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NO NUKES cover

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band 

The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts

Legacy Recordings/Sony Music Entertainment’s Premium Content Division/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2-CD, 2-LP)

By Carol Anne Szel

What can be said? It's Bruce Springsteen at his finest. As he proudly announced, he was just 30 years old at the time in '79 when he and the E Street Band played the now infamous shows at Madison Square Garden for MUSE, Musicians United For Safe Energy. Before the ultra hype when Springsteen was just a young, ambitious, real, solid, amazing, down-home musician.

The opening cameras pan this 1979 audience and you get the vibe, it really brings me back to that magical era in rock's live world. I was at these two "No Nukes" shows, and it was a memory brought back to me in prime real estate being this just released footage and music.

NO_NUKES - photographer Lawrence_Kirsch

Performing 13 tunes, including two from his then un-released 1980 album, The River, the title song and the now infamous Bruce concert party ditty "Sherry Darling." At that half-hour mark during "Sherry," in fact, Springsteen and his forever sideman, sidekick, musical appendage, Clarence Clemons jump and shimmy to the face the audience behind the stage piled three sections high and play it for them! Classic, just E Street classic moves.

His songs could have been written today, the lyrics, most noted by me this go 'round in "The River," in fact, bear as much meaning in today's world as it did those 40+ years ago!

The DVD is in fact the first official Springsteen concert footage, and the first time he dipped his toe into causes, this one notably the anti-nuclear peaceful protesting done through music along with his friend and No Nukes founder Jackson Browne.

With the crowd sweating and Springsteen playing/singing/running about in what looks like fast motion, the band smiles and plays like it was their big moment in time. His youthful enthusiasm with a whisper of what we now know was the inception of a true superstar in the making. He definitely brought the party to the house.

Which joyfully brings the band's legendary "Jungleland" showing the crowd pulsing in admiration for their down home hero, and of course highlights the Big Man's solo saxophone tender rendering. This tune is dark, deep, devotional.

NO_NUKES - photographer Joel_Bernstein4

Springsteen announces the band in his inimitable way during "Rosalita'' just about an hour into the show, "King of the known world, master of the universe. The Big Man, Clarence Clemons" as they sink their teeth right back into "Rosalita" and bring every last person onto their feet.

Perhaps the most poignant time of Springsteen's show was when he called Jackson Browne, Tom Petty and Rosemary Butler up onstage to sing Jackson's "Stay" which the crowd just ate up.

However, these nights belonged to Bruce Springsteen as he waited about seven seconds after "Stay" to jump whole-heartedly into "Devil With the Blue Dress On" as part of "Detroit Medley." And the rest makes concert/show/musical Springsteen history rounding out with "Quarter To Three" and "Rave On."

After much fun, some fine classic rock music, sweat, cheers, passion brought to "The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts," Springsteen backed by Clemons' raucous sax bid a fond adieu and I'm exhausted just watching this last hour and a half! Please go out and get this, buy it, and put it under the Christmas tree or next to the Menorah this holiday season for anyone you love. Well worth the 42 year wait for it!

Watch "The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts" trailer below: 

Order the film and live album here:

"The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts" Setlist

1. Prove It All Night

2. Badlands

3. The Promised Land

4. The River

5. Sherry Darling

6. Thunder Road

7. Jungleland

8. Rosalita Come Out Tonight

9. Born To Run

10. Stay

11. Detroit Medley

12. Quarter To Three

13. Rave On

* 2 LP set featuring 13 songs performed over two nights, that are newly remixed and remastered. This gatefold package includes a 24-page book with rare photos and memorabilia, an essay and a 33” x 19” poster.
* 2 CD set featuring 13 songs performed over two nights, that are newly remixed and remastered, in addition to a DVD of the 13 song concert performance film, newly edited from original film footage, restored and remixed in HD. This package includes a 24-page book with rare photos and memorabilia, an essay, vintage ticket envelope and ticket reproduction.