Bruce Springsteen and his wife Patti Scialfa came together to perform two songs during the Jersey 4 Jersey COVID-19 emergency telethon, which benefits the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. “We are here tonight dedicated to our health care workers and those who have lost loved ones,” he said at the start of the program, “and to those who suffer and die from this terrible disease in our beloved state. “
They started with “Land of Hope and Dreams,” a moving song about the power and resilience of the human spirit that Springsteen wrote for the 1999 E Street Band reunion tour. It was followed by comments and performances by everyone from Jon Stewart, Chris Rock and Stephen Colbert to Halsey and Charlie Puth, who played a 1973 air cover of Springsteen “Growin ‘Up” on the piano.
Towards the end of the show, Springsteen and Scialfa returned to sing his beloved version of the 1980 song by Tom Waits, “Jersey Girl”. Unlike many previous interpretations of the song, including the famous Live box 1975–85 together, he did not sing the bonus verse “little kid” that he himself wrote. It’s the first time he’s performed the song in any capacity since 2016.
It was Springsteen’s first performance since his surprise appearance alongside Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers at the January 18 annual Asbury Park Light of Day fundraiser. He spoke of last year’s plans for a new album and a new E Street Band tour in 2020. The album’s status is unclear, but the tour will certainly not start until 2021 in earlier.