Last night (April 21) in Asbury Park, N.J., Bruce Springsteen took a stand against hunger by donating all of the proceeds from a tour rehearsal show to World Hunger Year (WHY). Springsteen has long be

Last night (April 21) in Asbury Park, N.J., Bruce Springsteen took a stand against hunger by donating all of the proceeds from a tour rehearsal show to World Hunger Year (WHY). Springsteen has long been a supporter of the organization, which was co-founded in 1975 by late singer/songwriter Harry Chapin and Bill Ayres, a radio talk show host who is now WHY's executive director.

"Bruce has always been very good to us," Ayres told Billboard.com before the show. "He's a good friend to WHY."

Springsteen will further his commitment to WHY by participating in its Artists Against Hunger & Poverty (AAHP) program throughout the U.S. leg of his solo tour, which opens Monday in Detroit. In each of the 13 cities on the itinerary, a pair of tickets will auctioned to directly benefit a local community organization connected to WHY's Reinvesting in America network.

WHY is the also beneficiary of the Hard Rock International's latest Signature Series T-Shirt. Inspired by Springsteen with a drawing of one of the artist's favorite guitars, the shirt is available at Hard Rock locations in Europe and North America, as well as HardRock.com.

In an unrelated charitable offering, Musicians on Call and the Kristen Ann Carr Fund will also benefit from ticket auctions for each of the shows.

The first of two rehearsal shows at Asbury Park's Paramount Theater found Springsteen relaxed and conversational, playing only acoustic guitar and piano. As he premiered nine of the 12 songs from his new album, "Devils & Dust" (due Tuesday from Columbia), he took the time to put such numbers as "Black Cowboys," "Long Time Comin'," "Matamoras Banks" and "Silver Palomino" into context, explaining their origins and what they mean to him.

Springsteen also offered spare renditions of such favorites as "For You," "Tougher Than the Rest," "Lost in the Flood" and "Used Cars," and delivered a radical transformation of "Promised Land," from 1978's "The River," to close the show.

The second rehearsal show will be held today at 2 p.m. ET.

Here are Springsteen's U.S. tour dates and the organizations that will benefit from his participation in WHY's AAHP program:

April 25: Detroit (Fox Theatre; Capuchin Soup Kitchen)
April 28: Dallas (Nokia Theatre; North Texas Food Bank)
April 30: Phoenix (Glendale Arena; The Bridge)
May 2: Los Angeles (Pantages Theatre; Los Angeles Regional Food Bank)
May 3: Los Angeles (Pantages Theatre; People Assisting the Homeless)
May 5: Oakland, Calif. (Oakland Theatre; People's Grocery)
May 7: Denver (Convention Theatre; Food Bank of the Rockies)
May 10: St. Paul, Minn. (Xcel Energy Center; Second Harvest Heartland)
May 11: Chicago (Rosemont Theatre; Greater Chicago Food Depository)
May 14: Fairfax, Va. (Patriot Center; DC Central Kitchen)
May 15: Cleveland (CSU Convocation Center; Cleveland Food Bank)
May 17: Philadelphia (Tower Theatre; Greater Philadelphia Food Bank)
May 19: East Rutherford, N.J. (The Theatre at Continental Airlines Arena; Community Food Bank of NJ)
May 20: Boston (Orpheum Theatre; The Greater Boston Food Bank)

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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