The Petty Archives

Anti-nuke musings
By Toni Lenz
The Montclarion - Thursday, September 27, 1979

MUSE Concert | Madison Square Garden | Sept. 22
Even though this concert was billed as Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE), and didn't specifically mention any one artist, you knew everyone was there to see the one and only Bruce Springsteen. From the T-shirts emblazoned with his face, to the cries of "Bruce!!," you could tell.

Fans endured a mercifully short set by Raydio and their easily forgotten three songs. Then we were treated to another short set by Peter Tosh—complete with Arabian garb. Tosh performed a rousing reggae set, but had trouble whipping the crowd even into a mild frenzy.

Another break, where we were temporarily diverted with a boring, no-nukes film, during which Nixon was booed and the American Indian was cheered, followed.

Bonnie Raitt was next. She performed with Rosemary Butler, who as Bonnie put it, "May not be Bruce, but she's cute." And then, a very pleasant surprise—Jackson Browne came out to do a song extolling the virtues of alternate forms of energy with Bonnie and Rosemary.

"The warm power of the sun.
Restless power of the rain.
Strong power of the wind."

Tom Petty followed, doing a good job of pulling the crowd back to reality. His set was rocking, tight, and just the right amount of time (about half an hour). At this time, anticipaton was at the high point. Another wait, the crowd was in a wild, tense mood, alternately breaking into strong cries of "Bruce," and muttering about the wait. It was interminably long—about 45 minutes.

Finally, finally, finally... came Bruce (!!) bursting on with "Prove it All Night" and racing into "Badlands." He kept the crowd wild for an hour and a half, and probably could have for hours. Clarence Clemons (need it be said?—the saxophonist), resplendent in a white suit, was wildly cheered. A half-hearted attempt at "Happy Birthday" to Bruce was quickly abandoned when "The Boss" opened his mouth to sing.

At one point, the entire band turned around to play to the fans seated behind the stage. A nice gesture. Bruce zipped through "Rosalita" and finally encoured wkh "Born to Run," of course. Jackson Browne, Rosemary Butler, and Tom Petty came back onstage to do a resounding version of "Stay" with Bruce. And, of course we all did, until the very last light was turned on, and the very last roadie came out to dismantle the magical set.