When Bruce Springsteen Honored Prince With ‘Purple Rain’

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Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing "Purple Rain" 4-23-16 (Photo: Barclays Center)

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing “Purple Rain” on April 23, 2016 (Photo via Barclays Center)

In a gesture that musicians can do so well, one classic rock legend paid the ultimate tribute to another on April 23, 2016. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band opened their concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY with a somber yet celebratory performance of Prince’s “Purple Rain,” 2 days after the artist’s death.

In a bit of irony, Prince’s Purple Rain soundtrack and Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. were released three weeks’ apart in June 1984. With its accompanying feature film, it was Prince’s album that enjoyed 24 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Top 200 Albums Chart that year. Both LPs had handfuls of hit singles as the 2 acts toured incessantly. Purple Rain has since sold a reported 25 million copies worldwide; Born in the U.S.A. has continued to sell consistently well and has surpassed the 30 million mark.

Related: Our Album Rewind of the Purple Rain expanded edition

Bathed in purple lights, longtime E Street Band member Nils Lofgren took the guitar solo as the crowd roared its approval.

The concert was part of Springsteen’s The River tour and the band performed 35 songs in all including five encores, ending the evening with another familiar cover. With the house lights on, he asked the appreciative crowd: “Do you have anything left?”

Watch the band perform an extended version of “Shout” with band introductions. Can we get a witness?

The complete setlist is hereThe entire concert is available for download. Click here to order.

Related: Springsteen paid tribute to Glenn Frey with a performance of “Take it Easy” on January 19, 2016

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