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Bruce Springsteen Opens Up For Himself

Bruce Springsteen
Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images

Back before he became famous, Bruce Springsteen, like many acts, was often booked as the opening act for such established artists on his label as Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears. Playing to half-filled halls for people who had no knowledge of his music bothered the young, idealistic singer, and he vowed that he would never allow other bands to suffer the same indignation.

Until last night (April 27), that is.

However, the opener was not some plucky gang of Bruce-influenced punks like his buddies in the Gaslight Anthem, but rather the Boss himself. Roughly 90 minutes before the start of his show at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, as the crowd was still filing in, Springsteen took to the stage with about 10 people. No, they weren’t a condensed version of his current version of the E Street Band, but rather, as he explained, a handful of relatives.

Guitar tech Kevin Buell — who, incidentally, worked his 1,000th show in Springsteen’s employ — handed Springsteen an acoustic guitar and pictures were taken before his family was led off-stage. But because, no matter how empty the arena is, you can’t put Springsteen on a stage without him wanting to sing, he began strumming and stepped to the mic. Perhaps flashing back to those early days as an opener, he launched into the rarely played, ‘For You,’ which appeared on his 1973 debut album, ‘Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.’ YouTube user stian257 captured the proceedings from a pretty good location. The performance starts at roughly the 2:50 mark.

Watch Bruce Springsteen Perform ‘For You’ Before His Concert Began

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