1974-03-10, Liberty Hall, Houston, TX

The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle Tour
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Two shows.

Eyewitness accounts

Were you there? Write about it!
C. Hill wrote: Addendum to my earlier review: I make reference to "seeing Bruce again a couple of years later (1976)". This is incorrect. In fact, it was 4 years later, on 12/8/78 at The Summit in Houston, TX. If interested, see my review of that show.

C. Hill wrote: In retrospect, quite possibly the best R&R show I've ever seen. Actually, the show I attended was on Sunday 3/10/74, according to my memory and verified by my ticket stub. Did Bruce play a 4th show in Houston that weekend, or is there a typo on the list on this web page? In any case, the set list for the 3/10 show I attended is the same one as listed here for the 3/9 show. So, here's my amusing story:

My friend Greg Woods and I had planned to see Frank Zappa that evening at the Sam Houston Colosseum. Greg called around mid-afternoon, all excited, to insist that we had to forget Zappa, and go to Liberty Hall instead to see Bruce Springsteen. I'd never heard of the guy, and I really wanted to see Frank Zappa, so I wasn't too thrilled about changing our plans. We argued about it briefly, and for whatever reason I caved-in and agreed to go with him to Liberty Hall. We bought tickets at the door (general admission, $3 each), went in, and I discover that Liberty Hall is an old movie theater that holds maybe 300-400 people. We took seats up front, about the 6th row or so, and dead center in front of the stage. The opening act (Jimmy Spheris) was OK, but not particularly memorable. After the intermission, the lights went completely down, and it was pitch black. After a few minutes, a very dim light appeared on the stage, and out walked a guy with an accordion, followed by a guy with an acoustic guitar and another guy with a tuba. I turned to Greg and said something like "You f*****g SOB! You drag my ass down here to see some bozo with an accordion and a tuba, when we could be watching Frank Zappa?". I mean, I was pissed-off! Well, the 3 guys (Danny F., Bruce & Gary T.) sat down on stools and played a circus song. I was still pretty pissed-off that I was missing Frank Zappa, and so far, I wasn't very impressed with this Bruce Springsteen guy. Anyway, when they finished the song (Wild Billy's Circus Story, of course!), the stools were kicked aside, the rest of the E Street Band came out, and they proceded to rock the house! And I mean seriously! They did Rosalita for an encore, and by the time it was all over, everybody in that audience knew that we had just seen something very, very special. I think I went out and bought "The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle" the next day! Anyway, like I said, it was possibly the best show I've ever seen, and certainly the most memorable. I saw Bruce a couple of years later (1976)in front of 20K people at the Summit arena in Houston, after he had been anointed as the new savior of R&R, and it was a huge disappointment. I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to see Bruce in a small venue like Liberty Hall, and before he was well known. I haven't seen my friend Greg in 25 years, but I'll always be indebted to him for talking me into changing our plans that night. Thanks, Greg, wherever you are! Oh, and I never did get another chance to see Frank Zappa.


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