Born to run again: The Boss returns to Charlottesville

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will make their third appearance at John Paul Jones Arena this fall. It happens 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 Clemons' 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 flak towards the beginning of this 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 (those for his 2007 gig did); however the Wrecking Ball tour is reported to be selling 96 percent of available seats so far, with gross revenues at a whopping $79.9 million.

Including a gig at Memorial Gym in 1974, this marks the bosses fourth performance in Charlottesville. Click here to read the Hook's 2008 cover story on the Boss.

Read more on: Bruce Springsteen


Never got the appeal of this guy's music. It's so boring and bland. People are going to go nuts for him when he gets here, but I have no idea why!

More boring and bland than our local heros even.

Been there done that. Once he became so openly political I lost interest. I loved the old Bruce. The only way I could drag myself out to the show is if I was given a free ticket, and not sure I would go even w/that.

kvetch all you want. It will be the best show of the year in Charlottesville, and will outdo anything any local band could produce, hands down.

Why isn't he using a guitar strap? It's much easier to play that way.


Hey, I'm from Philly and never liked him from the Born to Run days. One dimensional music, trite "Jersey sound" with too many keyboards and overdone sax and, to steal from the Talking Heads, "more songs about trucks and girls." BTW, how much will a ticket to this "working class advocate's" concert cost?

Rich 62-year-old men should not be standing onstage rocking with strained facial expressions reminiscient of my days of too little dietary fiber. They should be writing op-ed pieces to The Daily Progress touting the new vision of an electronic distance-learning university whilst misquoting Jefferson.

As for me, I am still waiting for a new XTC release.

R.I.P.: Gus Dudgeon

...and it's good to see the curmudgeon army is in full force

Bruce's band Steel Mill played at a frat house in 1971-72 and all around Richmond.

the haters are out today. people who think bruce's politics changed since his younger days obviously have never listened to his songs and what they are really about. guy hasnt changed a bit; you've changed

If I was looking for torture, I'd much rather pay a nice lady in some black leather to do it than to listen to Bruce Springsteen's music closely enough to know what the lyrics even were, let alone what they were supposed to mean.

If you don't like Bruce then you must not like someone who can write great music and gives a great performance. So please go to the terrible music that is now considered Top 40. The Biebs,Rihanna , Drake. Give me a break.

If you listen to the lyrics of songs like Born 2 Run, Born N the USA, The River, Badlands and cannot understand how important lyrics are, then you do not get "it". Sorry.

Blinded, I'm curious. Two questions; how old are you? Who's talent do you appreciate?

I do find it funny that your nickname is a title of a Springsteen song.

-Formerly blinded by the light

Yuck Max, I didn't know that I had picked a Springsteen song as my nickname. I meant it as a tribute to Manfried Mann. Won't make that mistake again.

in order:

50 - as if it's relevant

assuming you mean "whose talent" -
Holger Czukay, Sade, Stephan Micus, J.S. Bach, Jamie Dyer, the Beatles before they got to be old and irrelevant, Tricky, Chuck Brown, Harold Arlen, Erykah Badu, the KLF, Pat Metheny, Duke Ellington, Genesis P-Orridge, Brian Eno, David Byrne, Miles Davis, Carter Beauford, Phil Manzanera, Missy Elliot, Steve Reich, Todd Rundgren, Flatt and Scruggs, Klaus Schulze, Dieter Meier and Boris Blank, Tony Rice, Pauline Oliveros, John D'earth, Roberta Flack, Z'ev, DJ Shadow, Django Reinhardt, Aaliyah, Duane Allman, Tyler The Creator, James L. "Jim Dandy" Mangrum, Carlos Santana, Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra, George Gershwin, Mickey Hart, Iggy Pop, Frankie Beverly, Klaus Nomi, Marvin Gaye, Guillaume de Machaut, Baba Olatunji, Leroy Jenkins, Michael Shrieve, John McLaughlin, Rod Argent, Raymond Scott, Timbaland, this could go on for days...

point being?

I guess the folks going to Bruce's show won't have gotten the memo that they're not supposed to enjoy it, nor will they have polled the cool people in town for permission to do so either. What saps!

@ Kevin

"If you don't like Bruce then you must not like someone who can write great music and gives a great performance. So please go to the terrible music that is now considered Top 40. The Biebs,Rihanna , Drake. Give me a break."

haha, you're seriously kidding, right? "Great" music? Do you have working ears?

Also, why does it have to be a choice between Bruce Springsteen, or other equally craptastic "music" like Rihanna, Justin Bieber, etc.?

False two choices. Bad logic. Get a clue.

I'll take classical Baroque music any day over anything mentioned in your post. Composers who wrote for a whole orchestra of instruments and usually knew how to play at least a half dozen of the instruments they wrote for.

I had to laugh out loud at Liberalace's comment about 62 year old men rocking on stage with strained facial expressions like they have too little dietary fiber, because it's just so true. Me and my boyfriend have this running joke (whenever we're in a public place that wants to assault us with bad Springsteen tunes), where my boyfriend will use his hands to pull one cheek down and the other cheek up and have his mouth hanging open and his eyes looking wonky and then he proceeds to do a kick a * * moaning and groaning Springsteen vocal impersonation that really does sound like the dude's constipated or something. Always cracks me up. So easily amused, I know. But when you're trying to buy produce at Giant and you're being tortured with Springsteen while you weigh your green onions and select your strawberries you can either laugh or cry. We choose to laugh. Cause that's just how we roll.

Though I have to add, nothing beats Tom Waits. The first time I ever heard a Tom Waits "song" I seriously thought it must be a joke. Like, that can NOT be for real, NOBODY would ever "sing" like that, come on!! But alas, it was real, much to my shock. Springsteen has nothing on Waits.

If I may speak for Max, I think he asked whose talent you appreciated as some people simply like to complain and he may have pegged you as one of these people.

Bruce's specialty is rocking a house and he's been doing it for decades. There are few, if any, who do it better. Judging him by his hits on the radio is like judging a fish for how high it can climb a tree.

See his show and spout your opinions then, unless you are petrified of being proven to be as wrong as you can be, and one who spouts opinions based on sheer, utter ignorance.

The Baroque and the Classical are two quite different periods .... if you don't agree, perhaps you'd also like to lump Romantic music into the same category -- and Charles Ives ... Arvo Part? in other words, any music that's not rock, blues or jazz?

Honestly, music is a form of art and art is very subjective. You might not like his music, but you have to respect the fact that he has lasted 4-5 decades and you all know exactly who he is. People keep showing up so he is filling a void for someone. All the negative comments could easily apply to the Rolling Stones or Paul McCartney as well, but somewhere along the line they have been considered rock royalty. The fact is, nobody wants any of us to go on tour anytime soon, so who are we to talk smack.

whose vs. who is [who's], sloppy yes but still what a messy collection you throw out, most gone and forgotten
Sure we all know Bach and Miles Davis, but Tricky? I only know who that is because my race team was working in England in the 95 and 96. I bet lots of other that are unfamiliar are because they are obscure minor talents who will be forgotten while Bruce's legacy will be part of American music history like Elvis or Woody Guthrie forever. [does the Dave Matthews Band even still exists? My cousin helped hook those guys together years ago]

Sure his later work is not Born To Run. But I saw him in Steel Mill at UVa in 1971, at Hampden-Sydney College [where he opened for Iron Butterfly] and in Richmond in 72 and several early gigs of the E-Street Band. Those were powerful performances. You have to remember that Glam Rock ruled in 1974-75, real rock and roll was dead and punk was a few years in the future [I can't not tell how many times I saw THE RAMONES}

"Last Thursday, at the Harvard Square theater, I saw my rock'n'roll past flash before my eyes. And I saw something else: I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen. And on a night when I needed to feel young, he made me feel like I was hearing music for the very first time."
Jon Landau, The Real Paper (1974)

I love it that Guillaume de Machaut is there in the middle of born to run's list.

I substituted that for Gesualdo just before pushing the send button because I was afraid I'd be accused of admiring a murderer. Bad enough to associate myself with that "gone and forgotten" ruffian from Bristol.

Sorry, folks, but that lame Jon Landau line: "I saw rock 'n roll's future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen" is a sorry cliche floated by his acolytes. If that was written in the mid-'70s, I'd like to thank Mr. Landau for his prescience: a few years later we got punk, then its sanitized cousin new wave, then the '80s ushered in the MTV era where--in contrast to Springsteen--artists were made by their video, not their live performances. We then got an aging Madonna prancing about with more dancers surrounding here than musicians. And, finally, we got a geriatric Rolling Stones becoming more of a Vegas-type novelty stage act than those "bad guys from England" who juxtaposed the Moptops. And music went down from there. Landau was sadly overstating with his hyperbole. He proved Frank Zappa's assessment spot on: "Rock music critics are people who can't write who interview people who can't speak for people who can't read."

Look, the comments here prove that people are passionate about their music. I am not so dumb as to say BS is talentless, a bad writer or a poor musician. He just does not deserve the idol worship; save that for The Buggles.

R.I.P.: Stiv Bators

Stiv Bators' post Dead Boys' solo record in the early 80s was actually pretty good. At least I liked it. I like most of the stuff on Bomp!

Bruce is still kicking it. Like any artist he has stuff that I like and stuff that I don't. Darkness on the Edge of Town is probably my own personal favorite - if only for 'Racing in the Street' and 'Factory'. Goosebumps every time. I respect the guy for being able to crank out 3-4 hour shows and hasn't ever (to my knowledge) had problems with drugs.

Everyone knows that Machaut is rubbish and Dufay was so much better. And the grownups listen to Ockeghem or Dunstable. Tricky is good at making aboriginal appearances on Jules's Later but he's rubbish too.

Can't say I have ever been much of a Springsteen fan, for whatever reason(Dylan fan myself), but think he deserves the prominence he has.Someone who admires Pete Seeger gets my respect.
"born to run"s post contains tons of people I have never heard of as well some I am big fans of.
People like what they like, thats what it comes down to.
If we are playing the list game, I can contribute man of some music I own or have listened to,

Joan Baez Joni Mitchell the Byrds Jody Miller, Bill Clifton Paul Robeson Britney Spears Country Joe and the Fish George Jones Eroica Trio the Highwaymen Jeanie C Riley Capercaillie Devon Sproule Yo-Yo Ma Eric Clapton Avril Lavigne Seldom Scene Herman's Hermits Lovin'Spoonful Delmore Brothers Old and in the Way Everly Brothers Brenda Lee the Animals Dave Van Ronk Odetta Holly Near Tom Rush Alix Dobkin Kay Gardner Meg Christian Del McCoury Play Brie Larson Jesse McCartney Julie Lloyd Tom Rush Jesse Colin Young Neil Young Melissa Etheridge Bond Phil Ochs -well, i wont go on.

If y'all like BritPop (which I know is popular in Esmont and Standardsville), check out Martin Newell. He keeps cranking 'em out!

R.I.P.: Screaming Lord Sutch

The mean streets of New jersey songs just didn't quite resonate on the horse farms of Garth road in the 70s.