Bruce Springsteen Dusts Off Deep Cut For First Live Performance Since 1972

By Katrina Nattress

February 15, 2023

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Bruce Springsteen treated fans in Houston to an extremely rare performance on Tuesday (February 14). Playing with his E Street Band, the singer-songwriter dusted off his deep cut "If I Was A Priest" for its first live performance since 1972.

“I wrote this song,” Springsteen said. “I was 22. Fifty years ago. I still don’t have a clue what the f**k it’s about.”

As Rolling Stone points out, the song pre-dates The E Street Band and Springsteen played it during two auditions in 1972: one for managers Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos and the other for CBS Records. He played it at least once during a live show that year too before retiring it from his setlist. Fifty years is by far the longest gap between live performances of a song during Springsteen's prolific career.

The track has been around as a bootleg; however, it didn't officially get released until Springsteen re-recorded it with The E Street Band for his 2020 album Letter to You. The surprising performance came just hours after Springsteen announced a summer run of North American tour dates. Watch him play "If I Was A Priest" and check out the full list of tour dates here.

Bruce Springsteen
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