Bruce Springsteen announces an international tour for 2023. But when is he coming to Philly?
The Boss is back.
Is Bruce Springsteen finally coming back to Philadelphia?
Probably, but we don’t yet know exactly when.
In all likelihood, it will be sometime early in 2023 when Springsteen and the E Street Band return to the road for the first time since 2017.
That’s when the Boss and his bandmates will launch “a string of to-be-announced U.S. arena dates,” that will be followed by a batch of European stadium shows. Those dates were officially revealed in a hotly anticipated tour announcement at the stroke of midnight Tuesday morning.
The tour dates, which will be Springsteen’s first since 2017, will begin in Barcelona on April 28 and will carry on throughout Europe, where he is a much bigger draw than he is in the U.S., before ending in Monza, Italy, on July 25.
Springsteen said in a statement: “After six years, I’m looking forward to seeing our great and loyal fans next year. And I’m looking forward to once again sharing the stage with the legendary E Street Band. See you out there, next year — and beyond.”
Presumably, as Philadelphia has always been a stronghold for Springsteen, rivaled only by North Jersey and New York, those initial arena dates would include shows at the Wells Fargo Center.
But this very strange tour announcement didn’t make that clear. Because while the first run of unannounced arena dates will precede the European stadium shows, there will be a second run of U.S. arena dates that won’t begin until August 2023. So who knows? Maybe the Philly dates will be in that second batch.
Ticketing information for all the European shows can be found at brucespringsteen.net.
The announcement follows rampant speculation that began earlier on Monday when Springsteen’s Twitter account posted a 15-second clip of the current version of Springsteen & the E Street Band — including sax player Jake Clemons and keyboard player Charles Giordano, as well as long time E Streeters such as Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg — playing “Born in the U.S.A.” The clip ended with the words “May 24, 2022 BruceSpringsteen.net” appearing on the screen.
Bruce hasn’t performed in Philly since 2016
Springsteen last performed in Philadelphia for two shows at Citizens Bank Park in 2016. The first of those, on Sept. 7, is the longest show the Boss and band have ever played in North America, clocking in at 4 hours 4 minutes.
In the years since, Springsteen published his Born To Run memoir and performed the theater piece that grew out of it, Springsteen on Broadway.
That show ran for 236 sold-out performances in 2017 and 2018, and then 31 more shows last summer as Broadway made its come back after the COVID-19 shutdown.
He also released two albums of new music: 2018′s country-flavored Western Stars, featuring various studio musicians, and 2019′s Letter To You, with the E Street Band.
It was widely anticipated that Springsteen and the E Streeters would return to the road in 2020, but a tour was not announced before the COVID live music shutdown took hold, and fans have been patiently waiting for Tuesday’s announcement..