Bruce Springsteen has performed here 14 times, 10 of them with The E Street Band:

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Bruce Springsteen has performed here 14 times, 10 of them with The E Street Band:

Oct. 26, 1975

Paramount Theatre, Seattle

In the same week that he’s featured on the covers of both Time and Newsweek, Springsteen and the E Street Band make their Seattle debut in a brilliant, unforgettable performance that emphasizes his showmanship. The long concert includes almost all the songs from the band’s classic first three albums, plus covers.

June 25, 1978


A great, three-hour show featuring almost all the songs from the new “Darkness on the Edge of Town” album, and plenty of highlights from the earlier releases. Springsteen and band are in an R&B mode, covering such songs as Bo Diddley’s “Mona,” Gary “U.S.” Bonds’ “Quarter to Three” and the Bobby Fuller Four’s “I Fought the Law.”

Dec. 20, 1978

Seattle Center Arena (now Mercer Arena)

Making a second appearance in six months, the show is much the same, although the covers are not so R&B-oriented. Springsteen is talkative, telling wonderful stories as introductions to songs. The band seems a little tired, but maybe they were bummed by the sterile environment.

Oct. 23, 1980

Old Timer’s Cafe, Pioneer Square, Seattle

In town a day early for a show with the band, Springsteen walks from his downtown hotel to Pioneer Square, pays the $1 cover at the Old Timer’s, and says “Can I play?” to the band, a Montana group called Lost Highway. A band member, not recognizing him, quips, “Sure, if you can stay in tune.” On a borrowed guitar, he plays and sings “Route 66,” “Gloria” and other oldies for about 15 customers. “Half the people didn’t think it was me,” Springsteen tells me the next day. “They were real nice guys, Lost Highway. I had a good time.”

Oct. 24, 1980

Seattle Center Coliseum (now KeyArena)

Springsteen and band are in peak form, delivering a marathon performance, highlighting many of the songs from the new “The River” album. Springsteen connects with the audience more than ever, walking out into the crowd and standing on a seat to sing “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out,” then falling back and letting fans catch him.

Oct. 17 and 19, 1984

Tacoma Dome

Springsteen has the flu but goes on the first night and delivers a great performance in a show that emphasizes political songs, like “Born in the U.S.A.” and selections from the “Nebraska” album. But there’s a party atmosphere, too, when he brings a female fan onstage to dance with him during “Dancing in the Dark,” and then gets the whole crowd dancing to “Twist and Shout.” He postpones the second show for a day. That concert turns out to be historic, at least for Springsteen & E Street Band fans, because a tradition bites the dust — it is the first time in 10 years that they did not end the set (before the encores) with “Rosalita.”

May 5-6, 1988

Tacoma Dome

One of the greatest shows I have ever seen. Springsteen preached, bragged and strutted the first night, turning the crowd into his congregation as he testified to the power of love, in all its glory, sorrow and mystery. He was funny, too, in the wildly theatrical “I’m a Coward (When It Comes to Love)” and the hilarious song about primal lust, “Part Man, Part Monkey.” And he was sexy, singing steamy love songs to new, miniskirted band member Patty Scialfa (now his wife), and dousing himself with water for a wet T-shirt finale. The E Street Band was augmented by a horn section.

Oct. 13, 1992

Tacoma Dome

Springsteen, upset about union pickets outside the venue (representing striking city clerical workers), goes on late, after being assured that negotiations to end the strike are under way. Without the E Street Band, and with his career in a slump, the show is not sold out. He says he is “out of shape,” but presents a long, lively show featuring songs from his “Human Touch” and “Lucky Town” albums.

Oct. 29, 1996


A solo show, focusing on material from “The Ghost of Tom Joad” album. He sings about the downtrodden, from Dust Bowl drifters to Vietnam refugees to Mexican farm workers. But the heaviness is lightened by “Blinded by the Light,” “Born in the U.S.A.” and “Promised Land.” “Getting old is an uphill battle against cynicism,” he tells the crowd.

April 4, 2000

Tacoma Dome

Back with the E Street Band, and back in top form, the show is like a religious experience, especially when Springsteen becomes a preacher. “I can’t promise you life everlasting,” he tells the capacity crowd, “but I can promise you life, right now!” He makes good on that promise with “Prove It All Night,” “Two Hearts,” “Badlands,” “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out” and “Born to Run,” among many others.

Aug. 21, 2002

Tacoma Dome

A more subdued Springsteen (he hardly spoke) and the E Street Band present songs from the post-9/11 album “The Rising” to a surprisingly less-than-capacity crowd. They also feature songs from the 1978 “Darkness on the Edge of Town” album, an equally serious, politically oriented work. He refers, almost dismissively, to “my greatest hits,” but they are among the most enthusiastically received, especially “Dancing in the Dark,” “Prove It All Night” and “Born to Run.”

Aug. 11, 2005

KeyArena, Seattle Center

A stripped-down, highly personalized and free-form solo show that was moving and entertaining. He played piano, organ, harmonica and guitar in a 25-song set that featured cuts from the new “Devils & Dust” album. A family theme emerged from the choice of songs. He said of his three children, “There’s nothing you wouldn’t do, no train you wouldn’t step in front of, to keep them safe.”