Here it is — the meat of last night’s all-Springsteen hour on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. It’s tempting to throw in the hyperbole and say this was Fallon’s best episode, but damn, has he put on some criminally good stuff for 12:35 in the morning.
Fallon announced his first and only guest with, “He’s going to talk. He’s going to play. He’s going to blow your pants off!” (Isn’t it fun when Jimmy geeks out?) Unconventionally, The Boss played before talking, and presumably before blowing anyone’s pants off. His first of three performances last night was a duet with Jimmy Fallon, and as awesome as Conan’s occasional musical performances are, it’s hard to see him pulling off what Jimmy did. Fallon, dressed up in Neil Young garb, sat alone with a guitar and begun to perform a Youngian ballad version of none other than Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair”. Soon enough, Springsteen was alongside Fallon performing this comically earnest rendition of the hit.
That was maybe 10 minutes into the show. The bulk of the program featured an extended interview with Springsteen, who was there to promote Tuesday’s release of the deluxe reissue of Darkness on the Edge of Town and the box set for his new compilation album The Promise, a collection of unreleased Darkness-era tracks. While Fallon had an enthusiastic childlike fixation on the box set, the interview covered other topics including Springsteen’s lack of an acting career, an encounter with a couple and their wedding photographer, and early CBGB band Tuff Darts.
E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt joined Bruce during the second half of the interview, before performing two of the new old songs with him to close out the show. Van Zandt and Springsteen were joined by E Street Band pianist “The Professor” Roy Bittan and The Roots for “Because the Night” (aka the song he wrote for Patti Smith) and “Save My Love”, both of which appear on The Promise. Thanks to The Audio Perv, you can view clips of all this noise below.
“Whip My Hair”
Interview Part 1
Interview Part 2
“Because the Night”
“Save My Love”