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An EARLY "December Surprise" From's archival series: Philly, Oct. 14, 2009

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

December 9, 2023

Yesterday's announced addition of a Las Vegas date to next year's tour itinerary wasn't the only "December surprise" that Bruce Springsteen has for fans this year. Also announced yesterday: Philadelphia 10.14.09, the first new "from-the-vaults" archival release from since the Christmas Eve 2022 release of East Rutherford, NJ - July 18, 1999. Fittingly, this December archival release arrived just in time for the first night of Hanukkah 2023, but of course it also raises the question... Given the almost-nine-years-old tradition of a Christmas-Eve (or thereabouts) extra release from the official live archives, will this be the only "December surprise" archival release from Springsteen this year, or might we be in store for a double-shot of archival releases before the month is over? So far, Letters To You has neither an official confirmation nor an official denial to report on that front; stay tuned...

Regardless of whatever else may or may not get released later this month, Philadelphia 10.14.09 is an absolutely awesome treat from the vaults. The second of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's final four shows ever to occur in Philadelphia's legendary and now-demolished Spectrum arena, it serves as an excellent accompaniment to the previous official release from that great four-shows farewell-to-the-Spectrum run: Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA 10/20/09. Bruce and the Band's October 14, 2009 performance, professionally recorded by John Cooper and given the usual stellar official-archives mixing/mastering treatment by Jon Altschiller & Co., included a full-album-in-sequence performance of Darkness on the Edge of Town, featuring the rarely-performed-since-'78 "Streets of Fire" along with the rarely-performed-in-general "Something in the Night" and the almost-equally-rare "Factory." The show also opened with a fine performance of an early-1970s outtake - "Thundercrack" - that's never been performed more than about a dozen times on any tour (even the early-1970s ones,) and featured the only public performance to date of the underrated Working On A Dream track "What Love Can Do."

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