Bruce Springsteen didn't wait until his scheduled events to get into the swing of things at South By Southwest this week.
The New Jersey rocker, who's delivering South By Southwest's keynote speech on Thursday, with an "intimate" performance that night, made surprise (though widely rumored) guest appearance on Wednesday night at the Austin Music Awards. As Joe Ely, who was himself a guest with Alejandro Escovedo, asked "Is there a guitar player in the house? We need another guitar player," Springsteen walked on to join Ely, Escovedo and Garland Jeffreys for a set that included Jimmie Dale Gimore's "Midnight Train," Escovedo's "Always a Friend," the oft-modified folk standard "Goin' Down This Old Dusty Road (Don't Want to Be Treated This Old Way)" and the Rolling Stones' "Beast of Burden," with Springsteen smirking as he sang the line "am I rich enough?"
Fans began tweeting about Springsteen's possible cameo (he and Escovedo share management) earlier Wednesday, which led to some larger-than-usual lines outside the Austin Music Hall prior to the ceremony.
After leaving Austin, Springsteen and his E Street Band kick off their tour in support of his new album, "Wrecking Ball," on March 18 in Atlanta.
Photo Credit: BandFotos / Splash News