Watch Bruce Springsteen Remember Prince with Concert-Opening ‘Purple Rain’ Cover
Bruce Springsteen opened his concert tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with a mournful rendition of Prince's "Purple Rain." Watch a clip from the performance, which finds the Boss bathed in purple, below.
Guitarist Nils Lofgren handled the song's emotional closing solo, as Springsteen took the stage for the first time since the sudden death of Prince at just 57. He apparently began the show without comment, simply launching into the title track to Prince's 1984 chart-topping studio effort.
"Prince, forever," Springsteen said after the song. "God bless!" He then apparently shifted back to a previously planned presentation of The River, his 1980 album.
The two superstars' saw their careers reach a highpoint in the '80s at the same time, as Springsteen also released the No. 1 hit Born in the U.S.A. in the summer of 1984. Prince, for his part, shared a mutual admiration. "I admire the way he holds his audience – there's one man whose fans I could never take away," Prince told Rolling Stone in 1990. He fondly recalled how, "at one point, his band started going off somewhere. Springsteen turned around and shot the band one terrifying look. You know they got right back on it!"
Springsteen's tour in support of a new expanded reissue of The River continues on Monday at the same Brooklyn venue. In earlier shows, he's played similar tribute to rock legends who have also passed in 2016, including Glenn Frey (for whom he played "Take It Easy") and David Bowie ("Rebel Rebel").