About all you have to do to make a Bruce Springsteen fan start salivating is say "Prove It All Night, 1978 version." That arrangement of the song, which he played during the Darkness on the Edge of Town tour, is justifiably legendary, and quite simply of the great performances in the history of rock 'n roll. With some variations (and thanks to YouTube, many '78 versions are now available), the song begins with a piano intro by Roy Bittan with Max on drums and Clarence on triangle, and then Bruce on guitar performing guitar pyrotechnics worthy of Tom Morello - the kind of stuff you don't see him do that much anymore, since Nils joined the band. Then the entire band joins in, until the music achieves a level of tension so high that you think the song just might crack in two. And all of that happens before Bruce actually starts singing the song.
He's begun playing the '78 version again in the last couple of years (but just every now and then), but it's not likely that the band will ever top the performances they gave 35 years ago (though I'd love to see them try).
Amazing stuff. "Prove It All Night," Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, from the summer of 1978.