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Concerts Rock

Bruce Springsteen Duets: 12 Great Performances with Classic Rock Icons

July 26, 2016 by Alyssa

Bruce Springsteen Live

Bruce Springsteen is one of the world’s best loved rock stars, and his work has been admired by fellow musicians for decades. Springsteen has in turn paid tribute to artists who came before him by performing countless covers at his legendary live shows. On occasion, the greats that he’s covering have joined him on stage, making for unforgettable concert moments for the lucky fans in attendance.

Here are 12 of the best Bruce Springsteen duets that he’s performed with a legion of rock and soul icons, from Billy Joel to Eddie Vedder and beyond.


“Because the Night” with Michael Stipe

Michael Stipe of R.E.M. has one of the most interesting, arresting voices in modern rock, and he’s lent his vocal talents to a handful of Bruce Springsteen duets. This cover of Patti Smith’s “Because the Night” is an especially moving collaboration between the two rock icons.


“Hold On, I’m Comin” and “Soul Man” with Sam Moore

Sam and Dave recorded some of the most influential soul songs in American history, so it was only fitting that Springsteen would pay tribute to the soul pioneers at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert. See him honor the legacy of the great soul duo in this duet featuring Sam Moore.


“Hungry Heart” with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

The impeccable harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young meld behind Springsteen’s powerful lead vocals on this live performance of “Hungry Heart.” Those warm folk harmonies, acoustic guitars, and an accompanying accordion put a decidedly folky spin on the Springsteen classic.


“I Saw Her Standing There” and “Twist and Shout” with Paul McCartney

To close out a set at 2012’s Hard Rock Calling festival, “The Boss” brought out Paul McCartney to perform two Beatles hits to the London crowd. The two back-to-back hits closed out the festival’s second night, when Springsteen and the E Street Band were forced off the stage after breaking sound curfew.

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” with U2

U2 has been one of the most influential rock bands of all time, and their legacy rivals Springsteen’s as one of the most powerful rock outfits in world music history. In 2009 the two acts came together in New York to perform a U2 classic at Madison Square Garden, to incredible results.


“My Hometown” with Eddie Vedder

During a Bruce Springsteen concert in Chicago, “The Boss” invited Pearl Jam frontman--and Chicago native--Eddie Vedder to perform a duet of “My Hometown” for the crowd. The two rock frontmen have performed on stage together many times, but this song is one of their best collaborations.


“New York State of Mind” with Billy Joel

In another clip from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th anniversary concert, Springsteen and his E Street Band bridged the divide between New York and New Jersey by inviting Billy Joel to share the stage at Madison Square Garden performing Joel’s hometown ode, “New York State of Mind.”


“Fortunate Son” with John Fogerty

John Fogerty has been a frequent collaborator of Springsteen’s, and the E Street Band has performed many Creedence Clearwater Revival classics on stage. In this video, before the band jumps into a performance of “Fortunate Son,” Springsteen speaks a few words in praise of Fogerty’s work.


“The River” with Sting

In this vintage concert footage, a young Springsteen and Sting share a microphone to sing “The River” on stage. The performance gives a perfect snapshot of these two rock icons in their heyday.

“Running On Empty” with Jackson Browne

The Jackson Browne track “Running On Empty” has become a classic rock staple since its release in 1977. When Browne played Springsteen’s home state in 2004, the New Jersey native came out in full force to deliver this hallmark of American songwriting to the crowd.


“Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” with Jon Bon Jovi

Two of the most powerful musicians to come out of New Jersey, Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi have become legendary icons of the “Garden State.” They’ve performed on stage together a handful of times, but this rendition of “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” is one of the best.


“Thunder Road” with Melissa Etheridge

This acoustic performance of “Thunder Road” was recorded for Melissa Etheridge’s MTV Unplugged set. Springsteen’s voice melds perfectly with Etheridge’s husky folk-inspired performance to bring out the softer side of this classic “Born to Run” track.

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