Many avid Springsteen fans, including my mother, cherish certain live bootlegs as much as any official studio release. There’s whole websites and message boards dedicated to charting and chronicling these recordings, and many are often played on Springsteen’s SiriusXM radio channel. So it only makes sense that the Boss is following the lead of Pearl Jam, Phish, and Grateful in launching a series of official bootleg recordings.
As announced today, fans will soon be able to purchase special USB wristbands containing audio from the band’s upcoming High Hopes world tour. Starting with the band’s first show in Cape Town, South Africa on January 26th, fans will be able to pick one show of their choice to download on their USB wristband (approximately 48 hours after the show).
Springsteen spoke about the goal of series in a recent interview with Rolling Stone:
“I’d like to get an archival series going in some way. I’d like to make things more available through the Internet. The Internet has become our friend…I think we live more in a Grateful Dead touring idea that everything you do is recorded now. And that’s OK with me, you know. As a matter of fact, I believe on this tour, we’re starting to do something like you can come in, you can buy a [wrist]band, you can get a copy of the night’s show. So hopefully we’re gonna do that at a really nice-quality level.”
Below, listen to a fan-made bootleg of Springsteen’s 1975 New Year’s Eve show in Philadelphia. It’s one of my personal favorites: