No Retreat, No Surrender

Growin’ Up, Growin’ Older and Growin’ Young Again with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Springsteen fans have waited since 2016 for a tour. During the years since, Bruce Springsteen has written a New York Times Best Selling memoir, performed on Broadway in the hit show “Springsteen on Broadway” to sold out crowds (a residency for a total of 236 shows at the Walter Kerr Theatre and a limited run of 36 shows at the St. James Theatre), hosted a superb radio show on Sirius XM’s E Street Radio, released three stellar albums and two related documentaries, appeared at multiple benefits and concerts onstage with acts including Coldplay, Jack Antonoff, and the Killers, as well as the legendary Paul McCartney, AND produced a podcast and book with the former President of the United States, Barack Obama. Let’s just say the last seven years have been busy for the Boss.

That said, the pandemic precluded Springsteen from doing a tour to coincide with one of the most beautiful albums of his career, “Letter to You” –  a lamentation on life, loss, and death. His current tour most certainly celebrates that album, while also revisiting many of the anthems spanning his fifty plus year career.  The tour fittingly opens with “No Surrender” – a reminder that Bruce and the E Street Band are still going strong and aren’t going anywhere.  The overall setlist is a thoughtfully assembled amalgam of songs that carefully weave together a narrative covering the universal themes of youth, time, friendship, aging, and everlasting life.

A Springsteen show is all at once a joyful, life affirming experience that makes anyone and everyone feel young again, particularly because Bruce and the E Street Band’s men and women leading the giant sing-along and dance-a-thon simply never come up for air throughout a spectacular three-hour long set of songs.

Further, the camaraderie, showmanship, and positive energy exhibited throughout those three hours is unparalleled, infectious, and well, very simply –  jubilant and extraordinary.

Finally, it is Bruce and the band’s relationship with his global fan base, now spanning multiple generations, (the tour goes to Europe in early May and returns to the U.S. for a stadium and arena run) that brings the house to its feet for 3 hours straight, and  “brings down the house” to join the band in their joyful exuberance – singing, dancing, and fist pumping and bumping all the way through.

Exaltations of survival and triumph in the face of resistance, fulfillment in the face of loss, defiance in the face of time, and life in the face of death bring a sense of immortality to the 20,000 fans each night. Though it could seem that ticket price scandals and setlist criticism could put a damper on things, this is just not the case. This tour is a thoughtfully curated, celebratory production that brings Springsteen fans along for the journey of a lifetime: Growin’ up, growin’ old(er), and growin’ young again….never retreating and never surrendering. “Talk about making it real”, “showing a little faith because there’s magic in the night”, and that “it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive”, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band bring all those themes to life with the biggest exclamation point ever. Go! Run to this show. 

And whatever you do, take a cue from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: don’t retreat and never surrender.

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