Springsteen Plays Surprise Set At Asbury Park Fest

Thirty-minute acoustic show includes material bookending Boss' career.

Bruce Springsteen surprised festivalgoers in Asbury Park, New Jersey, this weekend with an acoustic set that included material bookending his nearly 30-year career.

The Boss showed up with his guitar and harmonica at the Clearwater Festival on Saturday afternoon after giving festival organizers about an hour's notice, according to the Asbury Park Press. His set included "Blinded by the Light," from his 1973 debut, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., and "My City of Ruins," a tune he debuted during a benefit concert at the city's Convention Hall in December (see "Springsteen Debuts New Song At Benefit Show").

Springsteen called the song "a prayer for my city" and praised a proposed waterfront development designed to revive this once-thriving oceanfront town. This weekend marked the first time the 26-year-old festival was held in Asbury Park, the newspaper said.

The 30-minute set also included "Land of Hope and Dreams," a Woody Guthrie-esque anthem that became a crowd favorite during Springsteen's 1999-2000 reunion tour with the E Street Band. The full-band version of the song appears on Live in New York City, which was released this spring.