«Hold on, we’re coming!», says Bruce Springsteen’s manager Jon Landau to the Italian fans. The New Jersey rocker is aware of our economic crisis. Figures are dreadful: one million people lost their jobs in 2012; the unemployment rate for young people (15-24 years old) reached a frightful 38,4%. The future looks bleak: it’s like being trapped in Darkness On The Edge Of Town.
Bruce Springsteen will hopefully uplift spirits with the forthcoming concerts in Naples (May 23), Padua (May 31), Milan (June 3), and Rome (July 11). He’ll give people comfort and joy, says the E Street Band guitar player Nils Lofgren. As the New Jersey rocker Nicole Atkins puts it, «When you buy a ticket for a Bruce Springsteen’s concert, you know that for the next three hours he’s gonna be your best friend».
Heres’ an excerpt from the Jon Landau and Nils Lofgren interviews, part of the Bruce Springsteen’s JAM magazine May cover story.
Each Bruce Springsteen tour is a different conversation with the audience…
Jon Landau: «You’re exactly right. Bruce always does two different things. He brings a core of songs that people expect to hear. It’s a thread that flows through the show. And then, he adds a selection of new songs and other songs that he doesn’t normally perform that connect to what goes in his mind right now. Bruce is well aware of the economic and social condition in Europe and Italy. So, the show is intense, tearing. But it has all of the joy, the positivity, and the spiritual uplift that Bruce always brings with him».
Nils Lofgren: «It’s a conversation with your brother or a close friend. I’m like anyone else in the audience: these songs make me sad and make me laugh, make me ecstatic to be alive and make me feel goofy. We want to inspire people and send them home with some hope».
The influence of black music on Bruce and the E Street Band is more relevant than ever. Is it another way to connect with people?
Jon Landau: «Yeah. Bruce sometimes calls it his Rock & Soul Tour. He has the ability to present a full spectrum of American music. Everything that Bruce does is about reaching the audience. As he often told me, you have two elements: the artist and the audience. But during the concert the sum of the two elements has to turn into three. The third element is “us”».
Nils Lofgren: «We’re Bruce’s tools. The E Street Band is the greatest toolbox in rock’n’roll history. The soul singers and the horn players are new tools that he put in the box».
Bruce and the long-serving members of E Street Band are 61, 62, 63 years old. How long will these stadium concerts be going on?
Nils Lofgren: «You’re talking to a man who’s been on the road for 45 years. I’ve played thousands of shows. I got two hips replaced four years ago. I snapped the muscle in the middle of my left calf kicking a monitor accidentally. So for me, the future is tomorrow. The future is the next show».