks in the intro, and a sublime version follows. It may not be realistic for Bruce, at 60 years old, to tap the emotions of his mid-20s self, but his vocals in Cleveland carry gravitas. The mid-song interlude that was once filled by “Sad Eyes” finds Bruce improvising vocally and reprising lines like “you’re an angel on my chest” to beautiful, meditative effect. 

Release comes with “Born to Run,” which delivers hope and elation, however fleeting, to the narrative. Hearing the song come an otherwise odd ninth in the show doesn’t feel as disorienting as it would outside of the album context. As much of an anthem as “Born to Run” has become, standing on its own, it holds a vital place among these eight songs.

For whatever reason, “She’s the One” feels ever so slightly lost, but focus is restored with the pairing of “Meeting Across the River” and “Jungleland.” The album’s least-played track, “Meeting” never established a place in Springsteen’s live shows, having been played only 70 or so times. Curt Ramm’s majestic trumpet is the focal point of the gorgeous performance. Listen for Bruce’s voice crack emotionally as he sings, “It’ll look like you’re carrying a friend.” 

It’s a pleasure to hear “Meeting Across the River” playing its role as the narrative companion to “Jungleland,” and the album-closer takes the handoff and soars. Every member of E Street is locked in, none more so than The Big Man. He takes his famous solo with aplomb and steals this movie’s epic final scene. Curtain.

What follows after Born to Run, to the end of the night, is more WOAD tour excellence, highlighted by the welcome inclusions of the delightfully reworked “Red Headed Woman,” a trumpet-tinged “Pink Cadillac” (why isn’t this song performed more often?), and the coup de grâce, “Back in Your Arms.”

In the song’s rare live appearances, “Back in Your Arms” typically opens with Springsteen asking the audience who among them who has blown it, throwing away love they should have cherished. There’s little doubt he’s speaking from personal experience. In Cleveland, his preamble ends with a spoken-sung line that builds to eventually implore, “Please please please let me have one more chance to show the love I feel in my heart for you.” “Back in Your Arms” has been played only 23 times, so each performance of the song is a special treat, but this one just might be first among equals.

With love on his mind, lost or otherwise, Bruce adds “Can’t Help Falling in Love” to the Cleveland encore, then “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” and “Rosalita,” both featuring Ramm on trumpet, to end the journey as he always does: on just the right note. A great album and a great show, all wrapped up in one great night.

Third Man Thursday: Jack White Live in Paris 2012

Jack White

LISTEN NOW: L’Olympia Bruno Coquatrix, Paris, France – July 2nd, 2012

By Ben Blackwell

With his trusty all-male backing band the Buzzards, Jack White’s July 2012 solo debut in Paris is chock full of reimagined White Stripes/Raconteurs/Dead Weather favorites sprinkled amongst gems from the just-released Blunderbuss. Throw in choice covers of songs originally by Hank Williams and Dick Dale and a guest appearance by show openers First Aid Kit on “We’re Going To Be Friends” and the end result is a 23-song performance that runs the gamut from blistering to brash to breaking hearts. 

Setlist
Black Math
Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground
Missing Pieces
Weep Themselves To Sleep
Love Interruption
Tennessee Border
Hotel Yorba
Two Against One
I Cut Like A Buffalo
Trash Tongue Talker
Blunderbuss
Hypocritical Kiss
The Same Boy You’ve Always Known
Top Yourself

Encore
Nitro
Sixteen Saltines
Cannon
Blue Blood Blues
I Guess I Should Go To Sleep
We’re Going To Be Friends
Carolina Drama
Catch Hell Blues
Seven Nation Army

The Music Tonight Was Composed With A Lot Of Silence

Bruce Springsteen

LISTEN NOW: Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, PA, December 9, 1995

By Erik Flannigan

The year 1995 is a peculiar one in Springsteen history. It began in early January with word of Bruce reconvening the E Street Band in the studio for what we quickly learned were new recordings released the following month on Greatest Hits. February also featured a semi-impromptu full-band performance at Tramps in New York City tied to the filming of the music video for “Murder Incorporated.” Things were heating up on E Street.

In April, Bruce and the band shot a more formal performance at Sony Studios, playing the new Greatest Hits songs and more. Then in September, they turned up in Cleveland for the opening of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, backing Chuck Berry and throwing an excellent “Darkness on the Edge of Town” in for good measure. It seemed for all the world that after seven long years, Bruce was reuniting with the E Street Band.

Which made the phone call I received in early October from a friend in the retail record business all the more unexpected. Our beloved Mr. Z told me that he was read-in on the new Springsteen album. “Full-band rock record followed by a world tour?” I asked with misguided certainty. Not even close. Z proceeded to tell me that Bruce’s new work was a solo album and largely acoustic. 

“It’s called The Ghost of Tom Joad.” Come again? “Tom Joad, as in the guy from The Grapes of Wrath.” Huh? “And Bruce is playing solo again at the Bridge School concert at the end of the month.”

Three weeks later, I heard Springsteen debut two songs from his new album, “Sinaloa Cowboys” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” at Neil Young’s annual benefit concert in the Bay Area. Fast-forward to late November, and I’m sitting in my seat for opening night of the Joad tour at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, where Buce took the stage with nary an E Streeter in sight.

The way many of us initially experienced the Joad tour was as much about what it wasn’t (an E Street reunion) as what it was. But listening to Upper Darby 12/9/95, the tenth show of the tour and just two weeks removed from opening night at the Wiltern, it is abundantly clear that despite appearances to the contrary, Springsteen had long envisioned how his first solo tour was going to feel and what it was going to sound like.

The antecedent to the Joad tour was Springsteen’s solo appearance at a pair of Christic Institute benefit concerts in November 1990. It was there that Bruce initially broke with his everyman, fans-first persona, memorably telling the audience, “If you’re moved to clap along, please don’t,” and later, more tellingly, answering a call from crowd of “We love you, Bruce!” with the curt retort, “But you don’t really know me.” Ouch.

The Joad tour took the Christic’s conscious myth-shattering and intentional provocation and ran with it.  Springsteen showed us confessional and confrontational sides we had never witnessed before, speaking with newfound candor about relationships, depression, and in Upper Darby, even taking (or not taking) LSD. As for confrontation, a stark “Shut up” in response to shouted requests at the Tower Theater speaks volumes. 

On many levels, Joad was a sequel to Nebraska, though despite being kindred works, only “Mansion on the Hill” from the latter is represented in the 12/9/95 set. The distinct difference between the two albums is Springsteen’s evolved relationship to his own songwriting. 

Introducing the song “Nebraska” at the Christic in 1990, Bruce said, “I don’t even know exactly why I wrote it [in 1982]. I didn’t think anything about whatever its political implications were until I read about it in the newspapers. But something I was feeling moved me to write all these songs at that time, where people lose their connection to their friends and their families, and their jobs and their countries, and their lives don’t make sense to them [any] more, and all the rules go out the window.”

The shift with Joad is that in 1995, unlike 1982, Bruce was fully aware of the political implications of the songs he was writing. In fact, quite the opposite of that Christic quote, several Joad narratives came directly from newspapers and books he was reading at the time. Such hyperconsciousness made his Joad writing distinct from Nebraska, more journalistic than impressionistic. Performing the songs solo (which he never did with Nebraska material until the Christic shows), Springsteen knew that for the Joad songs to connect with his audience, they had to pay attention to the details.

As such, the new troubadour scaled down to theaters and demanded quiet from his adoring fans who could previously do no wrong in the adulation department.  It was jarring but also thrilling to feel so much attention being paid to narrative presentation. On top of that, Springsteen’s guitar, harmonica playing, and vocals were masterful.

Over the 18 months it ran, the Joad tour evolved modestly in terms of setlist changes, hewing close to the vision Springsteen set from the start. But in early shows like Upper Darby, that vision is wholly undiluted. The 12/9/95 set features all 12 songs from Joad — a bold step given its relative unfamiliarity, having been released less than four weeks prior. Catalog cuts like “Adam Raised a Cain” and “Darkness on the Edge of Town” were dramatically and brilliantly reinterpreted, and with the exception of the tour debut of “Blinded By the Light,” bones were not thrown. 

Listening back 27 years later, Bruce’s focused performance is at times mesmerizing and never less than compelling. “Murder Incorporated” grows more harrowing in this stripped-down arrangement, and Joad story-songs like “Sinaloa Cowboys,” “Galveston Bay,” “Youngstown,” and little-played “The New Timer” benefit immensely from the considered context Springsteen offers as he introduces each one. We hadn’t heard Bruce speak this much between songs since the early days, if ever, narrating his own work in a way that presages Springsteen on Broadway.

So different was the Joad tour, that early on it must have occurred to somebody at the label or management that a dose of fan reorientation might be in order. A partial recording of the Upper Darby concerts was quickly mixed and broadcast via radio syndication just a few days later as part of the short-lived Columbia Records Radio Hour. Those ten songs were also serviced to additional radio stations on promotional tapes, actions seemingly aimed at reaching even more of Bruce’s audience with a preview of what they were walking into in theaters across the country.

The Live Archive release of Upper Darby presents the complete 12/9/95 performance for the first time, including the series debuts of “The New Timer” and “My Best Was Never Good Enough,” and the first Joad tour version of “Spare Parts.” 

When Bob Dylan found Jesus and toured in support of Gotta Serve Somebody in 1979, he devoted his entire set to spiritual songs without a single prior work. While the Joad tour didn’t go quite that far, as radical departures go, both Dylan and Springsteen confronted their audiences with bold new works and relentless performances like the one captured brilliantly in the Upper Darby recording.

Ziggy Marley Performs A Special Tribute To His Father

In 1979 Bob Marley and the Wailers embarked on the Babylon By Bus tour that took the band through Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. The Japanese leg of the tour included 8 stops throughout Osaka and Tokyo. Those eight shows, the only concerts Bob Marley ever performed in Japan, are frequently credited with igniting a reggae scene in Japan that is still present to this day. More than 30 years later, those eight shows are still meaningful to fans in Japan and around the world. They are also especially meaningful to Marley’s son, Ziggy. 

In May 2021, Ziggy played a pair of shows at San Diego’s Petco Park. It was the first weekend that Petco Park had re-opened for concerts after a Pandemic closure. For these special shows, Ziggy decided to do a different kind of tribute to his father’s music. Speaking about the show, Ziggy said, “The whole concert is going to be my father’s music. It’s a live tribute to him. We’ve taken an actual setlist that my dad created in the late ’70s and we’re doing that whole setlist which for me is a whole different experience than just ‘the greatest hits of Bob Marley.’ Playing the actual setlist is an actual connection with reality about what they played at a certain moment in time.” 

Of all of the concerts and setlists Bob Marley played in the 1970s, which did Ziggy select for this show? None other than April 5th, 1979 at the Shinjuku Kosei Nenkin Hall in Tokyo. It’s a truly special experience to hear Ziggy playing this setlist, just as his father had written. Now, for the first time since the concert was played live, fans can watch the entire concert on nugs.net. The livestream will air on Febrary 11th at 8PM ET. 

You can view the setlist from the performance below: 

Rastaman Vibration  

Concrete Jungle  

Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)  

Burnin’ and Lootin’  

The Heathen  

Crazy Baldhead  

I Shot the Sheriff  

No Woman, No Cry  

Lively Up Yourself  

Is This Love  

War / No More Trouble  

Get Up, Stand Up  

Exodus  

Jamming  

The White Stripes LIVE at Crocodile Cafe, 7/11/2001

The White Stripes

LISTEN NOW: Crocodile Cafe, Seattle, WA – July 11th,2001

By Ben Blackwell

I would love to regale you with the exact feeling of the room when the White Stripes rocked the Crocodile Club in July 2001. But I can’t…because I wasn’t allowed into the show. Nevermind that I was travelling with the band and in charge of selling all their merchandise, Seattle’s draconian liquor laws prevented me from even being in the room that night because I was only 19 years old at the time. I’d prepared for the moment, slightly, by bringing my older brother’s ID with me just in case I ran into trouble, but the door guy saw through it and was “kind” (his words) to me by NOT cutting it up.

One of the guys working at the club saw this go down and realizing I had nowhere to go asked if I wanted to go for a ride and just kill time. He had to go back to his crib before the gig, I would’ve literally just been sitting in the van (which I was already getting a good dose of at 5-6 hours a day) so I tagged along.

(Years later by sheer coincidence I would be reintroduced to said guy, Frank Nieto, as he was the publicist for my band the Dirtbombs’ We Have You Surrounded album in 2008. It would be quite some time of working together before we actually figured out that we’d met years earlier)

Instead I went down the street to the Sit ‘n’ Spin, the club a few blocks away where the Stripes had played 13 months earlier AND which had no problem letting me in underage. Truthfully…I’m pretty sure I fell asleep there over a slice of pizza. I got woken up by one of the employees as they were preparing to close for the evening and the guy claimed he remembered me coming in the previous year with the White Stripes.

I walked back to the Croc and from outside was able to hear the faintest twinklings of the Stripes’ first time ever cover of Arthur Lee’s “Five String Serenade” which is probably the best part of the ripper of a gig. Yeah that extended set-opening “Let’s Shake Hands” is a top five performance no doubt, and the undeniably explosive version of “Screwdriver” is likely the hardest dive into white noise Jack and Meg ever took…only to lock into a riffy guitar groove reminiscent of Jack’s part on “Turn Your Little Light Bulb On” by the Go.

But the austere “Five String Serenade”, tackled here without any previously known rehearsals or forays, is just perfect. The Stripes were introduced to the song via Mazzy Star’s version on their 1993 album So That Tonight I Might See. Jack and Meg’s simple, plaintive rendition here is probably my favorite musical moment of the entirety of the 2001 touring. The song just speaks so much while saying so little.

Would’ve been nice if I’d actually SEEN any of it happen, but hell, at least we were able to get it recorded. That’s all that matters in the end.

Tonight I Am Going To Be Playing For All Of The Stakes

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Arrowhead Pond Of  Anaheim, Anaheim, CA, May 22, 2000

By Erik Flannigan

We often cite the Reunion tour as a demarcation between the “classic” and “modern” Springsteen eras. Yet this April already marks 23 years since the start of the Reunion tour in Barcelona. Do the math, and the E Street Band’s return in 1999 is inching ever closer to being the midpoint of their overall career—a line to be reached in 2026, at which point it will have been 27 years from the start of Reunion; and Reunion itself was 27 years after the band formed in 1972. Time flies.

Springsteen spoke movingly from the stage in 1999-2000 of the band’s rebirth, and we’ve seen that play out in memorable tours and albums ever since. But Reunion was a celebration of what came before and the rediscovery of the breadth and depth of the music Bruce and the E Street Band made together. That exploration manifested in setlists that saw Springsteen performing brilliant “lost” songs finally released on Tracks in 1998, revisiting deep catalog cuts unplayed in decades, changing up the arrangements of familiar material, and still throwing in the occasional surprise cover version.

Anaheim 5/22/00 ticks all four boxes and serves as an exemplar of what the Reunion tour had on offer. This second night of two opens with one of those marvelous outtakes, “Take ’Em as They Come,” recorded for The River. For those of us who purchased dodgy vinyl and traded hissy cassettes of unreleased Springsteen music in the years before Tracks, it is still miraculous to hear “Take ’Em as They Come” in the show, sounding every bit the epic rocker it was always destined to be. The band is hot out of the gate, and the song’s false ending, with Garry Tallent tipping his hat to The Beatles’ “Rain” and Clarence Clemons bringing the song home with his soaring sax, is immensely satisfying.

Following that promising start we get an inviting reading of “The Promised Land,” layered with lovely piano tinkling from Roy Bittan, and a rousing “Two Hearts” that shines the spotlight on Stevie Van Zandt, whose vocal contribution represents the beating heart of the reunited band.

A nasty guitar riff launches “Darlington County,” which nearly veers into the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women” for several bars before Bruce turns the wheel back to his own Born in the U.S.A. lane. Nils shares the mic for the “Hey little girl, standing on the corner” verse, and Van Zandt’s guitar drives a crunchy, extended outro. Once keyboard-dominated, the Reunion “Darlington County” is all about axes.

Another of those lost songs, “Rendezvous,” steps to the plate, reminding us of Bruce’s pop bona fides and the magic in those chiming guitar chords. Patti Scialfa’s vocal turn helps “Rendezvous” rise, and there’s a fun twist in the arrangement towards the end when the band falls out for three bars of, “I want a rendez….I want a rendez…I want a rendezvous.” There’s a sweet section of Danny Federici organ swirls, too, as the song skips to a charming close.

Another recurring thread on the Reunion tour was the introduction of a country music influence in the arrangement of some songs, notably “Factory” (at other shows, Bruce applied similar country strokes to “Mansion on the Hill”). Nils plays lap steel guitar, Danny accordion on this new arrangement that showcases strong duet vocals from Scialfa. , and that Nashville sound extends to create a fresh intro to “Independence Day.” It’s a doleful take on The River’s father-son tale, measured and meaningful, with lovely playing from Bittan and a spirit-lifting solo from Clemons.

The center of the core Reunion tour setlist was the five-pack, and we get a solid one here: “Youngstown,” “Murder Incorporated” (another of the “I can’t believe they’re playing it” outtakes we now take for granted), “Badlands,” “Out in the Street,” and a snippet-laden “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out” that dips a toe into Curtis Mayfield’s “It’s All Right,” Al Green’s “Take Me to the River,” Springsteen’s own “Red Headed Woman,” and Sciala’s solo “Rumble Doll.” In Bruce’s sermon, this line in particular stood out: “I want to go to the river of joy and live there.” Easier said than done, as we learned in Springsteen on Broadway.

The de facto second set opens with the first E Street Band performance of Human Touch’s “Roll of the Dice,” co-written, in case you’ve forgotten, by Bruce and Roy. Steve’s call-and-response vocals and The Big Man’s sax solo lend a distinctly River feel to the E Street rendition of the song, which was surely being test-driven for inclusion in the Las Vegas show five days hence. Springsteen appears to love the result, getting his money’s worth by telling the band to go “one more time, take it around.” “Roll of the Dice” has been played but a dozen times by the ESB, making its inclusion here all the more sweet.

Rarer still is the country version of “No Surrender,” which goes even further than “Factory” with Nils on pedal-steel guitar, sparking an arrangement that is more Nashville Skyline than Nashville, and more specifically nods to Bob Dylan’s “I Want You” from Blonde on Blonde, a song Bruce covered back in 1975. The slowed down, wistful arrangement debuted in Cleveland in November 1999 and was only played seven times on Reunion.

It was surprising to learn “Racing in the Street” was only performed 15 times on the Reunion tour, which feels low for such a significant song in the catalog. Bruce sings it a bit differently than previous tours, with a similar vocal cadence to “Thunder Road” circa 1999-2000 that takes some getting used to. Hearing it now, what comes through is a deep weariness as the narrative unfolds like a distant memory. The band sounds sublime, especially Danny, Roy, and Clarence’s rich baritone sax notes.

Time to lift spirits, and “Light of Day” does just that—all the more fun with a brief foray into The Rivieras’ “California Sun” (written by Henry Glover). Rollicking continues in the encore with a loose “Stand on It” (again featuring some twangy slide guitar), a true blue “Bobby Jean” with strong sax work from Clemons, “Born to Run,” “Thunder Road,” and the majestic “If I Should Fall Behind.”

“Land of Hope and Dreams” signals the night is coming to end, but not before one last surprise. Seemingly out of nowhere, the band breaks into Van Morrison’s “Gloria,” which starts with a suitably filthy guitar riff and full-throated vocals from Bruce. Stevie and Clarence join in to sing on the chorus. “Gloria” rolls straight into a long “Ramrod,” powered by Clarence’s fat sax notes, Max Weinberg’s big snare and hi-hat hits, and the big bottom of Garry’s bass.

Given how much fun Bruce and Stevie have singing “Ramrod,” it feels like it might never end, but after seven crunching minutes, like all good things must, “Ramrod” grinds to a close to end the evening.

Lost songs, rare tracks, new arrangements, and covers, Anaheim 5/22/00 has them all and adds yet another phase of the ever-evolving Reunion tour to the Live Archive series. 

nugs.net 2021 Year in Review

What a year 2021 has been. Through the ups and the downs, live music has been a lifeline to us all. We want to thank everyone who streamed concerts in the app, shared their favorite jam with a friend, watched a livestream, and all of the other things that make nugs.net possible. We love connecting fans with the live concerts they crave and this year we were thrilled to share some incredible performances. From fresh-off-the-stage recordings to remastered archives, this year was filled with memorable releases. 

As we close the book on 2021 and look forward to 2022, we’re looking back at the artists, shows, and songs that nugs.net subscribers enjoyed the most. We’re music fans first and we are thrilled to share our favorite content from 2021 as well. Take a look at our 2021 Year in Review and see if any of your favorites made the list! 

When you’re done exploring our 2021 Year in Review, get ready for 2022 by securing a full year of live music streaming on nugs.net for only $50. But hurry, the offer is ending soon! From all of us at nugs.net, thank you for enjoying live music in 2021. We look forward to seeing the concerts you’ll love in 2022. 

  1. Billy Strings 2/24/21 at The Capitol Theatre
  2. Dead & Company 9/18/21 at Wrigley Field
  3. Billy and the Kids 7/13/21 at Red Rocks
  4. Goose 12/11/20 at Rockefeller Center
  5. The Brothers 3/10/20 at Madison Square Garden
  1. Umphrey’s McGee 6/27/21 at Levon Helm Studios
  2. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard 4/22/21 at The Enmore Theatre
  3. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong 4/25/21 at Ardmore Music Hall
  4. Van Morrison 5/8/21 at Real World Studios
  5. Jimmy Buffett 8/12/21 at BB&T Pavillion
  1. Billy Strings
  2. Dead & Company
  3. Widespread Panic
  4. Goose
  5. Umphrey’s McGee
  1. Widespread Panic 12/31/99 at Philips Arena
  2. Tyler Childers 5/7/19 at St. Augustine Ampitheatre
  3. The Allman Brothers Band 10/28/14 The Beacon
  4. My Morning Jacket 8/2/19 at Red Rocks
  5. Dave Matthews Band 7/27/19 at Coral Sky Amphitheater

Taking All I Can Get, No Regrets

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Post Dome, C.W. Post College, Greenvale, NY – December 12, 1975

By Erik Flannigan

At its core, the Live Archive series functions as an aural time machine, transporting us back to performances preserved in our memories or, better still, to shows only a few fortunate souls witnessed in person.

Based on that criteria, C.W. Post College, December 12, 1975 announces itself as an exemplar of the Archive series, placing us in the best seat in the house on Long Island to experience a stupefying performance by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the height of their circa 1975 powers. 

After wrapping a four-date, European tour in November, the final month of 1975 saw Bruce play his first proper Canadian shows, return to major markets Boston and Philadelphia, and perform at small colleges and universities across the northeast. The C.W. Post concert (along with a show at Seton Hall in South Orange, NJ) was the closest gig to New York City. Judging by the rapturous audience response preserved by this recording, the Gotham fanbase made the trek to Long Island. With audio cabling laid through the auditorium leading to a truck parked outside, it was also clear to those in-the-know that the show was being recorded—one more catalyst for a heightened reaction.

The Archive series holds an embarrassment of riches from late 1975, including New Year’s Eve in Philly; the covers-laden, second London show in late November; and the conversion of Los Angeles at The Roxy in October, each noteworthy in its own way. Yet the C.W. Post performance stands out, somehow marvelously loose and inch-perfect tight at the same time. Tempos are zooming, the mood is celebratory, and if London and Los Angeles were about winning over new fans, C.W. Post aims to blow away the hardcores.

The same can be said today, as this is the Born to Run tour show you didn’t know you needed but unequivocally do. The 24-track, Plangent-Processed analog recording, newly mixed by Jon Altschiller, is 4K vivid, rich in both on-stage detail and event atmosphere. It couldn’t sound any fresher or clearer, and The Beatles Get Back parallels don’t end there.

We start in traditional 1975 tour fashion with the stark, piano-version of “Thunder Road,” a rollicking, pacey “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out,” and “Spirit in the Night.” Immediately, Stevie Van Zandt’s guitar work jumps to the fore, as he improvises atop familiar licks, adding appealing shading and variation throughout an evening where his playing is the first among equals.

“Lost in the Flood” benefits from the aforementioned looseness, as Bruce unwinds the tale a little differently, while the E Streeters enhance the drama, bursting forth after Bruce sings “Jimmy the Saint,” led by Van Zandt’s bending guitar note.

“She’s the One” opens on a long harmonica intro riding Stevie’s guitar-pedal prowess and Roy Bittan’s peerless piano. The band joins full force after the first verse and chorus, another moment of irresistible dynamics as the rhythm section makes their presence known through Garry Tallent’s deep bass and Max Weinberg’s big beat and splashing cymbal work. An outstanding version.

Following “Born to Run” comes the first-ever performance of The Animals’ “It’s My Life,” a cover that would become a cornerstone of Springsteen shows for the next 14 months.. As Brucebase writes, “In the 1987 BBC documentary Glory Days, Max Weinberg spoke about the premiere of ‘It’s My Life’ when he was asked if Bruce had ever launched into a song without telling the band what he was going to play. Max said that the band had never rehearsed the song before playing it in concert, but fortunately they all knew it.”

The recent Beatles documentary is filled with jaw-dropping moments where songs like “Get Back” and “Let It Be” spring to life in real time. Fan accounts confirm “It’s My Life” was not soundchecked at C.W. Post, yet out of thin air it begins, minus the familiar story intro. For the first minute or so, the band feels its way through, the arrangement deferential to the original but being E Streetized right before our ears. Confidence grows, and somewhere close to the middle of the song they realize, “We’ve got this.”

“It’s My Life” would go on to become a setlist staple for the next year and into early 1977. Its sentiment and the story-intro that developed around it set the stage for Bruce’s own “Independence Day.” In the 2000s, the band regularly assayed cover songs suggested by signs in the audience, but this isn’t a one-off—it’s the origin moment for one of the most significant cover versions Springsteen ever performed. Sure, any card-carrying member of the E Street Band knew The Animals’ original, but to drop “It’s My Life” in mid-set, seemingly unhearsed as Weinberg claimed and the C.W. Post arrangement supports, is audacious, joyful, and thrilling to hear.

Be that as it may, Bruce wastes little time segueing into a sprinting “Saint in the City,” and again the E Street Band flexes their musical muscles all the way through to the breakneck conclusion. A passionate “Backstreets” ensues, and one can only marvel at the level of performance by each member of the band. The spotlight justly turns to them for a long “Kitty’s Back” showcase, which finds the E Streeters in fine form not only instrumentally but vocally, too.

“Jungleland,” “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” (including Roy leading a “Hernando’s Hideaway” vamp), and “Sandy” continue an exceptional evening, each rendered as good or better than its 1975 peak. Bruce’s famous cover of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” follows. The C.W. Post performance was quickly mixed after the show and released to supportive radio stations on tape. In the early 1980s, it was officially released, first on Columbia’s In Harmony 2 children’s compilation and later as the b-side to “My Hometown.”

The new version proves to be virtually identical to the original, save for a charming mix change that lets us more clearly hear the band members’ distinct responses to Bruce’s intro, including Steve’s emphatic, “IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME!”

The encore extends with a cracking “Detroit Medley” that starts with a bang and rides some awesome chugga-chugga guitar riffing from Van Zandt. The stage then clears, and Bruce moves to the piano for a scintillating solo performance of “For You,” dedicated to his then-girlfriend Karen Darvin. The solo “For You” is a high point in the London 11/24/75 Archive release as well, but each reading is unique, and the C.W. Post version is distinctly captivating.

The band returns, and as they get set, Roy does another “name that tune” vamp, this time on “Don’t Be Cruel.” Bruce tells the boisterous crowd, “You guys are nuts!” before counting in “Sha La La.” Once more, Van Zandt lays down a blazing guitar lead and Springsteen’s high-energy vocals reflect his mood, which carries through to the closing number, “Quarter to Three.” The audience response during the song is bananas, perhaps causing the first cracks in the Post Dome that would collapse under the weight of snow in January 1978. It’s possible.

“Quarter to Three” concludes—as it must—with Bruce declaring, “I’m just a prisoner… of rock and roll!” Of that there can be no doubt, vouched for by those fortunate enough to be at C.W. Post on that December night, or the rest of us reliving the experience through this sublime addition to the Archive series.

G.Love is Bringing Christmas Joy to nugs.net

G.Love is feeling the Christmas spirit this holiday season. Tonight, the grammy-nominated artist is premiering his first-ever Christmas special exclusively on nugs.net. The special is set to include music from G.Love’s 2017 album Coming Home For Christmas and his latest holiday album Coming Back Home For Christmas which was released earlier this year. G.Love will be joined by producer Jon Evans on Upright Bass and Vocals as well as Matthias Bossi on Drums and Vocals as they perform in a cozy living room setting. The wonderful songs and intimate set filled with Christmas decorations are enough to get even Ebenezer Scrooge or The Grinch to sing along with holiday cheer. 

Fans can watch the premiere tonight at 8PM Eastern. After the show, it will be available to order and start watching on-demand anytime this holiday season. Additionally, we’ve got great news for fans of Coming Back Home For Christmas. nugs.net’s newly launched contests portal has a *signed* vinyl copy of Coming Back Home For Christmas which will go to one lucky winner on December 28th. The contest is free to enter for all nugs.net subscribers. If you’re not subscribed, sign up when you order the G.Love Christmas Special and you’ll also get 50% off the pay-per-view. 

Happy holidays from all of us at nugs.net and enjoy G.Love’s Coming Back Home For Christmas holiday special. 

The White Stripes LIVE at The Troubadour 7/16/01

The White Stripes

LISTEN NOW: The Troubadour, Los Angeles, CA – July 16th,2001

By Ben Blackwell

Not every show is life-affirmingly beautiful. Not every show earns a rosy summation with a tidy bow wrapped around it. Not every show is a game-changer. A lot of gigs are rough, a lot of gigs involve a struggle. A lot of gigs teach us about an artist in regards to how they react to adversity.

The White Stripes at the Troubadour on July 16th, 2001 is one of those shows where the disconnect is the likely appeal.

Around summer of 2001, a phenomenon started to become apparent in regards to the White Stripes playing two shows in a row in the same town. Two-night stands, as it were. For a reason that still seems difficult to pinpoint…the crowd at the first night of a two-show run would just be…dull. Still. Disengaged.

That was the perceived state of the crowd in Los Angeles that day. Before the Stripes even hit the stage, the attendees had not gelled with either of the two opening acts. That alone raised Jack’s ire and you can hear it from the moment he steps onstage…barely any noise from the crowd and an immediate on-mic condemnation. 

From there, the always incendiary “Let’s Shake Hands” is outwardly even MORE so. Through “When I Hear My Name” and “Dead Leaves” the propulsion is strictly emanating from the attempt to inspire the crowd.

The accentented intro to “Jolene” is a nice deviation and in spite of the applause, there was still a disconnect. In what I’ve titled “Hip Improv” here, Jack and Meg chug along on a straightforward “Boll Weevil”-reminiscent groove before Jack intones “Is this hip enough for you Meg? Ah! Can you feel the hipness blow upon you Meg? Come on now! Oh so cool, so cool. Oh so cool.”

Jack’s guitar fritzing out a handful of times here doesn’t help. The aborted 13 seconds of “Astro” at the end of “Cannon” to me signify the band grasping at straws to try and breakthrough to the audience. 

The hot and cold version of “Death Letter” is further evidence of throwing it all against the wall in hopes that something sticks. Following the solid version of “I Think I Smell A Rat” Jack quizzically asks “So how’s the movie? Everybody enjoying the movie?”

The blazing, 62-second version of “Fell In Love With A Girl” feels downright spiteful, especially in foregoing the final verse and chorus of the song. “Wasting My Time” seems like the title could be a manifestation of the feelings on stage at that point. “Southern Can” is tackled at an outright breakneck pace, possibly the fastest it had ever been played. 

The protracted accents punctuating the middle of “Screwdriver” feel provocative, yet another attempt to draw something out of those assembled in the room that evening. Toward the end of the song, Jack and Meg are just busting their humps to improvise on the same page. They get there, eventually.

The intriguing part here is, in spite of all the friction, the show is a compelling listen. Thinking back today, I had NO memory of the audience that night. No remembrance of the struggle. No recall of a less-than-ideal performance. I had no significant recollection of the show other than the fact that I met Chris Pontius at the merch table while Eric Erlandson and Mike Mills were floating around the room as well. 

Listening back 20 years later, my takeaway here is that whatever the vibe in the room may be at the time, in two decades’ time hardly anyone will even remember. If you remove Jack’s banter here, it kinda just sounds like any other show from the same run. Ultimately, I don’t even know if the feeling in the room even matters once the evening is over. All we will have is the recording, if we’re lucky. Everything else is just perception, and perception is just a nine-dollar word for opinion.

In This Darkness I Will Disappear

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

LISTEN NOW: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY – December 28, 1980

By Erik Flannigan

The recently released recordings from 1979’s No Nukes concerts provide a riveting snapshot of a significant moment in time: the transition between 1978’s Darkness on the Edge of Town and 1980’s The River. The crackling electricity the No Nukes recordings emit is due in part to Springsteen packing the energy and excitement of a full show into a mere 90 minutes.

If the No Nukes set was a 13-song sprint, Nassau Coliseum 12/28/80 is a 33-track marathon, but a film analogy—16mm to 35mm—might be the more apt one. At an expansive 3 hours and 25 minutes, the River show captures Bruce and the E Street Band in widescreen, cinematic mode, in both scope and substance.

Given Springsteen was supporting his first double album and its 20 fresh songs, the River shows grew longer out of necessity. But the subject matter itself justified the expansion. “Independence Day,” “Stolen Car,” “Wreck on the Highway,” “Point Blank,” and “The River” are deep, narrative journeys, with Springsteen’s characters confronting existential questions and adulthood’s heaviest inflection points.

As a result, storytelling runs deeper and tone sustains longer in River shows than their predecessors. Songs like “Backstreets” and “Racing in the Street” were second-set emotional showstoppers in 1978, but contrast that with the somber trio of “Stolen Car,” “Wreck on the Highway” and “Point Blank” in the back half of 12/28/80 and there is no debate where lives are truly on the line. The Romances have given way to the Tragedies.

Like the album itself, River shows offer a compelling contrast between explorations of the dark recesses of human existence and life-affirming songs of release—a double feature, if you will, of Bergman and Capra. By way of example, Bruce follows the aforementioned trio of “Stolen,” “Wreck” and “Point” with a resuscitating take of “The Ties That Bind” when the audience needed reviving.

The expanded set also allowed Bruce to retain much of his key canon while still introducing an unprecedented amount of new music to his audience. Nassau 12/28/80 features 13 songs from The River while still carrying more than half of Born to Run, five songs and two outtakes from Darkness, key covers (“Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Detroit Medley”), classics (“Rosalita,” “For You,” “Sandy”), and a couple of seasonal specials.

One of those, “Merry Christmas Baby,” gets the show off to a (holiday) spirited start, with Bruce channeling Otis Redding’s version in fine, lively voice and Clarence Clemons blowing a great saxophone solo.

Like most “special” shows, the telltale sign of Springsteen’s heightened, feeling-the-moment vocals can be found in many songs including excellent readings of  “Darkness” and “Prove It All Night” in the first set, “For You” (such a fun first verse) and even “Ramrod” and “You Can Look” in the second set.

He’s feeling it—and who can blame him? The River just hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200, and Bruce was playing the first of three sold-out, impossible-ticket arena shows in his biggest market. 

The delightful performance of “For You” in the second set yields to emotive guitar strumming, the prelude to a heart-rending “Stolen Car.” It’s a particularly spare and moving arrangement of one of the saddest songs in Springsteen’s catalog, wonderful to hear so faithfully played. Garry Tallent’s bass part on “Stolen Car” is one of his finest contributions ever.

The trilogy of tears continues with “Wreck on the Highway,” which manages to convey warmth and desolation at the same time. The E Street Band’s delicate touch serves the song well, with Roy BIttan’s piano and Danny Federici’s organ weaving counterparts, while Stevie Van Zandt’s guitar rings dolefully in the right channel. Hauntingly beautiful.

“Point Blank” completes the 20-minute trip through the heart of darkness, its narrative tone resigned and resolute but no less emotionally captivating. “Point Blank” is more overtly dramatic and emotionally detached than “Stolen Car” or “Wreck on the Highway,” which makes it a thrilling showpiece, rendered here with controlled bravado and sublime E Street musicianship.

While each Nassau concert stands on its own, the one song featured in 12/28/80 not played at the next two shows is “Backstreets.” Van Zandt offers novel fretwork in the song’s intro and brilliant playing throughout, distinguishing the River tour versions slightly but meaningfully from prior incarnations. Springsteen sings with full conviction and, together with Max Weinberg’s powerful drumming, “Backstreets” becomes the set’s thematic denouement and sonic crescendo.

A few other songs from the main set merit special mention. Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain” is played for only the third time ever, and the excellent Nassau version further cements the song’s status as a hand-in-glove fit with the E Street Band and one of their all-time best covers. Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” premiered this night, with Bruce telling the audience about reading Joe Klein’s book Woody Guthrie: A Life and reminding them that the song was written as “an angry answer to ‘God Bless America.’” We’re also treated to a unique “Hungry Heart” featuring Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, better known as Flo & Eddie, recreating their background vocals from the studio version.

The final hour of Nassau is immensely satisfying, beginning with “Rosalita” followed by a delightful “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” and “Jungleland,” chock full of those heightened Bruce vocals and a distinctive Van Zandt guitar solo, while the big Big Man smashes the first note and never wavers in his own solo spotlight. “Born to Run” and the “Detroit Medley” (including a long chunk of “I Hear a Train”) bring us home and conclude a quintessential River tour performance in all its cinematic glory.

The Latest Wilco Front of House Release Focuses on Jeff Tweedy

Wilco Front of House Series 20

Jeff Tweedy

LISTEN NOW: Drive-In at SeatGeek Stadium, Bridgeview, IL- June 4, 2021

When we look at the pandemic and how it has affected the music industry, perhaps the most defining frame is of response. The resilient ways that artists, crew, and the industry at large took a look at the circumstances and responded. In the initial wave of lockdown, living room livestreams and concert rebroadcasts were among the most popular ways that artists connected with fans and kept live music out there. Jeff Tweedy turned to songwriting. The Wilco front-man was in a unique position to write and record entirely from “home.” 

Home in this case was both Tweedy’s physical home and The Loft, Wilco’s studio in Chicago. With the help of his sons, Spencer and Sam, Tweedy responded to lockdown with a truly home-grown record. The album, titled Love Is The King, feels intimately connected to the pandemic. It’s a meditation on human connection: good days, bad days, relationships, mortality, and everything else that crossed our minds these last two years. Love Is The King takes center stage in the latest release of Wilco’s ‘Front of House’ archival concert series. 

A first for the series, this concert did not come from a theatre, club, or festival but instead, a drive-in pop-up venue at Bridgeview, Illinois’ SeatGeek Stadium parking lot. It was only fitting that the first release of these songs in their live form is connected to the way artists responded to the pandemic. The bygone drive-in was the miracle that safely got artists out of the living room, back on the road, and into parking lots, farms, and speedways around the country. 

The concert, available today on nugs.net, features almost every song from Love Is The King, including hits “Guess Again,” “Gwendolyn,” and the title track. The concert also features Tweedy favorites including “Low Key” and “Summer Noon.” The extended encore begins with “Even I Can See,” a tender testament of marital adoration from Love Is The King. The encore then shifts into covers of material from The Sir Douglas Quintet, Diane Izzo, The Beatles, and Doug Sahm. 

The highlight of the encore comes as Tweedy performs Mavis Staples’ “You Are Not Alone,” a song he produced with Staples on her 2010 album of the same name. Though the song is more than a decade old, it evokes the universal feelings of loneliness felt throughout the pandemic. The lyrics are a simple acknowledgment that we are together, even in isolation. “You Are Not Alone” offers a simple encouragement: 

You are not alone

I’m with you

I’m lonely too

“You Are Not Alone” and Love Is The King are perfect encapsulations of our collective experience over the last two years. Though the pandemic may not be over, the fact that we can listen to Jeff Tweedy sing these songs on a stage in front of an audience speaks to how far we’ve come. We’ve made it to the other side with a greater realization of the things that connect all of us. 

You can see Jeff Tweedy live in concert this December in Chicago and Los Angeles: 

12/22/2021 Chicago, IL – Metro

12/23/2021 Chicago, IL – Metro

12/28/2021 Los Angeles, CA – Largo

12/29/2021 Los Angeles, CA – Largo

12/30/2021 Los Angeles, CA – Largo

Listen to Leftover Salmon Cover Ween’s Roses Are Free

Ween’s “Roses Are Free,” has had an interesting journey over the last 25 years. The Phish.net entry for the song includes Mickey Melchiondo (AKA Dean Ween himself) admitting It wasn’t until Phish added the song to their live repertoire in 1997 that the live potential for the track clicked for Ween. Now Melchiondo says it’s one of his favorite songs to perform in front of a crowd. In fact, “Roses Are Free” remains a regular staple for both Ween and Phish. The song appeared in both bands’ setlists as recently as this past Halloween weekend. It’s that spirit of inter-band influence that makes live music such a special community. 

The enduring life of “Roses Are Free” can also be attributed to the fact that it’s simply an amazing song. The track’s groovy feel-good atmosphere was destined to be a jam hit. It’s no surprise Leftover Salmon would select it for their 2021 late-show at Colorado’s Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom following Phish’s performance at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The debut cover’s mix of acoustic and electric instrumentation blends wonderfully to honor the funky, Prince-inspired styling of the original track while keeping within Salmon’s jamgrass DNA. The contagious fun of Leftover Salmon’s version of “Roses Are Free” is a perfect companion to the Ween original and Phish cover that came before it. 

Audio from Leftover Salmon’s full Phish after-party performance is now streaming in the nugs.net app.

‘I Miss You Already’: Pearl Jam’s ‘Smile,’ Then And Now

by Jonathan Cohen

There’s an old adage that being in a band is one of the closest experiences to being married — not only must you learn to navigate around each member’s individual personality quirks in oftentimes sub-optimal conditions, but you have to do so while attempting to be at your creative peak. It’s no wonder bands break up, lose members, gain members, reform, and break up again on a daily basis.

Although Pearl Jam went through four drummers in its first seven-plus years of existence, the Seattle band’s lineup has been stable since drummer Matt Cameron joined in 1998. At its core, Pearl Jam is built on the personal and creative alchemy of guitarist Stone Gossard and bassist Jeff Ament, who met in Seattle and 1983 and have more or less been playing music together ever since: first in the proto-grunge combo Green River, then Mother Love Bone and, finally, Pearl Jam, which formed in October 1990.

It was Gossard and Ament who found solace in another after Mother Love Bone frontman Andy Wood died of a drug overdose, and began writing the material that would eventually be released on Pearl Jam’s debut album “Ten” and the all-star one-off self-titled LP from Temple Of The Dog. It was also Gossard and Ament who invited an unknown vocalist from San Diego named Eddie Vedder to come jam in Seattle after the pair were astonished by vocals he’d recorded atop three of their demo tape instrumentals. The rest, as they say, was rock’n’roll history.

Gossard and Ament’s long-lasting partnership remains central to Pearl Jam in 2021, on the heels of the band’s first performances in more than three years. At Pearl Jam’s third set at the Ohana Festival on Oct. 2, it was on full display during a performance of “Smile” from the 1996 album “No Code.” As Vedder remarked from the stage, “They have been hanging out and collaborating and being great friends — they never went to lover status — but they’ve been together for almost 38 years. Let it be known that loyalty could get you far.”

The audio from that show debuts today on nugs.net; Pearl Jam’s one and only complete performance of “No Code” from Moline, Ill., in October 2014 is also now available on SVOD.

“Smile” is notable in the Pearl Jam catalog for the fact that Gossard and Ament switch instruments when performing it live. Ament wrote the music for the track in the mid-‘90s, and Vedder later added lyrics inspired by a note that Dennis Flemion of Chicago band The Frogs had left tucked inside one of his notebooks. The refrain “I miss you already / I miss you always” is one of the most poignant on “No Code,” and only serves to reinforce the importance of love and friendship, be it in a band or in a relationship.

As Ament told me for the 2011 book “Pearl Jam 20,” he brought the kernel of “Smile” to the “No Code” sessions alongside a handful of other ideas he thought were far more interesting. But as often happens in Pearl Jam, Ament was pleasantly surprised when his bandmates gravitated toward his “two-parter Neil Young nod of the cap” and pushed for its inclusion on the album.

For whatever reason, “Smile” was the last song from “No Code” to be performed live on the 1996 tour in support of the album (“I’m Open” wasn’t debuted on stage until 2006), and to date it has been played the fifth-fewest times (86) of the record’s 13 tracks. But that scarcity makes it an enduring fan favorite. Live, “Smile” is grittier and a bit faster than its recorded counterpart, and includes a repeated, truncated version of the main riff to replace the fadeout on the album. On stage, Ament gets the opportunity for a whammy bar-enhanced guitar solo, and Vedder’s harmonica playing is also a highlight, as it is rarely seen during Pearl Jam shows and conjures an almost campfire vibe.

At Ohana, “Smile” was not actually on the printed setlist and was instead called as a perfect audible between a cover of Brandi Carlile’s “Again Today” (with guest vocals from Carlile herself) and “Porch,” which closed the main set. It’s another potent reminder of the camaraderie from which Pearl Jam was born and continues to power the band past its 30th anniversary.

Start a trial to listen to the Ohana audio and watch the Moline, IL “No Code” show.