Watch Now: Bruce Springsteen Busts Out “If I Was The Priest” for First Time Since 1972

Watch Now: Bruce Springsteen Busts Out “If I Was The Priest” for First Time Since 1972

Photo Credit: Will Blochinger 

Last night, Feb. 14, Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band brought their current tour to the Toyota Center in Houston. During the stacked performance, the ensemble dusted off “If I Was the Priest” for the first time in over 50 years. Prior to the evening’s notable bust out, the band kicked off their concert with a tour debut of “Night,” a number which initially appeared on The Boss’ celebrated Born to Run LP.  

After commencing their Lone Star State gig, the band moved into the second number of the night, a take on “No Surrender,” followed by “Ghosts” and “Prove It All Night.” The single set performance presented “Letter to You” ahead of “The Promised Land” and “Out in the Street.” Before the night’s bust out, Springsteen and company played “Candy’s Room” and “Kitty’s Back.” 

The evening’s most powerful moment occurred next and saw the bandleader address his audience before jumping into the choice number. Springsteen stated, “I wrote this song… I was 22… 50 years ago.” He continued, “I still don’t have a clue what the fuck it’s about.” The musician last performed the song live on May 2, 1972, at New York’s Gaslight Au Go Go, according to, and finally released the recording on his 2020 LP Letter To You

Following the night’s bust out, the band covered the Commodores’ “Nightshift” and Ben E. Kings’ “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)” before returning to original material–including a solo acoustic version of “Last Man Standing.” After continuing their frame with “Backstreets,” the ensemble played “Because the Night” before landing on “She’s The One,” “Wrecking Ball,” “The Rising,” and a set ending take on “Badlands.”

For the evening’s encore, the musicians began with “Thunder Road” followed by “Born to Run” and “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight).” After “Glory Days” and “Dancing in the Dark,” Springsteen followed with band introductions before “Tenth Avenue Free-Out.” To cap the show, The Boss performed a solo acoustic rendition of “I’ll See You in My Dreams.”

Following the group’s show in Houston, they will continue their tour tomorrow night, Feb. 16 at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas. To learn more about the artist’s upcoming tour dates, visit his official website.

Watch a fan-shot video of “If I Was the Priest” below. 

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Bruce Springsteen 

Toyota Center – Houston

Feb. 14, 2023

Set: Night, No Surrender, Ghosts, Prove It All Night, Letter to You, The Promised Land, Out in the Street, Candy’s Room, Kitty’s Back, If I Was the Priest, Nightshift, Don’t Play That Song (You Lied), The E Street Shuffle, Johnny 99, Last Man Standing, Backstreets, Because the Night, She’s the One, Wrecking Ball, The Rising, Badlands 

Enc.: Thunder Road, Born to Run, Rosalita (Come Out Tonight), Glory Days, Dancing in the Dark, Tenth Avenue Free-Out, I’ll See You in My Dreams


+ Bust out, last performed in 1972

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