Did you get snowed out of last night’s Springsteen show at Madison Square Garden? Are you getting psyched up for Wednesday’s MSG show or Sunday’s gig in Newark? Well, the Boss made an announcement last night that’s good for everyone: The MP3s of the official recording of his January 19 Chicago concert are now free to download through January 26.
The MP3s, which would normally set you back $9.99 a show, are right now available at no cost at live.brucespringsteen.net. (The FLAC — free lossless audio codec — files and physical CD, which are also available for every show as part of the Springsteen Live Archive project, are not part of the giveaway but will be available later this week.)
The Chicago show at the United Center — the second date on Springsteen’s The River 2016 Tour — kicks off with the ebullient River-era outtake “Meet Me in the City” (as performed on Saturday Night Live in December) before diving (ha!) into the full-album performance. Highlights from Chicago include “Point Blank,” “Ramrod,” and a sultry “Drive All Night.” After that, there’s still another twelve songs in the performance, including an intense version of “Human Touch,” from the 1993 album of the same name, and Springsteen’s poignant solo acoustic tribute to the late Glenn Frey: a cover of the Eagles’ “Take It Easy” featuring backing vocals by several thousand Chicagoans and a lovely fiddle solo from E Street Band member Soozie Tyrell.
The set closes with an encore of full-throttle hits — “Born to Run,” “Dancing in the Dark,” and “Rosalita (Come out Tonight)” — before taking things up a notch with the E Street Band’s cover of the Isley Brothers’ “Shout.” Download the Chicago show ASAP, and hold your own Boss dance party at the office, in your apartment, or on the subway until that make-up date is scheduled — or, for the lucky ticket holders, until Wednesday night rolls around.