The Boss is coming back to Buffalo.
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band will do their part to continue the stream of upper-echelon rock and pop shows we’ve been getting at First Niagara Center over the past year when they arrive at that venue Feb. 25.
Tickets ranging in price from $58.50 to $138.50 will go on sale at 10 a.m. Dec. 11.
Rumors of a tour, predominantly in the Northeast, and hot on the heels of the release of the massive, era-encompassing “The Ties That Bind: The River Collection” box set, started a few weeks ago on fan blogs and unofficial websites.
That led Springsteen’s fans to share what looked like a bogus string of tour dates – the routing of the rumored tour was ludicrous, and had Springsteen and company crisscrossing, doubling back, and repeating shows in similar markets, which was a pretty major tell – on social media.
But on Nov. 17, Springsteen’s official website announced that the Boss would be the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” on the evening of Dec. 19, the rumors suddenly seemed more believable.
As expected, the tour will have a huge presence in the Northeast, at venues that are easy driving distances from Buffalo. It kicks off Jan. 16 in Pittsburgh and includes stops in Toronto (Feb. 2), Albany (Feb. 8); Cleveland (Feb. 23), and Rochester (Feb. 27)
Details on the tour in general and the local show in particular remain foggy. Will this be an in-concert celebration of the “River” material predominantly, meant to promote the new box set, out Friday? That’s a likely scenario. Will he perform “The River” in full and in order - a la Stevie Wonder and his “Songs In The Key of Life” tour that just played Buffalo - echoing his November 2009 Buffalo show, when he gave us “Greetings from Asbury Park, New Jersey,” in what turned out to be the final-ever E Street show for the late, great Clarence Clemons? Will Springsteen surprise everyone and drop some brand new material? Whatever Springsteen & the E Street Band end up offering us on February 25, fans will be able to relive it time and again - each night of the tour will be recorded and offered as high-def download or CD within days of the performance, via BruceSpringsteen.net.
One thing is perfectly clear: When it comes to concerts, the year that is about to end has been one for the books.
In 2015, First Niagara Center hosted Garth Brooks, Fleetwood Mac, 40th Anniversary Rush show, the Eagles, Paul McCartney, Dead & Co. and Stevie Wonder, in rapid succession. Stadium rock returned with Ralph Wilson Stadium welcoming the Rolling Stones and One Direction. The summer featured an endless stream of outdoor concerts, many of them free.
Now, before this epic year comes to a close, we learn that Springsteen is on his way at the start of 2016.
Happy New Year, indeed.