Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band kick off their 14-date summer tour over two shows tonight and tomorrow (August 14th and 15th) at Boston's Fenway Park. The trek will hit Foxboro, Massachusetts; Toronto; Moncton, New Brunswick; Vernon, New York; Philadelphia; and Washington, D.C., before wrapping up over three nights -- September 19th, 21st, and 22nd at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium -- marking Springsteen's first time playing his new hometown venue.
With the duties of home-life tugging on Springsteen, he enjoys the luxury of being able to make pitt stops while on the road, often commuting back home when he's on tour in North America: "Every musician has that, I mean, most musicians -- there are musicians that don't like to travel. And when I'm in the States I try to commute as much as I can, I'll go out and I'll play a couple of nights and I'll come home for three nights, or I'll stay a night and come home for two. So, we don't do any extensive, extensive road time unless we come to Europe in the summertime, or something -- and then the kids can come with us."
Steven Van Zandt explains that today, although Springsteen maps out a basic theme for each tour, he still leaves enough pockets for spontaneity to create its own magic: "At some point, he'll decide. . . I wanna talk about this this tour. This is the subject, this is the 'theme,' if you will, and then we fit the other stuff around that. But then there will be segments of the show where as always anything goes, and that'll change every night. We always change a good third, I'd say. There's spontaneity built in, y'know?"
Nils Lofgren says that although Springsteen has always allowed spots for one of his legendary "anything can happen" moments, over the band's past two tours the fan requests and covers were a way to keep the show evolving: "We've always done an improv show, but usually there's a theme to the set. And you can always read Bruce and he kinda surprises you, but the setlist has some function. I think after months out on the road when he started dragging like 30 signs in a pile on stage. But I think after he stared doing that, he just, I think -- I'm not speaking for him -- it's almost that he fell into this. . . to challenge himself and us, to keep himself excited and engaged, the next frontier was just starting to call the whole set audibly. I mean, he started changing the first song on the way to the stage."
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