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Buffalo's Bruce Springsteen primer

It's Bruce Day.

Springsteen and the E Street Band will bring The River Tour to the stage at First Niagara Center this evening.

If you already have tickets to the 7:30 show, you know the drill: Get there early because security guards will be stationed at the entrance to check coats and bags.

If you're starting to regret not having tickets to the officially-sold-out show, you are in luck: A cursory search of craigslist and StubHub shows hundreds of tickets still available for purchase, many at face value.

Check out more Springsteen content before Thursday's show:

*Read Miers' interview with Springsteen's guitarist Nils Lofgren
*Miers' reflections on "The River"
*Meet Buffalo's traveling crew of Springsteen fans
*Read Dale Anderson's review of Springsteen's first Buffalo show in 1978
*Photo gallery of Springsteen's Buffalo shows over the years

More things you need to know:

Wear comfortable shoes

The shows on the tour so far have been lengthy, often more than three hours. Springsteen and the Band love to play, and unlike so many top-tier acts touring, they never seem to be in a hurry to go home. You’re going to feel the same way. Also, don't plan to sit down a lot.

The name of the tour is not accidental

I was amazed at how many people dropped me massages after Stevie Wonder’s recent show at FNC complaining about the setlist. “He played all these songs that I didn’t really know from that one album,” was the general gist. Um, the Wonder tour was called “Songs in the Key of Life,” and the printing on the ticket boasted as much.

So, yeah, Wonder played “Songs in the Key of Life,” start to finish. Springsteen’s tour is called “The River Tour,” and yes, he will be playing that whole album, start to finish. So please, don’t start yelling for “Thunder Road” four songs into the set!

Once “The River” is finished, all bets are off

Springsteen and the Band have been mixing up the post-“River” set selections from night to night. They’ve even taken a few requests. You never know what we might hear.

General Admission lottery in effect

Fans holding general admission floor tickets for tonight’s show can pick up a sequentially numbered wristband at the venue beginning at 2 p.m. today. Wristbands will be distributed until 5 p.m.

A starting number will be randomly picked at 5:15 p.m. The line for the GA “pit” area will start with the randomly drawn number. (For example, if the number is 10, the line will form behind the fan with that number on their wristband, and proceed through number 11, 12, etc.) View the official pit lottery policy here.

Springsteen wants you to donate to the Food Bank of Western New York

“Bruce has been partnering with the Food Bank of WNY for about 20 years,” says Catherine Shick, Public Relations Coordinator with the Food Bank.

“He makes it a point to encourage fans to help fight hunger by donating whenever he does a concert here, and he and his team also make personal donations. Overall, their incredible support has helped provide nearly 570,000 meals in the community. Needless to say, we are incredibly grateful for his support.”

Fans can make monetary donations before, during and after tonight’s show. Food Bank volunteers will be on hand accepting your offerings. They’re not hard to find.


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