By Sarah Rodman
May 05, 2019 at 11:17 AM EDT
Credit: Al Pereira/WireImage

Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul were late into a scorching set Saturday night at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, celebrating their just released album Summer of Sorcery, when things got even hotter as they welcomed a guest: his E Street bandleader Bruce Springsteen.

Van Zandt’s partner in crime joined his stellar 15-piece band to help belt out three tunes.

Guitar-less and fancy free, a spirited and smiling Springsteen first traded verses with Van Zandt, erstwhile Sopranos mobster Silvio Dante, on his own “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” subbing “Little Steven” in the spot where he normally shouts out the late Clarence Clemons. The Disciples of Soul, replete with a 5-man horn section, three of the hardest working back-up singers we have ever seen and a nimble percussionist, were a perfect match for the swaggering classic. The pair, along with help from other band members, then performed Van Zandt’s anti-Apartheid anthem “Sun City.” (The 1985 protest song originally featured an insanely eclectic, star-studded line-up including everyone from Lou Reed to Run-DMC to Miles Davis to Hall & Oates to Springsteen himself, who reprised his lyrics from the song. No one attempted the rap passages.) They wound up their trio of songs, all of which they shared a microphone for, with a heartfelt take of “I Don’t Want to Go Home” by New Jersey brethren Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and penned by Van Zandt.

It was a thrilling capper to a sizzling show that highlighted the classic rock sounds of Van Zandt’s new album. The Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul world tour comes to the U.S. and Canada beginning June 29 in Syracuse.

Springsteen’s new album Western Stars is due for release June 14. On Sunday he was set to appear at Netflix’s FYSEE Experience to discuss his Springsteen on Broadway special with director Martin Scorsese.

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