Bruce Springsteen staged a secret acoustic concert at the White House January 12th to reward President Barack Obama’s staff for their hard work over the past eight years, Backstreets revealed Wednesday.
The 15-song set took place in front of approximately 250 staffers in the White House’s East Room, where two months earlier Springsteen was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The set list for the unique performance leaned towards the singer’s more political works, and Springsteen frequently discussed politics and Obama’s impact between each song.
Before “Born in the U.S.A.,” Springsteen called the 1984 hit single a “protest song” and lamented that the track had been misinterpreted in the past, and it would continued to be misinterpreted in the future, Backstreets reports. He also played a triptych of “home” songs, “My Hometown,” “My Father’s House” and “Long Walk Home.”
Springsteen also dedicated “Tougher Than the Rest,” which also featured Patti Scalfia, to the Obamas for all they endured during their time in the White House. The concert concluded with the one-two punch of “Dancing in the Dark” and the optimistic “Land of Hope and Dreams.”
Following the concert, Obama thanked Springsteen. “He’s been with us for some time now, performing his craft to show his support,” the president told his staff.
Springsteen was also reportedly in attendance at the White House a week earlier when the Obamas threw one final star-studded bash, with Paul McCartney, Jerry Seinfeld, Beyonce and Jay Z, Solange, Chance the Rapper and many more celebrities present at that fete.
Bruce Springsteen White House setlist (via Backstreets):
“Working on the Highway”
“My Father’s House”
“The Promised Land”
“Born in the U.S.A.”
“Devils & Dust”
“Tougher Than the Rest” (with Patti Scialfa)
“If I Should Fall Behind” (with Patti Scialfa)
“The Ghost of Tom Joad”
“Long Walk Home”
“Dancing in the Dark”
“Land of Hope and Dreams”