Rock Your World: Bruce Springsteen Returns with Rare Performance of ‘If I Was the Priest’ and Unveils 22 Exciting Shows for 2023 Tour


Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are currently touring North America with a summer stadium tour. One of the highlights of the tour so far was when Springsteen played “If I Was the Priest” live for the first time in over 50 years. The song was written in 1972, before the formation of the E Street Band, and was performed during Springsteen’s audition for CBS Records.

It was not included in the album Greetings from Asbury Park, and the last known live performance of the song was in May 1972. The song circulated as a bootleg for years and was covered by Allan Clarke of the Hollies in 1974 as “If I Were The Priest.” The song was not officially released by Bruce Springsteen until 2020 when he re-recorded it with the E Street Band for Letter To You alongside “Song For Orphans” and “Janey Needs a Shooter,” two other archival songs.

Concert in Houston and Upcoming Show in Austin

In Houston, Texas, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played a concert where they opened with “Night” instead of their usual opener, “No Surrender.” Steve Van Zandt returned from a brief Covid hiatus, but Nils Lofgren was unable to perform due to the virus, which marks the first time since 1981 that the E Street Band has played a formal concert without Lofgren. Violinist Soozie Tyrell was also back after missing the last two gigs.

The tour is set to resume on February 16 at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas. The doors will open at 6 p.m., and the concert will start at 7:30 p.m. An Austin-based band called the Raccoon Brothers will perform at the Dell Technologies Plaza stage from 5:45-7:15 p.m. before the show starts. The tour will conclude on December 8 at the Chase Center in San Francisco, California.

Local Austin Band to Open for Springsteen

Despite not having Lofgren for the Houston show, Springsteen and the E Street Band put on an incredible performance, and Springsteen’s ability to perform songs from 50 years ago speaks to the timeless quality of his music. Bruce Springsteen’s music has always been an expression of his unique style, and “If I Was the Priest” is no exception. He himself admitted that he still doesn’t know what the song is about. Still, his lyric writing was wild and uninhibited, and it is enjoyable for him to revisit and perform the song with the E Street Band in his present voice.

The fact that “If I Was the Priest” did not make it into the album Greetings From Asbury Park is surprising, but Springsteen’s ability to revisit and re-record the song with the E Street Band for Letter To You is a testament to the quality of his music. Springsteen’s music has been around for several decades, and yet he continues to produce new and exciting work. It is a testament to his creativity and longevity in the music industry. Bruce Springsteen’s ability to perform live is also impressive, and it is no wonder that his fans are eager to see him in concert whenever he tours.


In conclusion, Bruce Springsteen’s North American summer stadium tour has been a resounding success so far, and the fact that he is still able to perform songs from 50 years ago is a testament to the timeless quality of his music.

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