The Agora was the best rock club in America. I've been to rock clubs in a lot of cities during the same period of time and nothing compared to what we had at East 24th Street.
Cleveland was in chaos at the time. City services were falling apart, the crime rate, everything. ... 1978 was the best of times and the worst of times. But the one thing that was happening — the most positive thing in Cleveland — was rock 'n' roll. If you were young, you knew you were living in the hotbed of rock 'n' roll.
Springsteen played much longer than he was supposed to. You can always tell a person who was really at that show because they get so passionate they'll talk your ear off. I've seen many, many, many concerts over the decades, and nothing compares to the electricity I saw that night. It was one of those things where the audience and the band were in a mind meld. Watching that show, it was just like one high after another. It just kept building and building, and building and building. ... Max Weinberg, the drummer, said it was the best concert they'd ever done in their life.
The only thing that went wrong that night is Springsteen did a second encore, which was "Twist and Shout," that did not get broadcast originally. Luckily, they ran tape on it. If you listen to the bootlegs, you'll hear that it's slightly different fidelity than the rest of it.
In those days, radio ratings were different. ... We were only rated for 16 weeks out of the year and this Springsteen concert happened outside of ratings. I remember it being a hot, sticky, rainy, kind of terrible August evening. So, people weren't outdoors. They were inside. Those radios had to be cranking everywhere.
— as told to Jim Vickers
Setlist: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band The Agora, Aug. 9, 1978
Spirit in the Night
Darkness on the Edge of Town
The Promised Land
Prove It All Night
Racing in the Street
Paradise by the "C"
Not Fade Away/Gloria/She's the One
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
Born to Run
Because the Night
Raise Your Hand
Twist and Shout