Exactly three years ago I started this blog, in anticipation of the upcoming release of Bruce Springsteen's latest album, Working On A Dream. I called it a brilliant record when I reviewed it back in Jan of '09. I take that back now; I gave it a spin just the other day, and I must say it doesn't hold up well, aside from four or five songs. It's nothing compared to The Rising and Magic. At this point, we are waiting for the release, or announcement rather, on the details of Bruce's record, rumored to be out in Feb or March. No one is sure if it's a solo or E Street effort, but either way I would expect it's gonna be something vastly different from what he has done in the past, and I strongly believe he's capable of putting out another masterpiece.
I also made a sort of new year's resolution to attend as many E Street shows as possible, time and money permitting of course. So instead of waiting for the announcement of any Australian dates (which I'm sure will happen eventually), I've decided to travel back to the UK next summer to see the band. But this trip would not have been possible if not for two other acts: Pearl Jam and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (doing their first European tour in 20 years).
This has never happened before and probably won't happen again. PJ, Petty and Springsteen all touring the UK in the same exact week. They're all headlining Isle Of Wight, providing one of the best line-ups of any 2012 summer festival. Meanwhile, Glastonbury will not take place next year, and Hard Rock Calling is bumped back to mid-July. I'm happy that Bruce and his band are playing Hyde Park again, and as much as I'd like to go back to it, I would take any non-festival show any day. That's where the real fans are.
So it'll be PJ in Manchester (20 Jun) and Springsteen in Sunderland the next night. 22 Jun is still pending; Petty is doing the first night of Isle Of Wight, same night as Springsteen at Manchester's Etihad Stadium. Would like to avoid IOW if possible, so I'm holding out for more Petty gigs in the UK (there's a one week gap before his headlining gig); anyway, I do not believe he and the Heartbreakers will travel all the way to Europe and not play a show in London at least. It's still a long way to summer, but I can already feel the emotion welling up in me when I think of Clarence not being on stage with the band.
Whenever a major Springsteen tour is announced, I can imagine people immediately dropping what they're doing, rushing to post on BTX and GL, start making traveling plans around Europe or the States, like it's the most important thing in the world. And then before you know it, the ticket-buying anxiety starts kicking in. And then the other 'worries'; will I have good seats, will I have a good view in GA, how long will the show be, what will the setlist be like. I can easily apply the same situation now for the case of Pearl Jam. I love that whole feeling. Happy new year, and keep on rockin' in the free world!