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Bruce Springsteen Pays Tribute to David Bowie With ‘Rebel Rebel’ Cover at Tour Opener

Bruce Springsteen Pays Tribute to David Bowie With ‘Rebel Rebel’ Cover at Tour Opener

Bruce Springsteen performs with the E Street Band in the first stop of his River Tour 16 concert on Jan. 16, 2016, in Pittsburgh.
AP PHOTO/KEITH SRAKOCIC

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band gave “The River” its due during their North American tour opener Saturday night at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center. But they didn’t forget about David Bowie.

The group opened the encore portion of the 34-song, three-hour and 20-minute show with Bowie’s 1974 single “Rebel Rebel,” before which Springsteen told the crowd that, “We want to take a moment to note the passing of our good friend David Bowie.”

Springsteen noted that Bowie “supported our music back in the very beginning, ’73,” including covering “It’s Hard To Be a Saint in the City” and “Growing Up” and even inviting Springsteen to Philadelphia while Bowie was recording his “Young Americans” album. “We’re thinking of him,” Springsteen said before the band launched into the song.

Springsteen had tweeted a tribute to Bowie earlier in the week, and the band reportedly also worked on versions of “Suffragette City” and “Changes” during late-week rehearsals in Pittsburgh.

The River Tour continues Tuesday in Chicago and currently has North American dates booked through March 17 in Los Angeles. More shows in both North America and Europe have been widely rumored, but none have been formally announced yet.