Bleachers, Bruce Springsteen Bring Jersey Flair to Radio City

Bruce Springsteen joined fellow Jersey native and Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff for a surprise performance at Radio City on Tuesday.

Bruce Springsteen Bleachers
Bruce Springsteen joined Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff on stage at Radio City Music Hall on Tuesday for a performance of "Chinatown." Photo courtesy of Hannah Turner

There was no shortage of New Jersey talent in Manhattan on Tuesday night.

Led by frontman Jack Antonoff, who grew up in New Milford and Woodcliff Lake, Bleachers performed at Radio City Music Hall. The six-time Grammy winner and his indie pop-rock band surely would have been enough to please the sold-out crowd—but Antonoff had a surprise waiting backstage.

Following a solo acoustic cover of “Jersey Girl,” a Tom Waits song Springsteen has famously covered, Antonoff brought out the Boss himself. Springsteen, manning his own guitar, was greeted with deafening “Bruuuce!” chants and an ovation. The two singers then played the Garden State–centric “Chinatown,” a 2020 Bleachers song featuring Springsteen.

Springsteen, who is preparing for his own massive international tour with the E Street Band, left the stage after the song, but not before hugging Antonoff. The multi-generational embrace between Jersey musicians kept the crowd roaring as Springsteen waved goodbye.

Bleachers stopped at Radio City as part of a tour supporting their 2021 album, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night. Springsteen and the E Street Band’s influences can be heard on the record, which includes “Chinatown,” the upbeat “How Dare You Want More,” and “Secret Life,” which features Lana Del Rey.

Bleachers’ current tour did not include any New Jersey dates, but the band still has two more Empire State shows this month, performing at ARTPARK Amphitheater in Lewiston on Wednesday, July 27, and then at the Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown on July 29. From there, it’s off to Montréal for the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival on July 30, followed by Ciderstock in Vermont and two shows in London.

Bleachers plans on returning to the United States and Canada before the end of the year, but no local shows are on the docket. Springsteen’s three-legged tour, meanwhile, kicks off in February next year. He’s set to play at Newark’s Prudential Center on April 14, 2023.

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