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Watch Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band cover ‘A Rainy Night in Soho’ in Ireland

The tribute to Shane MacGowan marked Springsteen's first performance of a Pogues song

By Andy Greene

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen (Picture: Press)

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band kicked off their Sunday night set in Kilkenny, Ireland, by covering the 1986 Pogues classic ‘A Right Night in Soho’ as a tribute to the late Shane MacGowan. It marked the first time in their history they covered a Pogues song.

When MacGowan died in November 2023, Springsteen penned a tribute. “Shane was one of my all-time favorite writers,” he wrote. “The passion and deep intensity of his music and lyrics is unmatched by all but the very best in the rock and roll canon. I was fortunate to spend a little time with Shane and his lovely wife Victoria the last time we were in Dublin. He was very ill, but still beautifully present in his heart and spirit. His music is timeless and eternal. I don’t know about the rest of us, but they’ll be singing Shane’s songs 100 years from now.”

Prior to the official start of the show, Springsteen took the stage alone at 5:05 pm to reward “the early birds” with his first performance of 1995’s “This Hard Land” since 2018. There were no surprises on the scale of “A Rainy Night in Soho” and “This Hard Land” throughout the rest of the night, but the group did break out tour rarities “Adam Raised a Cain,” “Seeds,” “If I Was the Priest,” and “Land of Hope and Dreams.”

The printed setlist featured the High Hopes song “Frankie Fell in Love,” which hadn’t been played since 2015 when Springsteen guested at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, New Jersey, with Joe Grushecky. He decided not to play it, but it’s a strong sign that it could be coming at a future show. Also on the printed setlist was “You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch),” which hasn’t been heard since 2017.

The Springsteen tour continues May 16 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork, Ireland, and wraps up July 27 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. An American leg begins on August 15 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It ends on November 22 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

From Rolling Stone.