Bruce Springsteen has earned his live reputation in part by changing up his set lists from night to night, but he nonetheless has favorite songs that show up more often than others, as you’ll see in our below list of songs he’s played the most in concert.
The artist builds his shows around how he wants to best present new material, while also giving fans the songs they expect to hear. So, it’s perhaps not surprising that the cuts that he’s played the most are taken from three albums: Born to Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town and Born in the U.S.A. But list isn’t just a popularity contest; plenty of deep tracks are included, and there’s even a pair of songs stemming from the period after Springsteen brought back the E Street Band in the late ’90s.
The Top 25 includes not only concerts with the E Street Band but also solo tours, the Seeger Sessions folk project live shows from 2006, the so-called “Other Band” he performed with in 1992-93, Springsteen on Broadway and various sit-in dates and benefits.
Springsteen on Broadway turned out to be a major factor on the overall count, with 10 of the 25 songs on the list played at all 236 performances of the 2017-18 run and seven of the Top 8 – “Badlands” is the exception – featured in the production. Two of the numbers, “Growin’ Up” and “My Hometown,” reached the Top 25 because of Broadway, and “Land of Hope and Dreams” would have finished in 25th place instead of the upper half.
We’ve used Brucebase for our totals, though those who run the fan-sourced site acknowledge there are many inaccuracies and omissions in set lists from 1980 and earlier. For its part, Setlist.fm agrees on the Top 25, albeit with slightly different counts in most cases. However, the order of the songs is almost the same with an exception: Setlist notes 495 performances of “She’s the One” (24th place) while Brucebase lists 622 (18th).