In September 1984, Bruce Springsteen brought the Born In The U.S.A. tour to the Spectrum for six shows
Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A. was released in June, 1984. Three months later, Bruce And The E Street Band rolled in to Philly for six shows at the Spectrum on September 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th. He opened each show with the anthemic title song, ended with “Born To Run” and covers of “Twist and Shout” and “Detroit Medley” (a medley of Mitch Ryder’s “Devil With A Blue Dress,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” and “CC Rider.”) You can see the set lists from each show here. For Springsteen fans here in Philly this was one of his most legendary run of shows. I was lucky enough to see them all. How I made it to work that week I don’t quite remember. We asked WXPN Facebook fans to share their memories of these shows.
Diane Brandt Wilkes: “I was at four of them. I had just started teaching 8th grade English and one of my students had his head on his desk. When I told him to sit up, he said, “I was at the Springsteen concert last night. I’m tired.” I said, “I was there, too, but you don’t see me lying on my desk. And I’m going again tonight, too. Sit up!” My students were so amazed that their strict teacher was going to two Bruce Springsteen shows! It was funny.”
Chris McNelis: “I was 22 & worked in the Spectrum Executive Offices. I went to all 6 shows, & was in the front row for the last show. The girl he pulled up onstage to dance was 2 seats away from me AND was a plant, which was a bummer. But I passed Bruce in the hallway after soundcheck one afternoon & got a nod… Pretty exciting. Still have some great photos from those shows. Great memories.
Neil Roosevelt: “My mother was an Executive Asst for the President of the Spectrum at the time plus a HUGE Bruce fan..She had 2nd row all six nights..on the 3rd night during intermission, Bruces bodyguard came out and told my mom Bruce was going to pick her for Dancing in the Dark..I was in Section S with my friends when all of a sudden Bruce pulls someone out of the audience and starts dancing with her..my friends turn to me and say “Is that your Mom?” and it was.”
More quotes and videos from the shows after the jump.
Chris Custer: “First time in my life I bought tix from a “ticket broker” paid $100.00 a tix to be on the floor 10 rows back. Tickets for that run of shows were tough to get……I remember when he would play Twist and Shout/Detroit Medley at the end of his show – I was done and and so was the show…whew , great times!”
Chris Mangold: “I was at all 6. I had seen 2 shows earlier that summer at the Meadowlands arena that were my first Bruce shows and were great, but those 6 Philly shows were off the charts. What a blast I had. Here is a youtube link to the Detroit Medley from the Spectrum 84 that shows how bad we danced and dressed. LOL!”
David Rucker: “One of those shows was the first time I saw Bruce. My brother and I went. He was the Bruce fan, but that show made me a fan for life. This was back when you had to sleep out over night to buy tickets. We stayed up all night, drinking beer and partying in the shadows of JFK. Great memories!”
Tim Dunleavy: “I was 18. I went to the second show. It changed my life. I wasn’t a Bruce fan at the time – I avoided his music because all those guys I went to high school saying “Bruuuuuce” seemed like idiots. But then my sister and I lucked into tickets (from a friend who couldn’t make the show). The second song was “Out in the Street.” When he hit that note near the end of the song – “Meet me out in the street, little girl, to-NIIII-ight” – it finally hit me. It all made sense. This wasn’t just party music; he NEEDED to be out in the street. Joy mixed with desperate need, and all wrapped up in one moment. At the end of the song, I couldn’t even applaud – I sat there stunned, thinking, “I get it now. I TOTALLY get it. This is what music is supposed to be about.”
There are dozens of more memories of those shows here. Were you at any of those shows? If you were and would like to share your memories leave them in the comments section. Below, watch a couple videos from the 1984 tour. If you were and would like to share your memories leave them in the comments below.