Bruce Springsteen Joins Jackson Browne and Little Steven Onstage at Laid Back Fest (Watch)

The Laid Back Fest in New Jersey was anything but mellow Thursday night when Bruce Springsteen jumped onstage to jam with headliners Jacksone Browne and Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul at the PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey.

Billed as a “traveling all-star celebration of music and food,” the traveling festival — founded in 2015 by Gregg Allman and his longtime manager Michael Lehman — returned this year to honor the late musician, who died in July after a long battle with liver cancer. The concert also featured performances by Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band and Peter Wolf.

Springsteen — who is set to premiere his “Springsteen on Broadway” show at the Walter Kerr Theatre on Oct. 3 — joined longtime E Street Band guitarist Van Zandt for a performance of  “It’s Been a Long Time” — a song from Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes 1991 album, “Better Days” — as well as the “Born to Run” classic “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out.”’ Springsteen started the song a little early but covered like a pro, shouting, “Go ahead, band! Let me hear it one more time. Horns!”

Van Zandt and Springsteen looked to be having fun, as Springsteen deferred to Van Zandt to sing a few lines.

The Boss also joined Browne for a duet on “Take It Easy,” the Eagles’ first hit, which Browne co-wrote with late Eagles cofounder Glenn Frey. Springsteen performed the song as a tribute to Frey on his 2016 “The River” anniversary tour.

“This is for Glenn, and this is for Gregg,” Browne told the crowd. All of the musicians remained onstage for the show’s finale, Wolf’s 1981 hit with the J. Geils Band, “Freeze Frame.” (Video by Mitch Slater below.)

It was the second time in a week that Springsteen, reported to be in rehearsal for the Broadway run, made a surprise appearance on a local stage. Last Friday he joined Paul McCartney at Madison Square Garden for not one but two performances of the Beatles’ classic “I Saw Her Standing There.”

The Laid Back Fest tour continues, with a shifting lineup, Saturday night in Hartford, Conn., with further dates in Wantagh, N.Y., Georgia and Texas.


More Music

  • 'The Dirt' Review: A Mötley Crüe

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Jonathan Lamy RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy Stepping Down From RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America’s longtime executive VP of communications and marketing, is stepping down from his post after 17 years, he announced today. As he put it in an email to Variety, “I started back in 2002, which means it’s been 17+ years, four different RIAA CEOs, three format changes and [...]

  • Suzi Quatro

    Suzi Quatro on Being a Pioneering Female Rocker: 'Women Have Balls!'

    For Suzi Quatro, portraying intimidating rocker chick Leather Tuscadero on the 1970s sitcom “Happy Days” was art imitating life. A veteran musician who came up in the rough and tumble rock scene of 1960s Detroit, her tough-but-sexy small-screen persona wasn’t an act, and it’s served Quatro well in her pioneering role as arguably the first [...]

  • Fat Joe

    Fat Joe Joins 'New York Undercover' Pilot at ABC (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fat Joe has been cast in the “New York Undercover” pilot currently in the works at ABC, Variety has learned exclusively. Picking up 20 years after the end of the original series, “New York Undercover” will follow detectives Nat Gilmore (Toby Sandeman) and Melissa Ortiz (Otmara Marrero) as they investigate the city’s most dangerous criminals from [...]

  • Danielle Brooks'Ain't Too Proud - The

    How 'Orange Is the New Black' Star Danielle Brooks Became a Broadway Producer

    Danielle Brooks earned a Tony nomination when she made her Broadway debut as Sofia in the 2015 revival of “The Color Purple,” but now the “Orange Is the New Black” star is working behind the scenes as a producer on the new jukebox musical “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations.” “I [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content