Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt surprise weekend crowds as E Street tour buzz mounts (videos)
Bruce Springsteen and longtime E Street Band cohort Steven Van Zandt hopped on separate stages about 60 miles apart on Friday night (12/9), as surprise guests during sets by The Gaslight Anthem (Springsteen) and David Cook (Van Zandt).
In Springsteen's case, the mutual admiration bond between him and New Jersey upstarts The Gaslight Anthem continued, with him joining the band for a rendition of "American Slang" late in the band's set.
The song choice was a departure for Springsteen, who has performed "The '59 Sound" with the band previously, at both the Glastonbury and Hard Rock Calling festivals in 2009 during the most recent E Street Band tour. At those festivals, The Gaslight Anthem singer Brian Fallon appeared on the E Street band stage to share the mic on "No Surrender" with Springsteen.
Meanwhile, at New York City's Irving Plaza, Steven Van Zandt strapped on a guitar to accompany American Idol champion David Cook along with Rock Star Supernova contestant Ryan Star. The trio trotted out covers of The Beatles' "Eight Days A Week" and Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll."
The busy weekend comes on the heels of initial ticket sales for much of the European leg of the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 2012 tour, including added dates in Gothenburg, Bergen, Dublin and Barcelona.
A rumored US tour is expected to take place before the European run, though at this point only Springsteen's March 16th keynote speech at the SXSW Festival in Austin is confirmed in terms of stateside activity.
Springsteen joined Bob Seger at Madison Square Garden last Friday (12/2), and performed a pair of lengthy sets with Joe Gruschecky & The Houserockers in Pittsburgh in early November, as well as appearing at Sting's 60's birthday show and the "Stand Up For Heroes" benefit, both in New York.
In early January, founding E Street Band members Garry Tallent and Vini 'Mad Dog' Lopez will join a number of high-profile New Jersey musicians for a tribute concert honoring Clarence Clemons, Springsteen's longtime bandmate and stage foil, who died in June after suffering a major stroke. Springsteen has not been announced as a participant in that show.
Bruce Springsteen with The Gaslight Anthem
Steven Van Zandt with David Cook and Ryan Star