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Local Springsteen fans seem to have gotten what they hoped for

If you feared that Friday morning’s official on-sale for Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band’s Feb. 25 appearance at First Niagara Center was going to be a repeat of the Paul McCartney scenario, you need not have worried.

Those who lined up outside First Niagara Center waiting for the ticket windows to open, or hovered over their computer keyboards waiting to click the “purchase” tab at the stroke of 10 a.m., more than likely got what they came for.

“People who wanted tickets and tried to get them this morning at 10 a.m., should have gotten them,” said First Niagara Center vice president of arena events Jennifer Van Rysdam.

At 11:30 a.m., scattered good seats – a few in the $135 100 level price point – were still available, though the general admission floor allotment was long gone. By 12:15, the concert was announced a sellout.

This stands in stark opposition to McCartney’s on-sale, when tickets were sold out within minutes. There are many reasons for this, principal among them the level of demand – McCartney had never performed in Buffalo prior to his October gig here, and he tours in short, controlled bursts these days. He also happens to be a Beatle. So there’s that.

Tickets for McCartney’s show were gobbled up by secondary market sellers and eager fans alike. Springsteen fans are equally enthusiastic and devout, but unlike McCartney, who did a pre-sale deal with American Express, Springsteen doesn’t do that – all tickets for the 23-date “The River” tour went on sale at the same time this morning. So, theoretically at least, everyone had an equal shot at scoring some.

Also controlling the orderly flow of Springsteen tickets is the fact that the man is not shy about saturating our region with shows. He and the E Street Band will be in Toronto on Feb. 2, Albany on Feb. 8, and Rochester on Feb. 27. (If you didn’t grab your Rochester tickets Friday morning, you’re out of luck; that show sold out in less than 15 minutes.) The true road warriors among the fan base might consider hauling it to Boston on Feb. 4 and Hartford on Feb. 10. And Cleveland, where Bruce and the Band will be on Feb. 23, is only a three-hour drive.

Springsteen this week phoned in to Sirius XM’s E Street Radio to chat about the tour, suggesting that the release of “The Ties That Bind: The River Collection” box set provided him with a good excuse to gather his fellow E Streeters together. Springsteen is at work on a new album, but told E Street Radio that this new material is not something he’s likely to be performing with the full band.

For all the shows on this tour, Springsteen and the Band will perform his classic 1980 album “The River” in its entirety, as well as tunes culled from throughout Springsteen’s ever-expanding catalog.


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