Saturday marked the opening night of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s The River Tour 2016, during which the band will play The River in its entirety at every stop. Although some fans worried that format would kill the band’s usual live-concert spontaneity, Saturday’s impromptu, heartfelt cover of David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” helped allay those fears.
Before they started playing, Springsteen told the crowd that Bowie supported his music from very early on—1973. Bowie covered some of his songs, and Springsteen went to Philadelphia to visit Bowie in the studio as he was recording Young Americans. “I took a Greyhound bus down to Philadelphia; that’s how early it was,” Springsteen said with a laugh. “Anyway, we’re thinking of him.”