The Boss Is Back
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Return to Cleveland for The River Tour Feb. 23
photo credit - (c) Amy Weiser Photography
But, this isn’t The Boss’ first Cleveland rodeo. In fact, he’s got history right here in The Land.
Back in 1974, Springsteen and the E Street Band played one of 10 Northern Ohio dates in Cleveland. The show attracted just around 500 attendees who were some of the first fans of this burgeoning Jersey musician.
By 1978, though, he was a full-fledged rocker with national cred. While in the midst of a major arena tour, he put on a legendary performance at The Agora Ballroom in Cleveland to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the local rock radio station WMMS-FM.
But this wasn’t any old radio station. Back then, FM radio was the redheaded stepchild of the radio world - upstaged by its more powerful AM counterparts. But that disregard led to the creation of WMMS-FM in Cleveland, which played into the growing popularity of free-form radio where the DJs were able to play what they wanted.
For just about a decade, the DJs at WMMS, who attained rock-star status on a national level, programmed the station to focus around up-and-coming musicians and just plain good music. By keeping with this philosophy, the station catapulted the careers of such bands as Rush, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac and, of course, Springsteen.
So, right smack dab in the middle of Cleveland’s rock revolution, The Boss and his band performed a three-hour, jam-packed concert at The Agora live on this influential radio station. To top it off, the broadcast was simulcast to other stations within the Midwest, subsequently reaching more than 3 million people.
Many claim that this is one of the best Springsteen live concerts of all time. In fact, the event lived on to be one of the most coveted bootlegged concerts ever. It wasn’t until December of 2014 that high-quality audio of the concert was official released.
It’s the release of another collection of Springsteen’s music that has sparked 2016's The River Tour, which makes its stop in Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena on Feb. 23.
In December, Columbia Records released “The Ties That Bind: The River Collection,” which covers the rocker’s 1980 album “The River,” as well as a tour with the same name. The collection includes 52 tracks on four CDs, four hours of never-been-seen-before video on three DVDs and other unreleased material.
To celebrate the release of the collection, Springsteen and the E Street Band are on a nearly 40-city international tour.
The set list? You guessed it. The songs from the beloved 1980 album will be in full force. But be ready. In true Springsteen fashion, shows have lasted almost four hours chock full of nearly 30 Springsteen classics.