When Bruce Springsteen Broke His Own Record: 4-Hour Concert

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Bruce Springsteen a MetLife Stadium, August 23, 2016 via npicco3 Instagram

Bruce Springsteen at MetLife Stadium, August 23, 2016

In 2016, Bruce Springsteen set a new record for the longest U.S. concert of his career. What’s remarkable is not just that the performance with the E Street Band lasted more than four hours. Over the course of 16 days, he set a new record on four different occasions.

It all began on August 23, on his home turf at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, when Springsteen played for 3 hours and 52 minutes—without a break. The concert was part of “The River” tour, in support of the 2015 boxed set, The Ties That Bind. The tour was 2016’s biggest, pulling in $268.3 million globally.

Joining Springsteen were Roy Bittan, Nils Lofgren, Patti Scialfa, Garry Tallent, Steven Van Zandt, and Max Weinberg, with Jake Clemons, Soozie Tyrell, Charles Giordano and Sam Bardfeld.

Watch them perform “She’s the One” on August 23

One unusual highlight that night: The set included a dead-of-summer “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” in response to a fan’s sign request.

Two nights later, at the same venue, the band played an even longer one. That Aug. 25 concert clocked in at 3:59.

Watch the evening’s early (and prophetic) performance of “Prove it All Night”

He wasn’t done yet: On August 30, The Boss broke his own record, playing for 4 hours and 1 minute without a break. Not only was it his longest show ever on American soil; it was the second longest of his career overall. For the occasion, the third at MetLife Stadium, Bruce broke out several tunes he hadn’t played before on this particular tour. In fact, he opened the show with 11 (!) straight tunes dating from 1973 or earlier. You can see the entire set list here.

At the time, he was a month shy of 67 years old.

Springsteen and the E Street Band played seven songs from The River. Those tunes encompassed 20 percent of a 35-song marathon that was full of surprises from the opening number.

Watch two favorites from the August 30 concert.  Nice seats!

Related: When Bruce played a much smaller venue in NYC

Three shows and eight nights later, the audience settled into Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Sept. 7. The 34-song set clocked in at 4 hours and 4 minutes, breaking the band’s previous record from Aug. 30. (See the setlist below.)

“We got a special one for Philly…”

“Can I get a witness?”

Related: 10 reasons Springsteen was born to run

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, September 7, 2016, Citizens Bank Park Setlist

New York City Serenade
Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?
It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City
Growin’ Up
Spirit in the Night
Lost in the Flood
Kitty’s Back
The E Street Shuffle
Incident on 57th Street
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
The Fever
No Surrender
The Ties That Bind
My Love Will Not Let You Down
Death to My Hometown
Jack of All Trades
American Skin (41 Shots)

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Philadelphia, September 7, 2016

The Promised Land
Hungry Heart
Darlington County
Working on the Highway
Downbound Train
Because the Night
The Rising

Streets of Philadelphia
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Bobby Jean

Tickets to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are available here and on StubHub.

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  1. Sweetwm
    #1 Sweetwm 13 September, 2020, 13:10

    Incredibile the hardest working band in history now the Beatles played 8 hrs a night n a Germany pub George Througood said he sweated to death playn 3 sets but they took long breaks Bruce played 5 straight hours
    Man I’ve seen Bruce and Patti n E-street band 3x the best shows ever I’ve seen a lot of ledgendary bands but nothing compared to Springsteen show
    God I hope they find a vaccine so the great bands can get back on the road n Fans call enjoy their favorite bands again plus it’s really only way that entire band members can make a living
    Rock on catdaddys n sweet momma’s kicking it on down

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