Die-hard Bruce Springsteen fans — and there are many of them — will notice something familiar about “The River Tour” that rolls into the Bryce Jordan Center on April 18.
They may remember the first “The River” tour, in 1980, and they’ll certainly remember the double album of the same name that was released that year.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s most recent tour celebrates that album and is tied into the compilation set “The Ties That Bind: The River Collection,” that was released last year. Fans at the BJC can expect to hear “The River” in its entirety. In February, Springsteen told Rolling Stone that he’s concentrating on the turning-point songs of that album.
“If you wrote them well, they sustain,” he told the magazine. “Not only do they sustain, they grow and find their current context. That’s what I’m hoping for on this tour, that the music finds its life in the here and now. That would be wonderful.”
Don’t worry — if you’re headed to the show, there’s still a good chance you’ll hear “Dancing in the Dark” and other top hits. During the band’s April 8 show at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, the second set included beloved songs, as well as a tribute to late band members, including Clarence Clemons. The Kansas City Star wrote that the show lasted nearly three and a half hours, and “delivered nearly everything the Boss had ordered: fun, dancing, jokes, comradeship, love and faith in the glory of music.”
Springsteen is no stranger to Happy Valley or the BJC. His last stop was in 2012 for his “Wrecking Ball Tour,” but fans have made it clear they’re glad to have him back. In a January Centre Daily Times poll of “bucket list” concerts people wanted to see at the BJC, the New Jersey rock star came in at No. 7.
Bernie Punt, director of marketing and sales at the BJC, said that having Springsteen return during the 20th anniversary year of the Penn State concert venue is a perfect fit. In addition to the 2012 show, Springsteen performed there in 2000 and 2009. Every show has sold out.
I believe this concert will be one for the ages.
Bernie Punt, director of marketing and sales at the BJC
“This show is no different. Only a few tickets remain for Monday,” Punt said earlier this week. “I believe this concert will be one for the ages.”
The E Street Band includes Roy Bittan on piano, Nils Lofgren on guitar, Garry Tallent on bass, Max Weinberg on drums, Soozie Tyrell on violin and guitar, Charlie Giordano on keyboards and Jake Clemons, who took over the role of band saxophonist for his uncle Clarence Clemons, who died in 2011.
The band also features Springsteen’s wife of 24 years, Patti Scialfa, and popular “Sopranos” actor Stevie Van Zandt, both on guitar and vocals.
According to a BJC press release, each night of “The River Tour” will be mixed for release on Live .BruceSpringsteen.net as high-quality downloads and CDs. Recordings will be available within days of each performance.
“The River Tour” is the first for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band since the 2014 “High Hopes Tour.” The tour and Springsteen recently made headlines when the rocker canceled a scheduled North Carolina concert because of the state’s new laws that block anti-discrimination rules for the LGBT community.
IF YOU GO
- What: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
- When: 7:30 p.m. April 18
- Where: Bryce Jordan Center, University Park
- Info: www.bjc.psu.edu