Bruce Springsteen played a secret acoustic performance at the White House on January 12th, as a personal thank you to President Barack Obama and his staff for their work over the last eight years. Playing to around 250 members of the presidential staff in the White House’s East Room, the 67-year-old songwriter played a fifteen-song set including ‘Thunder Road’, Dancing in the Dark’ and ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’. He also dwelled on some of his more political material, including the oft-misinterpreted ‘Born in the U.S.A’.
Springsteen is a long-time champion of The Democratic Party, having played at Obama’s campaign rallies and during Hilary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Two months ago he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his social activism work.
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Springsteen was joined on stage by his wife, singer-songwriter Patti Scialfa, for the songs ‘If I Should Fall Behind’ and ‘Tougher Than The Rest’. The latter he dedicated to the Obama family themselves for all they had endured during their time in the White House. President Obama himself, a noted fan of Springsteen’s work, thanked him after the concert, saying “He’s been with us for some time now, performing his craft to show his support.”
In other news, Springsteen tribute band The B-Street Band have pulled out of their regular set at the Garden State Presidential Inauguration Gala, after playing it twice for Obama, out of respect for Springsteen’s concerns over incoming president Donald Trump. Springsteen has previously called Trump ‘a moron’ and ‘a tragedy’.