What is next for Bruce Springsteen? Does it include the E. Street Band? Or another album and tour? These are the questions for E. Street Nation, the fans of rock and roll icon who concluded the Wrecking Ball/High Hopes tour Sunday night in Uncasville, CT, after 26 months of touring the world.
Springsteen had been rumored to be extending the tour for some time now but nothing ever came to fruition. Arenas around the country were rumored to be “held” for Springsteen shows this summer and fall but Springsteen confirmed to his audience Sunday night that the band was taking a break.
Springsteen saluted his fans at the end of the night, saying they had “made this simply one of the greatest musical stretches of our lives.” It was also one of the most eventful as the E. Street Band played five continents, supported two highly acclaimed albums and toured for the first time since the death of Clarence Clemons. The “Big Man” as he came to be known was one of Springsteen’s closest friends and band mate for 40 years. The E. Street Band was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the course of the tour, joining Springsteen as members on April 10, 2014.
For fans holding out hope Springsteen also reportedly played a private show in Los Angeles, CA recently where he was rumored to have told friends that the band will be taking a long break after the tour came to an end. In addition, a member of the Springsteen team, who tours with “The Boss” tweeted recently that they would have to find other work for the rest of the year.
Between that and Springsteen’s own comments Sunday night this would seem to refute any chances of seeing Springsteen in 2014. So the question remains, what will Bruce Springsteen do next? There are rumors of an album in the works but such talk is hardly going out on a limb as Springsteen always has a couple of albums worth of material he is working on. When he is ready to put out an album the buzz is usually paired with confirmed news of the E. Street Band being in the studio somewhere.
The real mystery is what happened to all those dates he was holding? Perhaps it was simply a matter of rest for himself and the band; after all Springsteen and the E. Street Band hit five continents during this tour playing in front of four million fans as they literally crossed the globe, so the idea of getting much-needed rest is understandable. Springsteen himself though has never been played with more energy and remains at the top of his game. During the “High Hopes” part of the tour Springsteen played 182 different songs over 34 shows, an unheard of number for any band on any tour.
Whatever comes next for Bruce Springsteen it will be hard to top the success and events of this tour, which also featured the collaboration with Tom Morello of “Rage Against The Machine” who filled in for Steven Van Zandt during the “High Hopes” part of the tour and brought new life to tunes like “American Skin” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” Springsteen’s career and music rivals any in the pantheon of pop music history and this tour was a testament to that status. It will be hard to top.
Commentary by Mick Varner