Tomorrow night Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band wrap up what's seemed like a decade-long tour of the world. After a very quiet 90's where Bruce released only three records, 1992's double set of Human Touch and Lucky Town and 1995's Nebraska-light Ghost of Tom Joad, once Bruce hit the age of 50, it's as if his rock n' roll life was reborn. He's released five studio albums this decade, the highlights being 2002's The Rising and 2005's Devils & Dust, along with a few live records, the phenomenal Born To Run re-issue, DVDs and assorted other goods. Although the last two records were sub-par by Springsteen standards, the Working on a Dream tour has been one of the most energetic and relentless tours of the band's career.
I was astounded at how tight and true-to-form they sounded about a month ago at Giants Stadium. Since that night, friends have seen them perform every record released from 1973-1984, with the exception of his debut, Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, which will close out this whirlwind tour in Buffalo tomorrow night.
There's a palpable sense on message boards and amongst many of my closest friends, who, yes, follow Bruce as closely as I do, that this may well be it for Bruce and the Band. They've been on the road almost constantly for the past few years and some members, most notably, Clarence, are really showing the wear. With the loss of Danny Federici, you have to wonder if they're ready to finally put it to rest. Whatever they decide, there's little question that they still have it. With Bruce at 60, they are still the greatest live rock n' roll band on the planet. That is an amazing reality. And every single night they bring it all. They're still playing for 3+ hours per night. No folks, this isn't The Rolling Stones or some other ancient band that's phoning it in to feed the rock corporation, this is entirely different.
Last week I looked for a flight originating in San Francisco and heading to Buffalo. I thought about it for a bit but the economic reality set in and I closed out the window. To my friends in Buffalo, enjoy it tomorrow, and not just because this could be it, but most importantly, because this is Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, the greatest rock n' roll band that you'll ever see.
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