Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts, Paramount+ – cheat sheet

Lace up those streaming shoes – The Boss is coming this July, and, baby, we were born to run.

What in the name of long movie titles is this?

Edited from the original, previously unreleased 16mm footage, this concert film, released in 2021, captures Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band as they perform during the multi-day ‘No Nukes’ concerts at Madison Square Garden on September 21 and 22, 1979.

Who’s in it?

Um, Bruce Springsteen, and musicians Roy Bittan (piano) Clarence Clemons (tenor and baritone saxophones), Danny Federici (organ), Garry Tallent (bass), Stevie Van Zandt (guitar) – AKA Silvio Dante in The Sopranos – Max Weinberg (drums). Tom Petty also makes an appearance.

Tell me more

As per Wikipedia: It was recorded over two nights, September 21 and 22, 1979, at Madison Square Garden, as part of the No Nukes concerts organized by activist group Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) against the use of nuclear energ

Who’s the director?

David Silver, and the new edit of the original 16mm reels is by longtime Springsteen collaborator Thom Zimny.

What songs do they perform?

As explained by Paul Henderson in Classic Rock:

Heavy on then-latest album Darkness On The Edge Of Town and predecessor Born to Run, the set opens with a one-two punch of Prove It All Night and Badlands, and immediately, even watching on a TV screen 40 years later, the energy from the dynamic and charismatic Springsteen is almost tangible.

Playing those and more top-drawer songs including The River and Born To Run (previously mothballed footage of 10 songs from the two shows are included) and a superb E Street Band behind him, Springsteen gives it his usual all, at arguably the peak period of his career and live performances.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band explode at No Nukes show

Is there a trailer?

What do the critics think?

Craig Mathieson at The Age had high praise, much like most other critics:

The just-released concert film backs up [Springsteen’s] self-belief: a few days shy of turning 30, Springsteen was on the cusp of becoming rock music’s central figure. A suitably ragged multi-camera shoot is all energy and outreach, complete with an unstoppable performance of Born to Run.

Craig Mathieson in The Age.

Do say

I guess that’s why they call him The Boss.

Don’t say

Is it too late for requests?

Where and when can I watch Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts?

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts streams on Paramount+ from 28 July.

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Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites