As we look deeper into the history of the legendary Harvard Square Theater, the setting for the May 9th show, one thing that always stands out is the rarity of concerts held there. As a local movie theater, it was not one of the regular venues on tour routes.
When searching for who actually performed there, the two concerts we're certain occurred were Springsteen's "rock and roll future" show with Bonnie Raitt, and two months prior Van Morrison also played a well known set. Morrison had spent time in the area in the late 60’s, working on his masterpiece Astral Weeks, played with some Berkeley musicians, and he was looking to make a return visit. Though an established star by the mid 1970’s with hits like “Brown Eyed Girl” and “Moondance” he opted to play the small theatre as a kind of "thank you" to the area that had been his home several years before.
Barry Schneier was in attendance that night as well, capturing Morrison's moments on stage. Though likely not as well known a night in his career as opening for Bonnie Raitt was for Springsteen, the performance of Astral Weeks was critically acclaimed.
Legend has it that Bob Dylan was also one of the few to play a set at the Cambridge theater. Seen in this poster from his tour as the "Rolling Thunder Revue," he played in the late fall of 1975.
With the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, and Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen is not in bad company as one of the few to play the Harvard Square Theater stage.