The song was performed 3 times and once as a snippet:
Played during one show, with The Bruce Springsteen Band the sole act on the bill. This was opening night of 9-show residency that encompassed three of the four weekends in February. Southside Johnny was a guest on the first weekend. However Southside’s harp playing is only heard on one track, "Bright Lights, Big City".
1971-09-01 Garfield Park, Long Branch, NJ
One show, triple bill, with the five-member Bruce Springsteen Band headlining. The support acts for this show were originally Sweet Chariot and Tumbleweed, but it appears that the latter were replaced at the last minute by The Joe Hagstrom Squeak Band. This was an outdoor show orchestrated by Tinker West’s Blah Productions. Garfield Park is located at the intersection of Broadway and Ocean Ave, near the ocean. The line-up for this show is Springsteen, Van Zandt, Sancious, Tallent and Lopez. Although Bruce handles all the lead vocals, the performance is unusual in that Springsteen is on piano for most of these ten songs from this show. Sancious plays the organ and Steven Van Zandt handles much of the guitar chores. Tinker West guests on congas on "Dance Dance Dance" and the rousing finale "Jambalaya
" (which also features an unidentified walk-on troupe of backing vocalists consisting of inner circle troops and members of both undercard bands). Highlights of this show are "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
"(the only known Springsteen performance), as well as the only known audio of two Springsteen compositions.
during KITTY'S BACK
Early show: "Kitty's Back" includes a snippet of "Bright Lights, Big City" during a show in 1974. Two shows on one evening, double bill, with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band opening for headliner Bonnie Raitt. An excellent show that includes a unique cover of "I Sold My Heart To The Junkman
" . Performed by Bruce in the 'comedy mode' as recorded by The Starlets
in 1961, the likely inspiration.