Thunder Road: The Boss returns to Charlottesville

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will make their third appearance at John Paul Jones arena on October 23rd as part of the ongoing globe-spanning tour in support of Springsteen's seventeenth album Wrecking Ball, released in March.

As widely reported, this is the Boss' first tour without longtime saxophone player Clarence Clemons, AKA the "Big Man," who passed away in May of last year following a severe stroke. Sax duties have been taken up by Clarence's nephew, Jake Clemons. Lingering depression can be added to Springsteen's emotional mix in 2012, as the 62-year-old Jersey-bred musician recently came clean about long-lasting bouts of sadness that at one point even drove him to consider suicide, according to a profile in this week's New Yorker.

Somberness aside, the tour promises to deliver impressive entertainment even by Springsteen's grandiose standards–the E Street Band has now stretched to a record 17 members, and performances on the tour so far have exceeded the Boss' typical marathon concerts–expect over 2 hours of material. For an idea of the ambitions being undertaken, consider this: Springsteen and his band caught some flack towards the beginning of the Wrecking Ball tour for their use of a teleprompter that flashed lyrics for the band to read as they performed dauntingly long setlists of originals and covers.

Ticket sales for Springsteen's last Charlottesville performance in 2009 didn't exactly evaporate in minutes (his 2007 gig did), however the Wrecking Ball tour is reported to be selling 96% of available seats so far, with gross revenues at a whopping $79.9 million.

Click here to read the Hook's cover story on the Boss from 2008