News Updated September 23, 2022

WE HAVE A WINNER!
Thanks to everyone who took part in the raffle earlier this week by donating to TeachRock. We have high regard — eight miles high — for Stevie Van Zandt's non-profit, and every dollar of the funds raised directly benefits their work, improving students' lives by bringing music into the classroom.

Congratulations to the Golden Ticket Charity Package Grand Prize recipient, Rachel Ascher from NYC, who won 2 tickets to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's 2023 Tour opener in Tampa, with an overnight stay at the Tampa Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and more.

A Golden Ticket Runner-up Prize went to Tracey Powell of Maryland — that's an Asbury Park getaway including a night at the Asbury Hotel plus two tickets to TeachRock's October 9 Party at the Pony with Max Weinberg's Jukebox, Southside Johnny, and Little Steven's Undergound Garage Sale.

We'll be doing more with TeachRock to help put 2023 Tour tickets in the hands of fans, so stay tuned.
- September 22, 2022


WEEKEND WATCH

It was an inversion of the Rolling Stone Interview on Tuesday night, with Bruce Springsteen asking the questions of magazine founder Jann Wenner, on stage in front of an audience at the 92nd Street Y. The hour-long conversation was sparked by the Wenner's new memoir published that day. Caryn Rose reported on the paid livestream for us below; now the video has been made available online via Facebook — watch here.
- September 16, 2022 - photo by Michael Priest Photography


ICYMI: TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR STAND UP FOR HEROES 2022
Bruce Springsteen will return yet again to play this year's Stand Up For Heroes benefit, the 16th annual Bob Woodruff Foundation fundraiser held November 7 in NYC.

Along with returning regulars Springstenn and Jon Stewart, also on the 2022 bill are Amber Iman, The Lumineers, Hasan Minhaj, Jeff Ross, and Iliza Shlesinger.

For anyone mainly interested in seeing Springsteen's traditional four-songs-and-some-dirty-jokes set, the SUFH price of admission has always been high; now, it's more in line with what it costs to see the Boss. Of course, it's all for an excellent cause: honoring and assisting our nation's impacted veterans and their families. Plus, a military discount is available for service members, veterans, and first responders.

Stand Up for Heroes 2022 will be held at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. Full details are here, including links for both general tickets and for the military discount.
- September 16, 2022


A FIVE-STAR EVENT WITH SPRINGSTEEN AND WENNER

One memoirist to another: How does it feel?
"We're both old men, attempting to gracefully face our extinction," is how Bruce Springsteen began his conversation with his friend Jann Wenner, founder and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine, at the 92nd Street Y in New York City Tuesday evening. The hour-long discussion between the two old friends was on the publication of Wenner's memoir, Like a Rolling Stone.

Bruce looked sharp, sporting the salt-and-pepper, short-back-and-sides hairstyle he's been favoring recently, and he commenced the evening by unselfconsciously donning a pair of clear-rimmed spectacles. He carried with him a turquoise, five-subject, spiral-bound notebook with a pen clipped to the inside, and he flipped back and forth between his notes in the pages to direct the conversation, which he executed with an excellent sense of pacing and aplomb.

"I am not actually an interviewer," Bruce insisted. "I am really here to throw Jann some softballs and get a couple of stars extra on my next album review." There was some nervous laughter in response to that.

Let's be honest — most people who attended in-person were there for the opportunity to spend a block of time in a small room with Bruce Springsteen. The two chums could have just jawed back and forth for an hour, and most folks would have been fine with it. (Maybe the people who shelled out $60 to watch the livestream less so.) But Bruce had read the book, had clearly prepared talking points, and also had the key interviewing skill of listening to the answers he was getting and changing his tack on the fly.

Wenner is by no means a difficult interview, but Springsteen kept the conversation focused while also occasionally sharing some insightful bon mots. "I once had a late-night conversation with [Bob] Dylan," Bruce recalled, the two songwriters sharing a couch. "He said that timing had an enormous amount to do with the impact that he had at that particular moment."

The pair discussed Wenner's skills as an editor, comparing the role to that of an album producer — a skill that Bruce freely admitted he did not have. Wenner noted, "Jon Landau would tell me that what he did in great part for you was that he edited you." They spoke about various Rolling Stone writers that they both admired, and people Wenner had interviewed over the years, including a discussion of his interview with President Obama the day after the 2016 election.

And then, of course, Springsteen couldn't resist coming back to one of his opening salvos: "People always wonder, when you become friends with the people you're writing about…" he began his question, leading to a softball convo about how Wenner loves music so much and was such a "crazy fanboy, he couldn't help himself."

"You know, if you want to give back a star to people — give us a little air. You may have gotten more five stars than anybody, but your records are so damn good," Wenner gushed. "No artist has ever really asked me to do anything I wouldn't want to do."

In turn, Bruce shared that while he was not asked to review Wenner's memoir, if he did, he would have given it an extra star. (I guess we can all imagine how many stars the next Springsteen album, news of which Wenner "leaked" in an interview he gave for the book, will likely get from Rolling Stone.)

There was also some light sparring about how Rolling Stone wouldn't put Bruce on the cover around the time of Born to Run, Wenner pointing out that Springsteen's appearance on the covers of both Time and Newsweek put him firmly outside of the counterculture Rolling Stone represented. He also shared that there was endless gossip in the New York City publishing world at that time: "How did they do that??!"

An area where Bruce was once again quite masterful was in parsing the audience questions. They had to be submitted on 3x5 cards (so no chance for "more of a comment than a question" or declarations of how Bruce's music has been the soundtrack of someone's life), and judging by the small pile he was holding, someone at the event vetted them. But he did pick thoughtful questions, and it was doing great until he got to this one: "What are the five most impactful records? Let's just say for you," Bruce said. He made a goofy face, and the audience laughed. "Go ahead," he continued. "Pretend I'm not sitting here." Wenner offered a vaguely amusing story about Bob Dylan asking about Bruce before saying it was impossible to name just five albums.

The event ended at 8pm on the dot, and Bruce helped his friend offstage, thus obviating any chance for a gaggle of the well-heeled (who else is paying $100 for one hour of conversation?) to rush the stage for high fives or autographs.

In another lifetime, this event would have been overpriced but mostly benign; it would be easy to just look at it as "two old friends are having a chat, and they're both doing favors for friends." But that was before we were presented the opportunity to spend $500 to sit behind the stage. Now it feels more like, "two really rich guys charged a bunch of people who are fairly well-off a fair amount of money for a free book (gotta juice those sales numbers) and some elevated dinnertime conversation, on the pretense that it's going to raise money for an organization that sits in one of the toniest zip codes in Manhattan and that both interviewer and interviewee could have each literally written a personal check for the same amount of money that it raised for the Y," and it feels kind of strange.
- September 14, 2022 - Caryn Rose reporting - all photos by Michael Priest Photography


JAKE CLEMONS, ARTISTIC ACHIEVER
E Street saxophonist for a decade and a dedicated performer for much longer than that, Jake Clemons has entertained and moved audiences from living rooms (at intimate house parties) to massive stadiums (with the E Street Band), and venues of every size in between.

Monmouth Arts, a non-profit based in Red Bank, New Jersey, has taken notice: at its "Cheers to 50 Years of Art" Golden Celebration coming up on September 23, the Monmouth County arts advocacy organization will be honoring Jake with the Artistic Achievement Award in Musical Arts.
 
Backstreets contributor Anna Selden caught up with Jake to discuss this upcoming honor, his plans for the rest of 2022, and the 2023 Tour with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

From Monmouth County to the Yukon, and soon around the world
with E Street: "I'm ready to go back to school!"
Continue HERE to read our new interview with Jake

- September 14, 2022 - photograph by Jerry Frishman, Vienna, VA, July 23, 2022

WIN A "GOLDEN TICKET" PACKAGE FOR TAMPA 2/2/23
TeachRock x Backstreets raffle will get winner +1 in for opening night

Steven Van Zandt's TeachRock is holding a series of raffles, for Golden Ticket charity prize packages.

This week, Backstreets has partnered with TeachRock for their latest giveaway raffle, with one lucky Backstreets reader receiving a "Golden Ticket" package for two, to attend opening night in Tampa, February 1, 2023.

Donate to TeachRock.org today, and you could win:

  • Two (2) premium seats or GA/pit tickets (winner's choice) for 2/1/23, opening night in Tampa, FL
  • One-night deluxe accommodations at the Tampa Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
  • Deluxe breakfast for two on 2/2/23 at the Tampa Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

Enter the "Golden Ticket Tampa" TeachRock/Backstreets Raffle at https://bit.ly/gttampa

Each $25 donation is one chance to win and is also a tax-deductible contribution that puts the arts center-stage in students' lives!

The raffle is open for entries now and ends 9/20 at 11:59 am. We'll announce the winner here on Backstreets.com. 
- September 13, 2022

LET'S TRY THIS AGAIN
Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes
The Stone Pony Summer Stage
September 4, 2022
There's no better way to spend the Fourth of July in Asbury Park than watching Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes rock The Stone Pony Summer Stage under warm New Jersey skies.

Well, that was the idea two months ago, anyway. Mother Nature had other plans.

On the day of July 4, rain and high winds were called for all day long. The band, and the Stone Pony, had to make a decision about the show that night. So, around 2 pm, the gig was canceled and rescheduled for September 4 instead – Labor Day Weekend. Canceled, too, were the fireworks planned for the city that night.

Then a funny thing happened on the way too Little Eden…. The wind and rain never came! The Fourth of July ended up being a beautiful night in New Jersey.

Fast-forward two months, and this time everything went off beautifully. A warm New Jersey Sunday turned into a splendid, breezy Asbury Park night with Southside and 3,000 of the bands' closest friends rockin' the summer away.

Wearing his familiar US Soccer ringer tee shirt and faded jeans, Southside kicked it into full gear right off the bat, opening with "Better Days." From there, he and his band launched into 24 more songs for a truly exceptional setlist, along with some special guests.

Whether he was chatting with the crowd, playing his harmonica, or mugging with band leader Jeff Kazee [above], Johnny seemed to be enjoying the evening and the Stone Pony crowd.

Special guests, there were a few: Bobby Bandiera (guitar on "Without Love"); vocalist Layonne Holmes (vocals on "Be My Baby"); Jim Mastro (guitar on "I Don't Want to Go Home"); Joe Bellia (drums on "Another Saturday Night"); Ian Gray (trombone on "We're Having a Party").

So, while everyone had to wait a couple of months, the wait was worth it!

Setlist courtesy of the Jukebox: Southside Johnny Fanzine Facebook page:

Better Days
Angel Eyes
Can't Find My Way Home/Forever
Love on the Wrong Side of Town
Broke Down Piece of Man
Passion Street
All the Way Home
Woke Up This Morning
Coming back
Walk Away Renee
Don't Waste My Time
Without Love
We'll Make This World Stand Still (sung by Johnny and Bobby)
Loving Cup (sung by Jeff with Neal Pawley on backup vocals)
Be My Baby (Layonne Holmes)
Don't Worry Baby (Layonne Holmes)
You Mean So Much to Me (sung by Johnny and Layonne)
Ride the Night Away
This Times It's For Real
The Fever
Talk to Me
I Don't Want to Go Home
* * *
Say Goodbye to Hollywood (Layonne Holmes)
Another Saturday Night
We're Having a Party

- September 7, 2022 - Report and photographs by Mark Krajnak / JerseyStyle Photography


NOW ON LEGENDARY E STREET BAND: "THE UTILITY PLAYERS"
With Labor Day this week and the race for spots in baseball's post-season in full swing, what better time for E Street Radio's monthly series Legendary E Street Band to salute the various hard-working folks who've served as the E Street Band's "utility players" over the years?

Host Greg Drew describes this week's new episode as spotlighting both "the firsts and the fill-ins." This means you'll hear tracks and commentary focused on the likes of Ernest "Boom" Carter, Tom Morello, and Jay Weinberg (pictured above with his temporary employer/manager). You'll also hear from and about founding E Street Band members Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez and David Sancious, who of course made major, lasting contributions to the band despite relatively short stints, and newer players like Jake Clemons and Charles Giordano. And hey, let's not forget all of those horn players and other musicians like Curtis King, Eddie Manion, Cindy Mizelle, Soozie Tyrell, and others who have augmented the E Street sound.

Legendary E Street Band's "Utility Players" Edition debuted on Labor Day,
exclusively on E Street Radio (SiriusXM channel 20), with replays scheduled as follows (all times ET):

  • Wednesday, September 7 – 10 am
  • Thursday, September 8 - 6 pm
  • Saturday, September 10 - 4 pm

- September 6, 2022 - Shawn Poole reporting – photograph of Bruce Springsteen and Jay Weinberg (recently named Metal Drummer of the Year in Modern Drummer's 2022 Readers Poll) courtesy of @jayweinbergdrum


LIVE FROM "THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CITY IN THE WORLD
Rome 2006, the eighth of eight Italian shows, today comes all the way home
It was a very lucky year for Italian fans in 2006: for the first time in a Springsteen relationship that had endured since 1985, Bruce played eight shows in eight different cities in Italy, a surprising number that rivaled only the U.K. in terms of concerts that year on European soil. If we also consider that, by now, fans overseas have not had a visit from Springsteen for six years (which will stretch to seven), then we really have to think of those as glory days for us Italians who couldn't get enough.

Zooming out a bit in tour history reveals further glory: in 2005 there was the acoustic tour following Devils & Dust, then the 2006 tour with the Sessions Band, followed by the first Magic leg in 2007, the second in 2008, and in 2009 back again for Working on a Dream: a real Springsteen bonanza!

I was among the fortunate ones who took advantage of those wealthy times, and I'm therefore very excited that the new Live Archive release is one of those eight Italian stops of the Sessions tour: Rome, Italy, October 10, 2006 at the Palalottomatica arena, where I was among the lucky audience members (together with my rockin' mom and aunt!).

This is only the third Live Archive set from that tour, following the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival show from 4/30/06 (released December 2017), and London's Wembley Arena from 11/11/06 (released in August 2020). And while the Sessions setlists might not be as diverse compared to other tours, there are still hidden gems here to make fans happy, not to mention a wonderful performance.

The Italian Springsteen audience is known to be one of the warmest in the world, and for this final night of an Italian residency of seven concerts starting October 1 (previously, there was a Milan stop during the first leg of the tour), it was clear from the first song that the Roman audience had studied the album well and was ready to go along with Bruce as if an 18th (!) member of the band.

This is evident after the very first notes of songs like "Old Dan Tucker," "Erie Canal," or "Mrs. McGrath"  — not necessarily anthems as as powerful as "Born to Run," let's say, but the audience invariably anticipates the band and sings the instrumental riffs at the top of their lungs. The Italian fans are just as enthusiastic with the claps and call-and-response chants that accompany wilder moments like "American Land," "My Oklahoma Home," or "Pay Me My Money Down."

These songs may not be part of the national DNA in Italy as they were for the Live in Dublin audience, but just as with The Ghost of Tom Joad, local audiences here have always been very curious about folk and traditional influences on Springsteen's lyrics, music, and politics. In this regard, I clearly remember a few days prior to this show, October 7, participating in a serious seminar entitled "My Hometown: Bruce Springsteen's America" in a theater in Rome, with American literature professors such as the renowned scholar (and Springsteen fan) Alessandro Portelli discussing Bruce's place in the American musical and literary tradition.

Obviously, in addition to the studying and analysis, with Bruce it's also about abandon and enthusiasm. And for that you won't need to go further than the impromptu chant on "All the Way Home," a song played here for the first time. It has only appeared in concert twice since — a minor song, perhaps, but it's welcomed as a classic. (Bruce introduces "All the Way Home" by saying he's happy to be in the "most beautiful city in the world," a statement that he will reiterate every time he'll play Rome, from stadiums to theaters to the Circus Maximus.)

Same thing happens with "Growin' Up," dedicated to a child bearing a "Growin' Up with Bruce" sign: although completely reimagined compared to the original album version, the audience is still ready to sing its "Ooh, ooh, growin' up" refrain at precisely the right time.

These seven Italian shows were the first concerts of the tour after a very long break (the band had July through September off), and therefore the setlist sees very welcome fresh entries. Bruce offers new traditionals arranged with great skill as well as new selections from his own repertoire not yet subjected to the "Sessions treatment."

Among the first of these — officially released here for the first time — is "Long Black Veil," already interpreted by masters such as The Band and Johnny Cash, which here finds a soulful interpretation in the warm voice of Marc Anthony Thompson, who alternates with Bruce singing the verses, as he will also do later in the beautifully lulling version of "When the Saints Go Marching In."

Among the revisited classics I surely must mention the brand new version of "The River" (premiered in Bologna on October 1). Though blasphemous to some purists, "The River" is transformed into a majestic march that seems to have been born in Scotland's highlands. For those who didn't have the pleasure of witnessing it live, this Live Archive release is the first official opportunity to hear this radical arrangement.

"Long Time Coming," also fully rearranged, is another great entry for a cut that would have deserved more outings with the E Street Band. As during the Devils & Dust tour, the last verse is performed with only sparse guitar and Bruce's voice over a silent and respectful audience before a roar at the line, "I ain't gonna fuck it up this time."

The concert goes on between magnificent horn jams ("Open All Night," "Jacob's Ladder," "Pay Me My Money Down") and ballads of pain and reconstruction such as "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" (dedicated to New Orleans) and "My City of Ruins," with the horn arrangement and final a cappella choir that will later be replicated with the E Street Band.

The finale, after the emotion of "Saints," includes a thank-you speech to the Italian fans, mentioning all the cities they traveled through, and it's all about unbridled fun and liberation. "This Little Light of Mine" is a true highlight, and "American Land" still fresh and unreleased at that moment, not yet a perhaps-overplayed staple of future encores.

The Bruce Springsteen of Rome 2006 was a 57-year-old man who seemed to have no desire to indulge in nostalgia, experimenting with different formats such as the solo shows of the year prior and this immersion in folk roots, before returning with new and politically engaged rock the following year. This release is an excellent opportunity to rediscover that phase of his career, and to remember with pleasure those days when it was possible to see Bruce live five years in a row… while many of us patiently wait for the chance to do it again next year.

Also read: Erik Flannigan's latest nugs.net blog entry, "A Fresh Map That I Made"

- September 2, 2022 - Guglielmo Latini reporting - all photographs, including the cover image, by Rene van Diemen from Italian performances in 2006

A MOUNTAIN OF LOVE FROM MOJO
Check newsstands before it goes away for MOJO Magazine #346, the September '22 edition, for a Bruce Springsteen cover (an outtake from Eric Meola's Born to Run sessions) and a couple of Boss features inside.

The cover story counts down Springsteen's "50 Greatest Songs" — minor spoiler alert, the #1 ranked song is not "Born to Run" or "Thunder Road."

There's also a new David Fricke article on Nebraksa — "the Boss's strangest album," they say. —  in time for the 40th anniversary of its release.

If you can find a copy with the free covermount CD included, Cover Me: The Springsteen songbook is a smart roundup of 15 songs Springsteen has covered, many of them concert favorites, as recorded by the original artists. The tracklist is weighted heavily toward soul/R&B selections — see below.


- August 24, 2022

WEINBERG TO BE HONORED IN THE NJHOF'S CLASS OF 2022
Congratulations to Mighty Max Weinberg: the E Street Band drummer since 1974 will be inducted this fall into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, which highlights the "best and brightest" of the Garden State.

Since the E Street Band as a whole was welcomed into the NJHOF in 2012, Max has already enjoyed the honor of induction, but he'll be celebrated this fall as an individual. One of 12 inductees in the Class of 2022, Newark, NJ's Weinberg is described as "drummer and television personality" in the Performing Arts category, along with Livingston, NJ's Chelsea Handler.

"Max has reached the pinnacle of his music profession," says NJHOF President Steve Edwards, "not to mention his contribitions to the Conan O'Brien show and his charitable endeavors."

Max will join several of his individual bandmates and Jersey Shore musicians in the Hall of Fame, including Bruce Springsteen (Class of 2008), Steven Van Zandt (Class of 2017), and Southside Johnny Lyon (Class of 2018).

The 14th Annual Induction Ceremony will be virtual, with specific dates and times airing on multiple dates across multiple channels) to be announced after Labor Day. The New Jersey Hall of Fame has confirmed the airings will take place between late October and mid-November. Viewers will be able to watch broadcast on My9NJ and on NJ PBS, Facebook and other prominent social media platforms.
- August 8, 2022


OUT WHERE THE PINES GROW
August 19 shines, as Live Archive expands coverage of Meadowlands '84
In 1984, hot on the heels of the Born in the U.S.A. album released June 4, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band embarked on a tour that often boasted multi-day stops in one city. For New Jersey, it was practically a residency that summer: an unprecedented ten nights at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford.

Known throughout the years by various names — Meadowlands Arena, Continental Airlines Arena, the Izod Center — the swamps-of-Jersey venue hosted the Born in the U.S.A. juggernaut beginning August 5 and concluding on August 20.

Today's release, Brendan Byrne Arena, August 19, 1984, joins those two shows in the Live Archive series, and August 6 as well, as the fourth official live release from the Meadowlands summer stand. The concert was one of 55 the band has played there to date, more than any other venue.

The Born in the U.S.A Tour featured a shift for the E Street Band. It was the first tour after Steven Van Zandt left the band (though he made guest appearances, including a big one on August 20) and was replaced as lead guitarist by Nils Lofgren. The tour also saw the addition of Patti Scialfa on vocals and percussion.

Like the other nights at Brendan Byrne, the show opened with "Born in the U.S.A." and included '84 staples like "Out in the Street," "Atlantic City," fan-favorite "Jungleland," and the "Detroit Medley" (tagged with Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Travelin' Band"). But given the duration of the run, Bruce and the band switched up the setlist each night, offering variety while keeping the focus on material from both albums released since their previous tour, Nebraska and Born in the U.S.A.

The New Jersey concerts also featured a number of collaborations, from Red Band Rockers vocalist J.T. Bowen (who joined for "A Woman's Got the Power" on August 9) and The Who's John Entwistle (who played bass on "Twist and Shout," August 11). On August 19, the special guest appearance came from the Miami Horns, beefing up "Tenth Avenue Freeze-out" as well as the onslaught of covers in the encore. This was the first of three pop-ins the horns would make that summer, followed the very next night by a memorable turn on "Drift Away" for the stand's finale.

You've heard this night's "Reason to Believe" before, as the Live/1975-85 box sourced the performance from 8/19; the most notable song selection on this Sunday night followed, as the third of a Nebraska three-pack: "My Father's House." This was one of the earliest performances of "My Father's House," a key track from the 1982 solo record that was, until Springsteen on Broadway, one of the album's lesser-performed numbers. In fact, it's one of only five plays for the entirety of the Born in the U.S.A. tour.

As the song begins, cheers dissipate and fans fall almost silent, hanging onto every word of the song's childhood dream narrative. On playback, you can take yourself into the moment as Bruce's voice and story ring throughout the hushed arena.
Continuing on, the inherent fun of an E Street Band show begins to prevail. "Glory Days" includes two bars of "Out of Limits," while "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" gains from bits of "Come a Little Bit Closer" as an introduction to "Hail to the Chief" in the midsection.

Another thing that just sets this concert aside from others: Bruce and the band sound more rehearsed after 27 shows, since starting on June 29 in St. Paul. Moreover, they're at home: a relaxed feeling comes through, as a reminder of being connected to the music and spending time with old friends.

From the stamina he displays to Bruce's notably gruff voice, a youthful, raw sound carries the music here, as if the band were still in its infancy — nearly 40 years on and some 20 years into the Reunion era, one could argue that they were. Compared with No Nukes just five years earlier, here the music is more refined as the band continued to find its groove — not to mention some newly prominent synths. Nights like this were just the start of something for Bruce, as his audience expanded (the Born in the U.S.A. tour would continue for another year), the venues and homecoming stands got even larger, as he experimented more, growing in recent years to playing "Royals" by Lorde and collaborating with everyone from U2 to Coldplay to Paul McCartney.

Also read: Erik Flannigan's latest nugs.net blog entry, "A Beacon Calling Me in the Night"

- August 5, 2022 - Katie Smolen reporting


Snapshot of the July 22 offering for Greensboro, NC, 42 minutes into the Verified sale. Many seats behind the stage were selling for less than the "mid-$200 range" stated average, while "pit" tickets surpassed the $2,0000 mark.

JON LANDAU RESPONDS TO TICKETING CONTROVERSY 
Despite "commentary," Springsteen manager asserts tickets are fairly priced
After onsales from Tampa to Tulsa brought unprecedented tales of woe from fans seeking tickets for the 2023 Bruce Springsteen tour, manager Jon Landau released a statement. In short, the market-based system works as intended.

Quoted in a larger piece billed as an exclusive in the New York Times, Landau addressed fans' ongoing frustration with the dynamic pricing platform, stating that the prices for the U.S. 2023 tour came after looking "carefully at what our peers have been doing," then setting them "lower than some and on par with others."

In defending the arrangement, Landau said while a "modest" number of tickets priced above $1,000 did appear for sale, the "true average ticket price has been in the mid-$200 range."

"I believe that in today's environment," Landau concluded, "that is a fair price to see someone universally regarded as among the very greatest artists of his generation.

The Times story, written by personal finance columnist Ron Lieber (who stated in the column that he's a "longtime" Springsteen fan), explored the past week's events with a mix of voices, scenarios, and the "confusion" around the pricing environment: "Dynamic pricing isn't new, though it was new to plenty of Mr. Springsteen's fans this month," Lieber wrote.

And still more will see it in action, as sales continue this week.

- By the Editors - July 27, 2022

CRYIN' OUT THE CRAZY IN NYC
Last night at Radio City Music Hall, Bruce Springsteen showed up to surprise a clearly elated Bleachers audience, joining Jack Antonoff and band for the song they recorded together in 2020, "Chinatown."

From 2020, you can also see Springsteen in the song's official video and a 2020 rooftop performance at Electric Lady studio.
- July 27, 2022

FREEZE-OUT
Lord won't you tell us, tell us what does it mean?
It's four in the morning and raining. We're feeling old, listening to the outcries of fans feeling similarly betrayed by last week's ticket sales, and remembering that things were different a decade ago.

Because we know our audience, the fans, and count ourselves among them, it feels unnecessary to recap here what transpired on Wednesday when Ticketmaster's first U.S. onsales for the 2023 Tour left many Bruce Springsteen fans in a state of shocked disbelief.

But if you need a catch-up we can point you to Variety, industry observer Bob Lefsetz, or to practically any news outlet of your choice to get the broad strokes of what happened. Call it what you like: market pricing, dynamic pricing, surge pricing, Platinum pricing. Just don't call it The New Normal.

Please.

From our point of view, this so-called premium, algorithm-driven model violates an implicit contract between Bruce Springsteen and his fans, one in which the audience side of the equation appeared to truly matter — and in fact was crucial. We believed it because he told us repeatedly it was true. We can imagine Lefsetz and others, perhaps, snickering here, but we still know our audience: we've all been made to feel we're part of an ongoing conversation, one in which we were all "in concert," a vital element of the formula: "If you're here, and we're here… they're here."

If you're not here… where does that leave them?

This past week, too many Springsteen fans got thrown to the wolves, pushed aside in a way that seems as unfathomable as it was avoidable. The artist has maintained that he understands the essential role of his audience. How, then, did we end up facing, in far too many instances, prices for tickets that exceeded normalcy, then departed from reality entirely by orders of magnitude?

One might cite inflation, market value, or any number of factors; we'd argue that it can't be "market forces” when supply is purposefully obfuscated, then manipulated by the platform of distribution. But from our point of view, it boils down to the stark difference between inside and outside. So many fans who have always gone to the shows, who have always been part of This Thing of Ours, now can't go, will not be inside, will not be part of the conversation, purely because they can't pay the cost to see the Boss.

Bruce Springsteen tickets have been historically and notoriously difficult to obtain. That's the nature of the beast, with so many wanting to witness the power and the glory of rock 'n' roll, and relatively few seats to hold them. But the issue has rarely been the money.

Over many years, there have been continuous, clear efforts made by the Springsteen camp to keep things fair and as fan-centric as possible, to foil scalpers, to give average concert-goers and fans the best shot at a reasonable price in a world where bots run rampant and scalpers rule.

For decades, Springsteen kept his ticket prices significantly lower than what the market might bear, which felt in keeping with his brand, his stated philosophies, his belief in community, and his clear view of what a concert was supposed to be, as for three hours or so — and sometimes more — he and the band gave us a glimpse of a better world.

The tent over E Street has always been big, inviting, and open, but what about the question he began to ask in 2012… are we missing anybody? After this week, it sure appears the answer has changed.

What were we to think when we made it through the queue on Wednesday morning to find that tickets — initial sales, not resales — were on offer for thousands of dollars? In the past, no matter how difficult tickets were to score, persistence paid off. Now, it seems, persistence just ratchets the algorithm up another notch. Or four.

Surely, these multi-thousand-dollar prices were not intended or anticipated, many of us thought. Some assert the algorithm got out of control — are we sure that it was ever in control? We'd never expect Ticketmaster to balk at making money, but surely, many believed, Springsteen would put a stop to it and demand adjustments to the system, if not an overhaul, before the next onsale. Friday came with a general repeat of circumstances and even more fans in disbelief.

As recently as last month's European offering, we've seen Ticketmaster cancel an onsale when conditions called for it and reschedule for the following day. So if these prices were unintentional, it's hard to imagine a good reason for the second onsale, let alone a third. For the ticketsellers, the end result of dynamic pricing must be a feature and not a bug.

And that is a foundation-breaking, worldview-shaking notion.

Wait a minute. We thought it was raining. Is it not raining? That might be a takeaway from data Ticketmaster just shared with us, suggesting that the rain is an illusion. Variety reports these Ticketmaster-provided stats, a series of figures that don't quite add up appear to tell the full story, that obscure more than clarify. [Update: Representatives for the tour production company confirm the accuracy of the figures provided.] If nothing else, the data shared say nothing about outrageously priced tickets fans declined in horror, only telling us what did sell. In the end, these numbers only leave us with more questions. The biggest one being, if it's not raining, why are we getting soaked?

At a time when we needed to feel hope and promise — when the world seems on fire, when we've suffered through escalating deception, greed, fear, isolation, racial strife, violence, "alternative facts,” democracy literally under threat, and an ongoing global pandemic — we're left feeling further disillusioned, downhearted, and dispirited.

But the ideals Springsteen's music puts forward — they're still alive, aren't they? Whether in the grooves or in concert, wherever those guitars ring out? In our shared spirit? If one can't say yes — if only for a few hours every so often — then maybe the magic really is just tricks.

Springsteen has been paid a king's ransom, and we've never begrudged him that, either. Not the reported $500 million sale of his life's work, which hardly fazed us, not the Broadway prices, not the Jeep commercial. We believe in the value of his music, his work; those other transactions and the arenas in which they take place feel beyond our purview.

What happens in the actual physical arenas, where every few years Springsteen and his audience come together to create something bigger than all of us — and everybody has a decent shot to be part of it, at a reasonable price — that's something that remains worth fighting for. Because in rock 'n' roll, as we've come to believe, one plus one does equal three.

It still does, doesn't it?

- By the Editors - July 24, 2022



DYNAMIC PRICING: "A FUCKING SHIT-SHOW"

Dunno about you, but we're still processing the shellshock of today's U.S. onsales, the first of Springsteen's to utilize dynamic pricing via Ticketmaster's Official Platinum Seats. To wit:

Ticketmaster's Official Platinum seat program enables market-based pricing (adjusting prices according to supply and demand) for live event tickets, similar to how airline tickets and hotel rooms are sold. The goal is to give the most passionate fans fair and safe access to the best tickets, while enabling artists and other people involved in staging live events to price tickets closer to their true market value.

To answer just one question we've heard a lot today, as we saw ticket prices quickly soar well into the thousands of dollars apiece (for the initial Ticketmaster transaction, before any resales), there is no consistent "face value" for these tickets:

The price you pay is the original price of the ticket. Official Platinum Seats were not purchased initially and then posted for resale; they are being sold for the first time through Ticketmaster on behalf of the artist or Event Organizer.

If you're looking around for the license plate of the truck that hit you, wondering what the hell happened and how we got here... yesterday, prior to these first onsales, our pal and DJ Rich Russo posted a concise and enlightening history lesson (a walk down memory lane for many of us) that's well worth a listen. It may also provide some consolation, even with no satisfying answer at the moment.

We won't bury the lede — Rich's take, one we share, that dynamic pricing, "for lack of a better term, is a fucking shit-show." But the whole clip is well worth seven minutes of your time.
- July 20, 2022

SUMMER'S HERE AND THE TIME IS RIGHT…
…to celebrate "the greatest bar band in the land" on E Street Radio
The latest episode of E Street Radio's Legendary E Street Band is perfect summertime listening, since its entire focus is on the band's roots and strengths as "the greatest bar band in the land" (to quote its leader).

As usual, eminently knowledgeable longtime fan Greg Drew hosts the proceedings; as Greg puts it, this time around there's "a little less talk from me, a little more music; bar bands play long sets with very few breaks." The end result is a solid hour-plus set packed with bar-worthy covers and originals from… put your hands together for… Bruce Springsteen & the legendary E Street Band! Don't forget your beer money or your dancing shoes, and may the truth ring out from every small-town bar. Every big-city bar, too.

Legendary E Street Band's "World's Greatest Bar Band" Edition debuts today, Monday July 18, exclusively on E Street Radio (SiriusXM channel 20) with replays scheduled as follows (all times ET):

  • Monday, July 18 - 3pm and 6pm
  • Tuesday, July 19 – 10 am
  • Wednesday, July 20 – 12 am and 7 am
  • Thursday, July 21 - 6 pm
  • Friday, July 22 - 2 pm
  • Saturday, July 23 - 12 am and 4 pm
  • Sunday, July 24 - 1 pm

- July 18, 2022 - Shawn Poole reporting

See the updated itinerary for the 2023 Tour
on our Tour/Ticket Info page

- July 14, 2022

2023 TOUR: FIRST U.S. LEG ANNOUNCED!
Above, the dates and cities for the opening of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's 2023 tour, with the first U.S. leg opening February 1 in Tampa and running through April 14 in Newark, NJ.

We'll be updating and populating our Tour/Ticket Info page with venues, onsale links, and more, just as quickly as we can... in the meantime, ehere's the full press release as it just went out this morning, with important information regarding onsales. Get Verified!

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band will kick off their 2023 international tour with 31 performances across the United States; spanning from February 1 in Tampa, Florida through an April 14 homecoming in Newark, New Jersey before heading to Europe. The shows will mark Springsteen and The E Street Band's first tour dates since February 2017, and their first in North America since September 2016.

European dates for the 2023 international tour were announced in May and over 1.2 million tickets have already been purchased across the continent, with many cities adding second or third stadium shows due to popular demand. At the conclusion of their European run, which is scheduled for April through July 2023, Springsteen and The E Street Band will begin a second to-be-announced North American tour leg in August. Tour dates in the UK will also take place next year, with cities and shows to be announced very soon. 

Tickets for the 2023 U.S. arena shows will go on sale over the course of the next two weeks, with the first onsale beginning Wednesday July 20 at 10am local time (full details below).

The tour will be using Ticketmaster's Verified Fan platform for tickets sold via Ticketmaster. Fans can register for Ticketmaster Verified Fan starting now through Sunday, July 17 for the chance to buy tickets. All registrants who are verified will be equally eligible to receive a unique access code for the Verified Fan Onsale. Registering does not guarantee you will receive a code, or have the ability to purchase tickets. 

For shows utilizing Verified Fan, the Verified Fan Onsale will take place between 10am and 2pm local time. If tickets remain, a general onsale for all fans begins the same day at 3pm local time with no code required.  

For the performances at the Toyota Center (Houston, TX), Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia, PA), Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY) and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (Cleveland, OH), the general onsale will begin at 10am local time on their respective onsale dates with no Verified Fan code required. 

To register for the Ticketmaster Verified Fan Onsale cities, visit https://verifiedfan.ticketmaster.com/springsteen

- July 12, 2022


The night in question: Southside Johnny at the Agora, May 2, 1977 - photograph by Anastasia Pantsios

Live in Cleveland '77: Nevermind it was a Monday at the Agora...
"EVERY TIME THE JUKES PLAY, IT'S A WEEKEND"

The Stone Pony had a tough call to make over the holiday weekend, postponing their annual Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes concert as lightning threatened the Summer Stage. The show has been rescheduled to celebrate Labor Day, rather than the Fourth of July, and tickets will be honored for the September 4 date. But that doesn't mean summer vacation for Soutshide and the Jukes — fans can catch them at other upcoming dates including Tarrytown, NY, on July 22, and the Paramount in Huntington, NY, on August 13.

And then there's their new release, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes: Live in Cleveland '77, which reached #5 on the Billboard Blues chart. This Friday, July 8, Little Steven's Underground Garage (SiriusXM channel 21) will air a special dedicated to the live album.

For Backstreets, Annie Zaleski talked with Southside Johnny, as well as then-Juke Tony Pallagrosi and Cleveland International Records head Steve Popovich Jr., about the new live set, performed 45 years ago for an Agora crowd Southside describes as "ready to rock. And we wanted to oblige."

In June, Cleveland International Records issued Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes: Live in Cleveland '77 a concert recording that had been sitting in the vaults for 45 years. Recorded on May 2, 1977, at the legendary Cleveland Agora, the concert is one of three shows the Jukes did in the Northeast Ohio area that week.

The May 2 show was the first of two at the Agora—according to a vintage Cleveland Scene ad tickets were $3.50 advance, $4.50 day of show—and the band sounds at the top of their party-starting R&B/rock game. Despite being on a Monday night, the crowd is into it—which of course doesn't surprise Southside, when Backstreets reached him for a chat about the release.

"Forget about work or school tomorrow, we're playing," Southside says. "Every time the Jukes play, it's a weekend."

At the time of the show, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes had just issued their second album, This Time It's for Real. The Agora show captures the hunger of this time, as well as how tight the band sounded on the new material, including the title track, as well as "Without Love" and "Love on the Wrong Side of Town."

"That's when we were out to prove ourselves," Southside says. "We were really out there to kick ass and prove that we were worthy to be on these stages. We were very intense and aggressive, but still having fun. We weren't going to have anybody sitting down if we could possibly convince them to get up and dance, singing along and all that stuff. We wanted to move people emotionally, but also physically. It was a very physical kind of music."…

Read the full article:
"EVERY TIME THE JUKES PLAY, IT'S A WEEKEND"

- July 6, 2022

- July 2, 2022

PARIS, 2012: TWO SHOWS ARE BETTER THAN ONE
An anniversary? Maybe. An anniversary gift? Mais oui!
Does the Live Archive series mark significant anniversaries in the history of Bruce Springsteen's performing career? Other than the Roxy '78 —which sure felt timed to coincide with its 40th anniversary this month in 2018 — probably not.

This July brings another notable anniversary (we're talkin' 'bout the tenth), and intentionally marking it or not, today's First Friday features a surprise dual-release from the Wrecking Ball tour, July 4 and 5, 2012, in Paris.

Together, these concerts magnifique — rare indoor arena shows on a European tour that largely played to massive open-air stadiums —feature the best of what Bruce and the E Street Band had going in 2012, from the guiding themes of loss and renewal to spontaneity and the sheer joy of playing live.

We assigned contributors Kieran Lane and None But the Brave co-host Hal Schwartz to write up their impressions of how things sounded. Neither correspondent knew the other show was part of the plan; that kept the focus on the music as it happened over the course of the two nights, which Paris has in abundance: 29 songs on July 4, followed by 31 on July 5, and a truly remarkable 47 different songs altogether.
— The Editors

 

JULY 4, 2012: A HOT NIGHT IN THE CITY OF LIGHT
As Bruce Springsteen's 2012 tour behind Wrecking Ball evolved, its setlists featured anything and everything, as most E Street tours go on to do. But first, its two major themes needed conveyance. This first night in Paris is well up to the task, addressing the great recession and calling on the spirits of both Dan Federici and Clarence Clemons, while still managing to be a Fourth of July special.

The ninth Wrecking Ball tour selection in the Live Archive series, July 4, 2012 Paris saw a performance that moved seamlessly from those themes and their structures, particularly "If you're here, and we're here, then they're here," to thrilling spontaneity. Several seeds sown here would mold monumental concerts in Gothenburg, Helsinki, and, later that summer, Boston.

Those revered shows have rightfully been immortalized in the series; now, this Independence Day concert, long lauded as one of the elite, takes its place beside them on the Mount Rushmore of Summer 2012.

July 4 was not a guaranteed triumph. A trio of power outages that day — one occurring with fans already in the arena — had created concern that celebration could descend into chaos. Before Bruce and the E Street Band stepped on stage to continue their European leg after a ten-day break, journalist Antoine de Caunes was tasked with advising the eager Paris audience to brace for an evening that might not go according to plan. The power held firm, thankfully (unlike an evening four years later on the RiverTour), but the air conditioning did not: it was sweltering inside the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy. Good thing the music was hot, too, and it brought a few changes to the set.

Rather than the usual walk-on music, Roy Bittan and Charlie Giordano play a beautiful, dual-accordion rendition of Edith Piaf's "La Vie En Rose," before a masterful six-pack capturing the tour's themes: the socio-political anthems "We Take Care of Our Own," "Wrecking Ball," "Badlands," and "Death to My Hometown"; and songs of loss and revival in the wake of Clarence Clemons' passing, "My City of Ruins" and "Spirit in the Night."

Together, these six numbers convey the vision for the tour, and after an intense, cathartic opening, the music scales an emotional peak with Bruce's repeated interrogative in "My City of Ruins," "Are we missing anybody?" As the first Live Archive series release with the songs played in this combination, July 4 becomes an instant essential.

With the fans warmed up and themes served, detours from the written setlist begin. "Lonesome Day" was set to follow "Spirit," but Bruce calls for "The E Street Shuffle" instead, a spontaneous, joyous exhibition of Band and audience, who revel in boisterous harmonies and keep going at its conclusion, continuing while Bruce readies to start the next song. After a minute or so, Bruce simply rides the wave, bringing the outro around again in reprise. (You may recall a similar instance during "Badlands" on the Berlin '93 release).

As Roy Bittan comes down front with his accordion, the early '70s linger, taking us to the other side of town for a lovely "Sandy." Three more songs specially selected for the Fourth of July follow: "Darlington County" (another audible), "Independence Day," and "American Land."

Of these, "Independence Day" stands out. While fans in Paris likely anticipated its appearance, few expected the arrangement. Giving his bandmates a break from the heat, Bruce plays a mesmerizing solo piano arrangement that is truly, as he terms it in his introductory remarks, "something special." The magnitude of the performance wasn't lost on Team Springsteen, either: 48 hours later, a pro-shot video appeared online [below, with its original audio].

In this golden age of First Fridays, one might forget how cautious Bruce used to be about releasing live material, how it took something exceptional to chip away at that resolute armor. "Independence Day" ticks that box; we also get a great impression from simply listening. In particular, it's amazing how different his voice sounds here, with a blend of despondency, urgency, and exhaustion creating a pure, emotional reading of the song.

The Fourth of July specials may grab our attention, but an array of 2012 essentials offers much enjoyment, too. "Jack of All Trades'' raised the bar for "Independence Day," its bleakness so pronounced that several audience pleasers must follow: "Because the Night," "Darkness on the Edge of Town," "Johnny 99," and notably, "Easy Money," in its European and Live Archive series debut. Opening with fiery bullet mic and more Parisian participation, this one shines. A tasty Little Steven guitar solo ensues, as does a spotlight duet for Bruce and Patti Scialfa, who makes her first tour appearance since April.

Ms. Patti cements her return in the "Apollo Medley," another highlight, and this gorgeous combination of "The Way You Do the Things You Do" and "634-5789" emphasizes the soulful roots of the E Street Band. Rock and soul shape the rest of the main set with mighty, heartfelt renditions of "The River," "The Rising," and "Land of Hope and Dreams," and the last presents more changes as Bruce tweaks the finale, replacing "thank the Lord!" with "get on board!" — a true rallying cry for the dates ahead.

Maintaining the Wrecking Ball theme, "We Are Alive" sets us on the home stretch, a rousing tribute to those who've left us. Bruce adds another tribute afterwards, centered on France's assistance in the American Revolutionary War and the Franco-American relationship it fostered. As Springsteen concludes his dedication with a touching "This is for France,"drummer Max Weinberg launches into a towering rendition of the "soldier story," "Born in the U.S.A." Euphoria ensues.

The titanic track sets the tone for the encore, and Paris is treated to communal versions of encore regulars from "Born to Run" through "American Land." The extra vigor matches the temperature, and the intensity ensures that fans will remember this show.

Summer 2012 remains special for fans who experienced the tour in Europe. Although big nights in London, Gothenburg, and Helsinki helped round out the leg, both shows in Paris remain amongst the tour's most fondly remembered. July 5 will surely remain sought-after, but in the meantime, we'll always have night one.
— Kieran Lane

 

JULY 5, 2012: THE WRECKING BALL TOUR DE FORCE
Many fans consider concerts from the summer of 2012 to be the high point for Bruce Springsteen over these past ten years. Taking place only a year after Clarence Clemons passed away, the set focused on overcoming loss and honoring those who'd departed. Of Danny Federici and the Big Man, Bruce reminded his audience, "If you're here and we're here, then they're here." It was incredibly moving.

Fans who had marked the calendar for the two arena shows in Paris as "not to be missed" were right: not only did they live up to the anticipation, July 5, 2012 Paris captures the best show I've seen Bruce play since Clarence died. Moreover, it is the best show I've seen anyone play in the last 12 years. I will try to set the scene and explain why.

It was a holiday week, and the tour came indoors for two nights, resuming its European leg. Fans traveled from across the continent, of course, joining others from the United States (Bruce had much of his family with him including his mom, Adele).


 
The first show, on July 4, took place at the end of an incredibly hot Parisian day, highly unusual from what we were told. Worse, the building's air conditioning failed. It was the hottest I've ever felt in an arena — perhaps dangerously so. Sweat was pouring off everyone in the crowd, not to mention Bruce himself. But the show was great, highlighted by a beautiful solo piano version of "Independence Day" and a wild crowd sing-along to the coda of "The E Street Shuffle."

Afterward, we hoped the AC would be restored by the following night. A tweet from Steve Van Zandt stated that would not be the case; fortunately, the day was cooler, and the arena itself was nowhere near as hot for the second night. The same could not be said for the performance, which was positively scorching.

The 7/5 show started late, a little after 9 pm. First, Roy Bittan and Charlie Giordano emerged to play "Au Clair de la Lune" on accordion, making us feel like we were all taking a stroll through the Parisian night. Then the drums came crashing in, as Max Weinberg began what sounded for all the world like the lead-in to "We Take Care of Our Own." Bruce welcomed the crowd, which was already in a frenzy, and instead counted off a tight version of "The Ties That Bind," followed quickly by a pair of audibles, "No Surrender" and "Two Hearts." This was unusual: at this point in the tour, "We Take Care of Our Own" was almost always one of the first two songs. Here, Bruce was flying by the seat of his pants and feeding off the crowd.

A lip-read revealed a third audible, "Downbound Train," a personal favorite from Born in the U.S.A., highlighted on this night by an extended coda with a great solo by Little Steven. That ran right into a rampaging version of "Candy's Room," which cemented the idea that something different was happening.

Scrambling around the stage and still calling out songs, Bruce reached for an all-too-infrequent "Something in the Night." As the song faded out, Max began the drums for "We Take Care of Our Own," which finally got called up as, incredibly, the seventh song following five audibles. (For the record, the written setlist had placed it second, after a "Ties" opener.")

The segment lasted about 30 minutes, showcasing Bruce's ability to read a crowd. From there, five Wrecking Ball tour staples re-established a more familiar pattern, until "Incident on 57th Street," a first in France and only its second appearance on the tour. There was a great version of "I'm Goin' Down," yet again not on the setlist, and, with Patti Scialfa present, a performance of Wrecking Ball's "Easy Money."

Nearing the end of the main set, Bruce sat at the piano for a gorgeous version of "For You" (another European tour premiere), the emotion of which carried over into an absolutely majestic "Racing in the Street." Running for more than 11 minutes, it remains one of my favorite versions from the Reunion era. I particularly love Max's performance during the final moments of the coda, and, needless to say, Roy Bittan stands tall, too. The main set concluded with "The Rising," a curiously placed "Out in the Street," and "Land of Hope and Dreams." As the band filed off, it was clear we had witnessed something special. And it wasn't over yet.

Now, it was approaching midnight. It seems relevant to point out that the trains in Paris only operate until around 1 am; texts began to fly about the arena as fans tried to figure out what we would do if, improbably, the show went on so long that we all missed our trains. Which meant, of course, that the encore would begin with a lengthy story.

Bruce had much of his family in the building: his kids, his mom, Patti's mom, and his sister, Pam. He had Adele take a bow because "there was no show without her." Strumming the opening for "We Are Alive," Bruce told the crowd it was "time for a testimonial." He described his thoughts behind Wrecking Ball, how it was tough times for a lot of people, and how he wanted a song that would point to the future and bring a little light into the record. He spoke lovingly about his mom, who had it hard but always had love to spare. Dedicating the song to her, Bruce set the scene at the Freehold cemetery, he and his sister visiting their grandmother's grave, before singing, "There's a cross up yonder up on Calvary Hill." It was a beautiful performance of the song, which, sadly, would appear less frequently as the tour went on.

"Thunder Road" and "Born to Run" followed. By this point, the building was shaking. Again reading the crowd perfectly, Bruce launched into "Glory Days," followed by an energized "Seven Nights to Rock." Later, he'd pull his daughter Jessica up on stage for a dance at the end of "Dancing in the Dark." She had a huge smile on her face the whole time, and then Bruce picked her up into his arms. It was a sweet moment.

The show was now past the three-and-half-hour mark, but Springsteen had one more song to play: the usual closer at this point, "Tenth Avenue Freeze-out" with a break in the middle to honor The Big Man. With that, an amazing night came to a close around 12:50 am. I dashed out of the arena and made the final train with no more than 30 seconds to spare. When I got to the other end, I walked through the empty streets of the Paris night still buzzing from what I had witnessed in Bercy. And now, ten years later, as part of the wonderful Live Archive series, everyone can hear this amazing show. I hope you enjoy it.
—Hal Schwartz

Also read: Erik Flannigan's latest nugs.net blog post, "The Hype Is Real"

- July 1, 2022 - cover photographs by Jo Lopez - all other concert photographs by Riku Olkkonen

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NEW JANN WENNER MEMOIR
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Backstreet Records is the mailorder division of Backstreets, delivering Springsteen merchandise to fans for more than 25 years. We carry numerous collectibles, tour shirts, books, magazines, and imported CDs and records.
The world's best selection of Springsteen collectibles, all available by mail.

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#91 IS HERE!
Our massive new issue honors a very Big Man. More than half of the 116-page, perfect bound Backstreets #91 is a tribute to the life and music of... do we have to say his name?

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LISTEN: Does Ticketmaster have a monopoly on live events?" [the1a.org]
Bruce Springsteen’s Ticket Prices: Off Brand, and Out Of Hand [WMMR.com]
High ticket prices cast doubt on Springsteen’s values and bond with fans [Washington Post]
Bruce Springsteen fans face $5,000 tickets — and a ‘crisis of faith’ [Washington Post]
Springsteen Fans Raged Over Ticket Prices. Experts Say There’s No Easy Fix [Rolling Stone]
Too Much Springsteen [Lefsetz.com]
Dan Tapper: Bruce Springsteen and how not to do public relations [Hartford Courant]
Bruce Springsteen’s Manager Defends Controversial 2023 Tour Ticketing Rollout [Variety]
The Case of the $5,000 Springsteen Tickets [NYTimes.com]
Top Bruce Springsteen Ticket Prices Fueled Rage, But the Average Cost Wasn’t So High [Billboard]
Furor over $4K tickets angers NJ congressman who introduced ‘Boss Act’ [NJ.com]
Springsteen tickets sell fast, with some sticker shock [TimesUnion.com]
Wild Springsteen Ticket Prices Calm Down, but ‘Dynamic Pricing’ Storm Isn’t Over [Yahoo!]
'These prices are a joke': Bruce Springsteen fans are enraged [Daily Mail]
Bruce Springsteen does not care about you [NJ.com]

Springsteen’s Silence [Lefsetz.com]
The Springsteen Ticket Fracas [Lefsetz.com]
Bruce Springsteen fans experience sticker shock [Asbury Park Press]
Springsteen fans furious as ticket prices skyrocket to $4K on Ticketmaster [NJ.com]
Springsteen Fans Furious at Ticket Prices Going as High as $4-5K, Due to Ticketmaster’s ‘Dynamic Pricing’ [Variety]

Updated 9/1/22



We also post all known concert dates for some of our favorite Jersey Shore (and Shore-adopted) musicians:

Willie Nile
Bobby Bandiera
Southside Johnny
John Eddie
JoBonanno
Joe D'Urso... and more.

For more information on upcoming shows such as these, check out our Concert Calendar.



SAVE TILLIE

Many from the Springsteen community banded together to preserve this Asbury Park landmark.... and Tillie has now been saved!

Check our Save Tillie page for the latest developments.


THE SPRINGSTEEN SPECIAL COLLECTION

Organized by Backstreets in 2001, this storehouse of Boss books and magazines is the largest such collection outside of Bruce's mother's basement. Thanks to the generosity of fans around the world, total holdings are now well over 15,000. But the collection is by no means complete.

Check out the Springsteen Special Collection page for more info.



FIGHT THE MONOPOLY
With the Ticketmaster / Live Nation merger approved, we encourage fans to get involved to help protect ticket-buyers.

Check our Fight the Monopoly page for the latest developments

 


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