July 1, 2015: Bruce Springsteen Joins Brian Wilson

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Bruce & Brian backstage after the show (Photo via Brian Wilson’s Facebook page)

East met west on July 1, 2015, when the bard of the New Jersey beach, Bruce Springsteen, joined the poet laureate of the California coast, Brian Wilson, for two songs at the latter’s concert at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ.

After The Boss stepped out from the side of the stage to harmonize on “Barbara Ann,” the familiar Jersey concert cries of “Bruuuce!” erupted from the crowd as he stepped to center stage to sing along beside the onetime Beach Boys Blondie Chaplin and Al Jardine on “Surfin’ U.S.A.”, strapping on a guitar brought onstage by a roadie midway through the song.

Wilson was in the Garden State as part of his “Pier Pressure” tour. The evening’s 27-song set was dominated by classic rock favorites like “I Get Around,” “In My Room,” “Surfer Girl,” “Sloop John B” and closing number “Good Vibrations.” When Wilson and his band returned for an encore, they played two other familiar Beach Boys songs, “All Summer Long” and “Help Me, Rhonda.”

Then Springsteen joined his host for “Barbara Ann” and “Surfin’ U.S.A.” before Wilson finished with “Fun, Fun, Fun” and his solo signature tune “Love and Mercy.”

The Asbury Park Press reported that Pat DiNizio, Dennis Diken and Jim Babjak of the Smithereens were in attendance enjoying the occasion.

Watch Springsteen join Wilson and his band on “Barbara Ann” and “Surfin’ U.S.A.”

After a period of inactivity on the road, Springsteen announced five months’ later – Dec. 9 – that he was mounting his The River tour. What began with a few dozen North American dates from January to March 2016, ended up getting extended numerous times, taking Springsteen and the E Street Band to the U.K., Europe and more. They’ve returned to the road in 2023. Tickets are available here and on StubHub.

If Wilson resumes touring, tickets will be available at Ticketmaster and StubHub.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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