It's official. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band will be back to play a string of new American concert dates in March and April of 2008.
As the curtain went down on the first American leg of Springsteen's Magic tour in Boston this past Monday night, it was already common knowledge that they would be back, with tickets already on sale in a few cities (Hartford, Rochester, Buffalo, Anaheim, Atlanta).
But on Tuesday, the entire schedule became official, as dates covering the Northwest (Seattle, Portland), the South (Dallas, Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Greensboro, Charlotte), and Canada (Vancouver BC, Montreal QC), lasting through the end of April were announced.
While this is great news for fans, it comes amidst what could prove to be a troubling development. Rumors are circulating on the internet that longtime E Street Band keyboardist Danny Federici will not be part of the upcoming dates, due to unspecified health reasons.
Monday night's first-leg closing performance in Boston seemed to lend some credence to these rumors. In one of the wildest setlists of the tour, Federici was heavily featured on rarely played songs like "This Hard Land," as well as "4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)" and "The E Street Shuffle" (both from Springsteen's second album The Wild, The Innocent, and The E Street Shuffle).
In a review of the Boston show published yesterday by Backstreets Magazine, it was clear that the night was an emotional one, and that those moments of emotion were centered on Federici. As the concert drew to a close, Bruce and the rest of the band embraced the keyboardist at center stage as the crowd chanted "Danny! Danny!"
The closing moments from that show — and the emotional scene — can be viewed in the video below:
While the rumors of Federici's health problems and his leave of absence from the remaining tour dates are at this point, just that — rumors — there has already also been idle chatter of a potential replacement for Federici on the soon-to-start European leg, Seeger Sessions Band keyboardist Charles Giordano.
Here are the 2008 American tour dates — along with ticket on sale times for each city — for Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, as reported by Backstreets Magazine:
28 – Hartford, CT – HCC Arena (on sale now)
2 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre (on sale 11/24)
3 – Hamilton, ON – Copps Coliseum (on sale 11/23)
6 – Rochester, NY – Blue Cross Arena (on sale now)
7 – Buffalo, NY – HSBC Arena (on sale now)
10 – Hempstead, NY – Nassau Coliseum (on sale 1/19)
14 – Omaha, NE – Quest Center (on sale 12/8)
16 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center (on sale now)
17 – Milwaukee, WI – Bradley Center (on sale 11/26)
20 – Indianapolis, IN – Canseco Center (on sale 12/8)
22 – Cincinnati, OH – U.S. Bank Arena (on sale 12/1)
24 – Columbus, OH – Schottenstein Center (on sale 12/1)
28 – Portland, OR – The Rose Garden (on sale 12/8)
29 – Seattle, WA – Key Arena (on sale 12/8)
31 – Vancouver, BC – GM Place (on sale 11/30)
4 – Sacramento, CA – Arco Arena (on sale 1/19)
5 – San Jose, CA – HP Pavillion (on sale 1/21)
7 – Anaheim, CA – Honda Center (on sale now)
8 – Anaheim, CA – Honda Center (on sale now)
13 – Dallas, TX – TBA (on sale TBA)
14 – Houston, TX – TBA (on sale TBA)
18 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Bank Atlantic Center (on sale 12/1)
19 – Orlando, FL – Amway Arena (on sale 12/1)
21 – Tampa, FL – St. Pete Times Forum (on sale 12/1)
25 – Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena (on sale now)
27 – Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Bobcat Arena (on sale 12/7)
28 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum (on sale 12/7)
30 – Charlottesville, VA – John Paul Jones Arena (on sale TBA)
Here is a video montage featuring some of the highlights of the Magic tour thus far. These videos, all pro-shot, have all been featured on Springsteen's official homepage.
Update: The status of Danny Federici's health and his leave of absence from the tour was confirmed on Wednesday morning in an official statement, which reads as follows:
Danny Federici, an original member of the E Street Band, is taking a leave of absence from the current Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour to pursue treatment for melanoma. Charles Giordano, who played with Bruce as a member of the Sessions Band, will temporarily fill in for Danny until he is able to return. Federici has been playing keyboards with Springsteen since the late Sixties. Said Springsteen, "Danny is one of the pillars of our sound and has played beside me as a great friend for more than 40 years. We all eagerly await his healthy and speedy return."
Federici has been actively supporting the Melanoma Research Foundation and its Wings of Hope Gala, honoring Dr. Paul Chapman.
Our best wishes go out to the family of Danny Federici.