My all-time favorite performance of Drive All Night is from Gothenburg, July 27th 2012 (The Wrecking Ball Tour). An unforgettable rendition that will forever be imprinted in my heart. The setting was perfect. 20 songs into the already epic show the song’s unmistaken piano intro silenced the audience, who turned dead quiet while bringing out their mobile phones, lighting up the venue. 66 000 people in a lovely moment of community. The band’s performance was flawless and Jake Clemons’ saxophone solo magnificent.
The lyrics of this song are about a love relationship that is ending. She has decided to break free and that makes him realise that he would give everything for just one more moment with her, even though she has moved on. He wants to close the distance and show her that he is ready to commit. He swears he’ll “drive all night again just to buy her some shoes”.
The shoes aren’t literal, though. The imagery indicates that this is a guy who is not about to give up without a fight. He wants to be with her and ultimately make whatever it takes to make her happy, but is it too late?
When I lost you honey, sometimes I think I lost my guts too
To me this is one of the most beautiful love songs Bruce Springsteen has ever written. However, it’s greatness is not in the lyrics but in that saxophone solo, a soaring affirmation of love, desire and yearning that encapsulates the feeling of the song. That AND Bruce’s haunting chant (which is so powerful and extended in the live versions) build and build the song until it bursts with emotion and another sax solo (I really ought to write a blogpost about epic sax solos).
You’ve got, you’ve got, you’ve got my, my love, girl, you’ve got my love, girl.
Through the wind, through the rain, the snow, the wind, the rain
Drive All Night is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and released on his 1980 album The River.
The Gothenburg performance above was released as an official video on Bruce Springsteen’s YouTube channel.