Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, The Killers, fun., Jason Aldean and Tim McGraw will head up a free show for the 2014 NCAA March Madness Music Festival next month in Reunion Park, Dallas.
The three-day festival, which is set to take place between April 4th-6th in North Texas, will be held in conjunction with next month’s Men’s Final Four brackets, with organizers scheduling live performances in between games. On Friday, April 4th, Aldean will headline the AT&T Block Party.
Saturday April 5th will see McGraw headlining the Coke Zero Countdown before the first semifinal game and the Killers headlining immediately following the game. As well as headlining, the Killers have also signed up to be the main musical act for a massive March Madness video campaign.
Fun. will kick off the Capital One JamFest on Sunday April 6th, with Springsteen closing the three-day festival. Additional performances are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
“We expect it to be packed,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, chair of the 2014 NCAA Final Four Championship organizing committee. “The Dallas Police Department is ready and on alert to know when you get a name like Bruce Springsteen, that draws huge crowds. But each day starts early, and with Jason Aldean and Tim McGraw first, that will give us a sense of how things will operate, how people will arrive and how will things go when they get there.”
The concerts are free, and on a first-come-first-served basis, so expect some serious competition from dedicated boss fans or expect serious disappointment. The moral of the story is: never underestimate a Springsteen devotee.Watch the social media skies for updates on capacity nearer the time.
“If you look at the site, there’s not a lot of parking next to it,” said Deputy Chief Scott Walton. He said Twitter will be used to “give people indications that, hey, look we’re reaching capacity. Social media will be a big player, as well as normal media outlets. We’re going to have to let people know there’s a large crowd.”
Of all the albums throughout Bruce Springsteen’s illustrious career, Born to Run may be his most defining. It was the album that launched Springsteen into rock icon status, aided partly by the time period in which the album was released. When Born to Run was released in August 1975, there was a lack of leading stylistic direction in popular music. It was a period of indecisiveness, where genres like disco, psychedelia, and punk began to slowly dissipate and audiences began to look for a new hero to latch onto. With Born to Run it was easy to admire Springsteen, who on his previous two albums sang about highway heroes and young love on the beach. He was a folkie with a gripping and universally relatable narrative, but also a rocker with a sense for charisma and exceptional hooks. Springsteen was effectively a mixture of everything that was great about American music up to that point. There couldn’t have been a better choice to lead the next decade of music.
Springsteen’s first two albums (Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle) were no different than many indie successes today; it was hailed by critics as exceptional, but there was no commercial sticking point that made Springsteen a household name. Less than a year after the 1973 release of The Wild, the Innocent, Springsteen mixed up his band, adding some of the E Street Band’s biggest names today. Former Conan drummer Max Weinberg joined in 1974, and longtime songwriting partner Stevie Van Zandt (Silvio from The Sopranos) re-joined in 1975. This lineup revitalized Springsteen’s live persona, helping mold what he is known as today: one of the best live acts in rock history. By the time Born to Run was released in the late summer of 1975, buzz from his live shows grew into a plethora of eyes on the release of Born to Run. It was Springsteen’s chance to make it big, and Columbia Records knew it. To say he capitalized on the opportunity is an understatement. Born to Run was only the beginning of Springsteen’s status as a rock icon, but it’s also an apt representation of why he’s one of the greatest American songwriters to ever live.
In addition to writing the eight classic tracks that appear on Born to Run, it was a learning process for Springsteen to adapt to the big-budget recording practices Columbia provided for the album. Springsteen’s previous two releases were recorded on a minimal budget, and it became part of his charm as a result. Compared to the quick sessions on those releases, Born to Run took 14 months to record, and many more meticulous studio sessions than Springsteen was accustomed to. Trying to replicate Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” made the process extra daunting. Plus, it was difficult dealing with the amount of hype Columbia was generating. The label, desperate for a hit album, launched a $250,000 campaign for Born to Run, spearheaded by the alleged words of producer Jon Landau: “I saw rock ‘n’ roll’s future—and its name is Bruce Springsteen.” The low-key Springsteen detested the hype, and demanded any posters with similar verbosity be taken down. He wanted listeners to focus on the music, which was entirely easy to do. From the powerful first track, “Thunder Road”, Thunder Road is exhilarating.
With roaring guitars, dancing keys, and clamoring percussion, the anthemic and grandiose sound of Born to Run is immediate. “Thunder Road” sounds anything but solemn and lonely, a stark contrast from lyrics depicting those very sentiments: “Roy Orbison singin’ for the lonely / hey that’s me and I want you only / Don’t turn me home again / I just can’t face myself alone again.” Springsteen’s words and music is always interconnected, and themes of overcoming despair, achieving redemption and friendship, and overall prevailing in American society are not as resounding if one analyzes solely the lyrics or music. “I’m a songwriter, I’m not a poetry man,” Springsteen said aptly of the album. American identity, as conflicted and foggy as it would be now or in the ‘70s, is something Springsteen touches on constantly – and no one does it better. Born to Run is a stunning example of that.
Born to Run wasn’t Springsteen’s consummate entry into stardom. He had already built a reputation as an outstanding live performer before the album’s release, and his first two albums remain classics to this day. His songwriting was never in doubt either, even prior to Born to Run. But this was the album where Springsteen advanced his persona, whose stirring presence makes such transitions so valuable in graphing Springsteen’s ascent. Stories of heading out on the town for one-night stands and causing mischief are captured in a different, more expansive light. Efforts like “Jungleland” and “Born to Run” show a quest for a more eternal and hard-fought relationship, marked by the sacrifice and commitment that makes it all worthwhile. Springsteen called Born to Run “the album where I left behind my adolescent definitions of love and freedom. It was the dividing line.” It certainly drew a solid line than separated Springsteen from his peers, who admired him upon the album’s release and still do to this day.
In support of his latest studio album, High Hopes, The Boss has revealed that he’s due to embark on a five week US tour later in the year.
Springsteen’s website currently lists 15 dates, beginning April 8th in Cincinnati and winding up with two shows at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut on May 17th-18th. This includes a previously announced stop at JazzFest in New Orleans on May 3rd, as well as dates in Nashville, Atlanta and New Orleans, among other places.
One of the most notable things about the tour is that it appears to be paying particular attention to locations largely ignored by Springsteen’s previous Wrecking Ball tour. Similarly, it’s avoiding a few Springsteen staples, such as Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, and Los Angeles. This suggests that The Boss plans on announcing another fresh batch of tour dates in the near future.
Springsteen’s latest tours have had a habit of heading to Europe over summer, before making their way back to the states, so needless to say, the internet chatter is automatically assuming this course of action is likely to happen again this year.
On April 10th, shortly after this tour begins, the E Street Band are due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
High Hopes is The Boss’ eighteenth studio offering, and is made up entirely of covers and reimagined versions of old album tracks. The album was Springsteen’s eleventh #1 album in the US, placing him third all-time for most No. 1 albums only behind The Beatles and Jay-Z. It was his tenth No. 1 in the UK, putting him joint fifth all-time and level with The Rolling Stones and U2.
The record was notable for featuring Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, as well as Springsteen’s E Street Bandmates.
The lineup for this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival has just been released, with Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Christina Aguilera, Phish and Arcade Fire among the acts scheduled to headline the 45th anniversary edition of the event, spanning two weekends this spring. Jazz Fest will take place at the Fair Grounds Race Course on April 25th-27th and May 1st-4th.
Other artists confirmed for the musical smorgasbord include Vampire Weekend, Santana, Robin Thicke, Robert Plant, Foster the People, Public Enemy, The Avett Brothers, Charlie Wilson, Alabama Shakes, John Fogerty, Trey Songz, Lyle Lovett, Ruben Blades, Johnny Winter and The Head and the Heart.
The festival has become renowned for representing solid Louisiana talent, and this year looks to be no different. Among the hundreds of Louisiana natives scheduled to appear over the two weekends are Trombone Shorty, Allen Toussaint, Aaron Neville, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Better Than Ezra, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Galactic, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Cowboy Mouth and Big Freedia.
As one of the biggest events on the festival calendar, NOLA manages to shake its lineup around every year, which is no mean feat when you consider how long it’s been around.
As The Times-Picayune explains, “The vast majority of the hundreds of acts on the schedule are native to, or based in, south Louisiana. But it is the “visiting” acts, the marquee names that inevitably headline the festival’s main Acura, Congo Square and Gentilly stages that generate the most discussion. In keeping with the blueprint of recent Jazz Fests, the 2014 headliners are a mix of contemporary and veteran rock, pop and R&B stars.”
“This is the hardest festival for me to answer the question, ‘Who are looking forward to seeing most?’” said Quint Davis, the festival’s longtime producer/director. “You can’t answer that question in the singular. This year, talent-wise, is something we’ve been growing toward. One reason is the type of festival that we’ve created, this broad, cultural, community-based palette that is designed to have these different kinds of music. From our end, it’s varied and deep. But from the other side, it means that these artists in these varied areas want to play the festival. It’s meaningful to them to be here.”
Fans of Bruce Springsteen (aka everyone in the world ever) have more than just The Boss’ new album to look forward to right now – indeed, according to the iconic musician’s manager, fans may be able to download entire live recordings of Springsteen’s concerts as soon as next month.
In a report by E Street Radio, the manager is said to have confirmed that “active discussions are ongoing and in the logistics phase,” and the hope is to have said logistics in place this month, when The Boss begins his tours of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Of course – offering downloads of live concerts is nothing new for the music industry – Pearl Jam have been doing it for around fifteen years, but it’s fair to say that Springsteen may command some significant interest by offering this to his fans.
Recordings of Springsteen’s legendary sets have remained incredibly popular online, and the man’s management have been lenient – allowing such videos to stay available to casual browsers such as yourself. Until this point, however, they had seemed reluctant to release anything officially. Obviously, though, if there’s anything to these claims from Springsteen’s management, that is all about to change.
In the meantime, Springsteen will be releasing his 18th studio album (woah!) tomorrow (woah!) High Hopes will, of course, feature the E Street Band, as well as Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello. The album represents a first for The Boss, believe or not, comprising entirely of covers, and re-imaginings, and other words with ‘re’ as a prefix. Thus far, the critical reception has been pretty amazing, though, that could just be because he is Bruce Springsteen and needn’t prove himself any longer and thus deserves acclaim in and of himself alone. Only one way to find out.
It’s the end of the year, which can only mean one thing. (Well, actually, it can mean a number of things, but let’s pretend it only means one thing.) And that thing is? It’s time to turn 2013 into a competition according to specific sets of criteria and declare a number of winners. This time it’s the turn of the biggest money-making tours.
And the winner is…Bon Jovi, who, thirty years after first forming, have scored the most successful world concert tour of 2013.
Their Because We Can tour grossed $229 million over 102 dates that started in February. Yup, $229 MILLION.
The figures don’t take into account the Australian stadium leg – tomorrow’s show in Brisbane is the last date of the band’s entire world tour.
The tour has survived a few hiccups too, including, most notably, the unexpected departure of guitarist Richie Sambora in March. In total, the tour shifted over 2.2 million tickets globally.
“This is crazy business doing stadiums 30 years on,” Jon Bon Jovi said in Melbourne. “I think that generation tells the next generation you gotta see this band live. That’s the blessing. It’s more than guys that grew up in the ’80s.”
Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour was second on the list, followed by popstar Pink.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band placed fourth on the list after grossing $147m from 53 shows, and were just ahead of Rihanna, after she played to more than 1.5m fans during the year, bringing in £137m.
It is, apparently, the third time a tour by Bon Jovi has finished as Billboard’s highest grossing of the year.
The band, which is fronted by Jon Bon Jovi, or Jon Bon, as some (I) prefer to call him, previously achieved the feat in 2008 and 2010.
On behalf of everyone at Concert Tour, congratulations Jon Bon, on your massive pile of money.
The Killers’ music has received a polarizing response for several reasons. The band’s oft-mentioned comparisons to past greats are one reason. Early material reminded of ‘80s synth-rock, with names like Duran Duran and The Cure popping up to coincide with the success of their 2004 debut, Hot Fuss. They were still remote comparisons though, with frontman Brandon Flowers’ quivering and anthem-friendly roar resulting in a fusion of the past and present that was original enough to result in an extremely prominent radio presence. With their second album, Sam’s Town, a specific comparison became especially relevant. The band had assumed a more rock-heavy approach, with Flowers’ voice echoing the grandiose quiver of Bruce Springsteen, along with the lyrical down-on-your-luck heroes that the Jersey legend so often conveyed. Named after a casino in The Killers’ native Las Vegas, the reference to a hometown relic is comparable to Springsteen on its own, but the songs themselves make Springsteen’s influence that much more resounding.
When asked his reaction to people claiming The Killers ripped off Springsteen on Sam’s Town, Flowers looked at it beneficially. “The reaction to Sam’s Town took me to a bad place. But a good thing came from it — all the anger I had toward what people were saying about the album made me want to prove how good the music was,” he said. “We would play those songs live with so much fire. In a way, the critics helped make the Killers a great live band.” The Killers’ tunes have received this response similarly to knee-jerk reactions, with many listeners seeing close sound-alikes to lack inspiration. But a track like “When You Were Young” can’t be looked past simply because it sounds like Springsteen. It’s a superb effort that captures the roaring nostalgia and longing for a hard-earned youth that Springsteen best delivers, with the working-class dreams and thunderous hooks reminding of his best work in the ’70s. Springsteen’s songwriting is more complex and jam-oriented, and Flowers has a knack for more explosive and less subtle hooks, but there’s no doubting that Springsteen’s techniques have provided Flowers a working point to expand The Killers’ sound. And even as The Killers have departed somewhat from the sound of Sam’s Town into a more modern blend as of late, Springsteen’s ghost remains like Tom Joad’s.
Bruce’s influence isn’t purely superficial. At the Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands, Flowers joined Springsteen on stage to perform Bruce’s 1975 single “Thunder Road”. The Killers and Springsteen played the first night of the three-day festival, and it resulted in glowing reviews as expected. Like Springsteen, Flowers’ rise in the musical world has coincided with large off-stage occurrences. After Hot Fuss was released, he got married and toured the world, resulting in the album that Flowers called his “rebirth”. Success was daunting for the group, but fortunately it coincided with Flowers truly discovering Springsteen for Sam’s Town. “I had another one of those 12-year-old experiences when I was 23, but this time with Bruce Springsteen. And it was just — it was elation,” he told MTV in 2006. “I couldn’t believe how happy his music made me and how good it was. He’s a gift, and I didn’t know. I mean, I knew ‘Born in the USA’ and ‘Glory Days,’ but I didn’t know that he covered so much ground, and there was something in his music that touched what I was going through, the process of falling back in love with my America.” Flowers became fascinating with writing about “the American dream”, and the result was the massively successful Sam’s Town. Although spearheaded by “When You Were Young”, the entirety of Sam’s Town is a success in capturing The Killers’ career up to that point, torn between cutting-edge creativity and a reverence for the past. What they showed listeners was that they were here to stay, even if it meant bringing along lovable influences that no sane music fan could dislike.
“Born In The U.S.A.,” “Dancing In The Dark,” “Streets of Philadelphia” – Bruce Springsteen’s back catalog is littered with anthemic hits which have defined a particular moment in American culture. But with seventeen studio albums to his name, some of his best material remains tucked away from the mainstream. Here’s a look at seven of The Boss’ greatest non-singles.
Arguably the most epic recording of his career, “Jungleland” is the sprawling ten-minute tale of doomed love which closed his 1975 breakthrough album, Born To Run. Set against a backdrop of gang violence, the exploits of The Rat and the Barefoot Girl perfectly encapsulates the record’s themes of hope and despair, while alongside a delicate intro from Israeli violinist Suki Lahav, is also responsible for one of Clarence Clemens’ finest sax solos.
Racing In The Street
Widely regarded as one of his greatest works full stop, “Racing In The Street” cemented Springsteen’s reputation as one of America’s most compelling storytellers. Narrated by a speed junkie, who escapes the humdrum of his day-job by racing his beloved Chevy 69 across the North East of the country, the standout from 1978’s Darkness On The Edge Of Town celebrates man’s desire for freedom amidst an emotive blend of melancholic piano-led verses and organ-driven instrumental breaks.
A huge departure from the bleak Americana of its predecessor, Nebraska, 1985’s seminal Born In The U.S.A. saw The Boss go straight for the jugular on a record crammed full of potential radio-friendly hits. The typically surging blue-collar rock of “Bobby Jean” was one of only five tracks which wasn’t elevated to single status, but its farewell message to departing E Street guitarist and long-time friend Steve Van Zandt remains one of the most joyously nostalgic moments of The Boss’ extensive output.
After spending much of the 90s in the musical wilderness, Springsteen’s career experienced something of a second wind thanks to his first studio album in seven years and his first with the E Street Band in almost two decades, 2002’s The Rising. Borne out of tragic circumstances, his triumphant return to form became the unofficial soundtrack to the aftermath of 9/11 thanks to the likes of “You’re Missing,” a tender but utterly devastating reflection of a widower dealing with the emptiness of his life (“too much room in my bed”). Springsteen had never sounded more relevant.
Long Time Comin’
Originally written during his The Ghost of Tom Joad tour back in 1996, “Long Time Comin’” eventually made it onto record nine years later on Springsteen’s third folk-oriented album, Devils and Dust. Something of an anomaly in his repertoire, the driving acoustic number is one of the few occasions when his accounts of family life are equipped with a sense of optimism. Whilst it also sees him drop the F-bomb in a rare moment of cursing, although he later confirmed that it was meant as a positive affirmation with regards to raising a newborn child rather than in a derogatory manner.
Livin’ In The Future
For those paying little attention to its lyrics, the highlight from 2007’s Magic would appear to be one of Springsteen’s most immediately uplifting sax-rock anthems, particularly with its infectious ‘na na na’ finale. However, “Livin’ In The Future,” is in fact, a deceptively angry protest song featuring an impassioned anti-George Bush tirade in keeping with the record’s theme of US political and social disillusionment. Referencing everything from rendition to illegal wiretapping, The Boss couldn’t make his thoughts on such weighty issues any clearer (“woke up election day/ sky’s gunpowder and shades of grey”).
We Are Alive
The finale from one of his most consistent recent studio efforts, Wrecking Ball, “We Are Alive” sees The Boss venture into hoedown territory with a charming fusion of plucked banjos, foot-stomping beats, whistles and mariachi horns, the latter of which borrows the melody from Johnny Cash’s country classic, “Ring of Fire.” A mouthpiece for the ghosts of the oppressed, protestors and immigrants (“I was killed in Maryland in 1877/ When the railroad workers made their stand”), the jaunty acoustic number finishes the album on a high note with the message that the departed souls are still helping to fight for justice today.
The Boss has just announced that his Wrecking Ball Tour isn’t finishing any time soon, after rumors that it would continue forever circulating the cyberweb for the last few weeks were fueled by the occurrence of an accidental annoncement-hasty deletion-screencapture process.
Here’s what’s happened, exactly, because it’s all a bit confusing:
1. Last week, Springsteen said that his four-city South American tour would signify the end of the Wrecking Ball tour as we know it.
2. Australian radio station Triple M posted six new Australian dates scheduled for February.
3. Then, the post was removed quickly and Springsteen kept quiet for a bit.
4. Then screencaptures emerged.
(On a tangentially-related note, I like to imagine that screencaps are all done by one person with an extensive RSS feed aggregator, so thank-you: screencap guy, wherever you are.)
5. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band have announced (officially) that they’re heading to Australia and New Zealand in 2014 for a string of seven new Wrecking Ball dates.
The tour kicks off on February 7th in Perth, and finishes up in Auckland, New Zealand on March 1st 2014.
Springsteen’s manager said the plans have been in place for ages:
“From the moment we finished the second show at Hanging Rock on March 31st, we have been working on a plan to return next year. Among other things, we wanted to expand the number of places we play to include the Hunter Valley, Perth and Adelaide, with a trip to Auckland, as well. Those venues are in addition to the new dates in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. In other words, this will be our most far reaching tour of Australasia ever – and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are planning to make it their finest.”
Australasia, you’re a very lucky bunch of people.
Pollstar has released the top grossing tours for the first half of 2013, and Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones have all been shoveling in the money so far this year.
The mid-year charts show that Bon Jovi has grossed $142.1 million in worldwide receipts this year. This comes from the group performing 60 shows in 58 cities with an average ticket price of $95.60. The group sold nearly 1.5 million tickets, and for those not doing the math, that works out to around $2.5 million per show.
Both Springsteen and the Rolling Stones sold less tickets and played less shows, but had higher ticket prices to put them in second and third place, respectively. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band sold just shy of 1 million tickets for 31 shows in 21 cities. The average ticket price was $107.19, and the group grossed an average of just under $5 million per show.
But if the dollar amounts for Bon Jovi and Springsteen seem high, wait until you see what the Stones brought in. With an average ticket price of $346.09 (!), the group grossed an average just shy of $8 million per show (!!). With the 250,000 tickets they sold to 18 shows in 11 cities, the band has grossed a total of $87.7 million so far this year.
Though they were third worldwide, the Stones were the top grossing act in North America, with Taylor Swift coming in second on the continent. But the real story of the report was not just the top concert tours, but also the positive news for the concert industry as a whole.
Pollstar reports that ticket sales from the Top 50 tours around the world totaled $1.85 billion, a 23 percent increase from the same period in 2012. The number of ticket sold, however, did not jump quite that much, with the 21 million tickets sold this year representing a 10.5 percent rise from last year. The difference was made up by a 11.5 percent increase in the average ticket price, which was $88.03 this year.