Nearly six years after their last tour ended, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are kicking off a tour today at the Amalie Arena in Tampa. Springsteen just posted, on social media, this gorgeous new photo of himself and the band (above), with the message, “Ladies and gentlemen … the E Street Band!”
Unfortunately, I am not in Tampa. I will, however, be assembling information about what happens there today — including a setlist, videos, and any information that emerges — in this post. That includes coverage of the pre-show broacast on SiriusXM satellite radio, live broadcast, by E Street Radio channel host Jim Rotolo.
I will post items in reverse chronological order, meaning the newer posts will go on top. And I will update this setlist as the night goes on:
“Prove It All Night”
“Letter to You”
“The Promised Land”
“Out in the Street”
“Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)”
“The E Street Shuffle”
“Last Man Standing”
“House of a Thousand Guitars””
“Because the Night”
“She’s the One”
“Born to Run”
“Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)”
“Dancing in the Dark”
“Tenth Avenue Freeze-out”
“I’ll See You in My Dreams”
10:45 p.m.: Yup, that’s it. About two hours and 45 minutes and 28 songs. Very solid tour-opener, I thought.
10:41 p.m.: Looks like a solo “I’ll See You in My Dream” may be the show-closer.
10:33 p.m.: Band introductions before “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out.”
10:03 p.m.: Encores begin with “Burnin’ Train,” featuring a big group-vocal arrangement that really gives the song a different feel.
9:57 p.m.: “The Rising” into “Badlands” as the concert nears the two-hour mark.
9:47 p.m.: “Wrecking Ball,” as always, comes across as a statement of defiance in the face of aging and the threat of your own obsolesence. It’s more poignant now than ever.
9:17 p.m.: Springsteen talks at length about his old friend and Castiles bandmate George Theiss before a tender, stripped-down “Last Man Standing.” The show’s biggest rearrangement surprise, so far.
9:13 p.m.: Roy Bittan and Soozie Tyrell take piano and fiddle solos, respectively, during a rocking “Johnny 99,” with a group horn interlude at the end. Shades of the Seeger Sessions tour.
9:09 p.m.: Big applause for Max Weinberg’s drum solo during “The E Street Shuffle.”
8:59 p.m.: Springsteen calls the backing vocalists “The E Street Choir.”
8:52 p.m.: “Nightshift.” The first song of the night from the Only the Strong Survive album. Horns sound good again.
8:47 p.m.: “Kitty’s Back” definitely the highlight so far.
8:37 p.m.: Wow, the horn section sounds really great on “Kitty’s Back.” Five horns (including Jake Clemons), I think.
8:05 p.m.: Second song: “Ghosts.”
8:01 p.m.: “Good evening, Tampa!,” Springsteen says, and opens with “No Surrender”!
6:23 p.m.: For those interested, tour merchandise can be seen here: brucespringsteen.store.
5:52: Rotolo says there that, counting all the horn players and backing vocalists, there will be 19 musicians onstage.
5:35 p.m.: Rotolo says that “Burnin’ Train” was among the songs soundchecked. He also mentions that Springsteen will offer live recordings of each show on the tour, and that he will be playing them on SiriusXM. He’s not sure how long the turnaround time will be, though.
5:17 p.m.: “Howard Stern Show” executive producer Gary Dell’Abate, interviewed by Rotolo, says he heard the band still soundchecking at close to 5 p.m. and was told they started around 3.
5:09 p.m.: Rotolo says the soundcheck included “a little bit of the old, a little bit of the new, everything in between,” and says the band looked “pumped up (and) ready to go.”
He says not all of the songs that were soundchecked today showed up in the lists of songs (circulated around the internet) that were played at the rehearsals Springsteen and the band have been doing recently.
(On his Facebook page, Rotolo wrote that “We’re located near the beer lounge between sections 106 & 108.)
5:04 p.m.: Check out brucespringsteen.net. The website has had a major redesign, and looks totally different. I’m not sure when the change went into effect, but definitely some time in the last hour or two.
3:10 p.m.: The Tampa show has an official starting time of 7:30 p.m. so, judging by past Springsteen tours, the show will likely start somewhere in the vicinity of 8:15. But it could be earlier or later.
The tour’s lone New Jersey stop will take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, April 14. Stadium shows are expected later in the year, but haven’t been confirmed yet.
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The shows I’ve been to, it said 7:30 and he started on the dot. I’d be there a good 30 minutes ahead.