Bruce Springsteen & E Street Return to Arenas After Six Years

When Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band took the stage together last night (February 1) in Florida, it had been six years since they had rocked an arena stage together.

But don't assume the Rock Hall of Famers had been sitting on their hands. In 2017-2018 The Boss performed his hits, alone, with just an acoustic guitar on Broadway. An experience that earned him a special Tony award and reaped more than $110 million at the box office.

The group also recorded three well-received albums: Western Stars (2019), Letter to You (2020), and last year's R&B covers album Only The Strong Survive.

So when Springsteen grabbed the mic last night he had a lot of catching up to do with the 19,000 screaming fans and their mobile phones.

Setting the table with "No Surrender," the boisterous Born in the USA-era anthem that celebrated the innocence of those who "learned more from a three-minute record, than we ever learned in school," and concluding over two-and-a-half hours later with the hopeful "I'll See You In My Dreams" from Letter to You which proclaims "death is not the end."

That last phrase must have been music to the ears to both the gray-haired audience (which included Miami Heat President and former head coach Pat Riley, Howard Stern producer Gary "Baba Booey" Dell'abate, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie) as well as many of the players on stage who are in their 70s.

At 73, Springsteen and keyboardist Roy Brittan are the oldest E-Streeters; followed by bassist Gary Talent and Steven Van Zandt who are 72; guitarist Nils Lofgren and drummer Max Weinberg are each 71; while Springsteen's wife Patti is a spry 69.

This could be the reason the show had only 28 songs, noticeably leaving off hits from a few of the classic albums including "Thunder Road."

But the night did provide numerous live debuts including the touching "Last Man Standing" about being the only member of Springsteen's first band, The Castiles, who is still alive.

Two selections from Only The Strong Survive made their arena debut on Wednesday: the Commodores' classic "Nightshift" and the Ben E. King hit "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)". Both made their live debut on "The Tonight Show" last year and sounds so full with the talented singers on this tour.

The sights and sounds of this tour are unlike that of most touring acts. There is no production design, not even a giant tv screen behind the band. It was just a stage, the fans, Bruce, and a large band which included a 5-piece horn section.

Those horns, by the way, were able to turn a dark tune like Nebraska's "Johnny 99" about being handed a life sentence in jail into a weirdly joyous Bourbon Street romp.

Bruce and the band will be touring the US through the middle of April and then pop over to Spain. Tickets sold out in minutes but many venues release a few extras the day of the show, so click here when the show comes to your town.

Karma Police - Please Share:

Most played songs

Last updated: 24 Mar 2023, 09:46 Etc/UTC