|Tour by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band|
|Associated album||The Ties That Bind: The River Collection|
|Start date||January 16, 2016|
|End date||February 25, 2017|
|No. of shows||47 in North America |
28 in Europe
14 in Oceania (Summer '17 tour)
89 in Total
|Box office||$306.5 million|
|Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert chronology|
The River Tour was a concert tour by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in support of Springsteen's 2015 The Ties That Bind: The River Collection box set and in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Springsteen's 1980 album, The River.The River Tour 2016 ended in September 2016, however dates in 2017 were added using the same promotional image from the original legs, and the tour was subsequently billed as Summer '17.
The River 2016 Tour was the top grossing worldwide tour of 2016 pulling in $268.3 million globally and was the highest-grossing tour since 2014 for any artist topping Taylor Swift's 2015 tour which grossed $250.1 million. Springsteen and the E Street Band also hold the biggest Boxscore for 2016, with the May 27 and 29 shows at Dublin's Croke Park taking in $19,228,100 from 160,188 attendance for two sellout shows.
The tour marked the first tour in two years for Springsteen and the E Street Band. All shows on the first North American leg of tour and some shows from the second leg featured a full-length sequential performance of The River album. The other shows have featured a large part of the album performed, albeit not always in album order. Many of the shows have lasted over three and a half hours with around 33 songs being performed. Springsteen broke his longest show record in the United States a few times towards the end of the tour. His show on September 7, 2016 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia clocked in at 4 hours and 4 minutes, Springsteen's longest show in the United States, and the second longest ever in his career, at just two minutes shy of his 2012 show in Helsinki.
Springsteen released The Ties That Bind: The River Collection on December 4, 2015. The extensive box set features the original 1980 The River album along with many outtakes from those sessions. Along with the full album performance (for part of the tour), songs from Springsteen's other albums will be performed and it is possible that select outtakes from the box set will be performed live, some likely for the first time.
Rumors of shows or a full tour in support of the box set spread amongst fans and the media in the months prior to the release of the box set. In November 2015 it was announced that Springsteen and the E Street Band would perform on the December 19, 2015 episode of Saturday Night Live which further fueled the rumors of a tour possibly starting in December or early 2016. The tour was announced on December 4, 2015 with tickets going on sale seven days later. The River Tour 2016 was extended with more added dates on January 24, 2016; with a rumored Las Vegas date that would be aired on HBO being cancelled. On January 27, Springsteen announced 15 new dates to added to the tour. On May 9, 2016, Springsteen announced he was extending the tour with eight late summer in the United States at mostly outdoor stadiums.
The tour in support of the box set came unexpectedly as Springsteen was working on a new solo album and planned to tour in support of it however with it already being two years since his last tour with the E Street Band he didn't want to delay things even further with them. In November 2015, Springsteen and manager Jon Landau discussed how they wanted to promote the box set. Landau suggested performing The River at a few small shows in New York City and Los Angeles; however, Springsteen said it would take too long to rehearse and suggested doing twenty shows. Drummer Max Weinberg said he got the call from Springsteen on Thanksgiving, a week before the tour was announced to the public. "In all of my professional engagements, I have what I call the Springsteen Clause. It's inviolate. It's my own version of force majeure. It's an act of God or Bruce Springsteen. And it works all the time." Weinberg said. Nils Lofgren had to change dates on his solo tour, while Gary Tallent had to postpone his.
This will be the first tour in which all dates will feature the same album performed in its entirety. Unlike the previous few tours, the touring lineup will be downsized and will not feature a full horn section or backing vocalists."I knew the basis of the show was going to be The River, and that was a small rock group. The tighter lineup feels much more like the old days", Springsteen said. Like previous tours, Patti Scialfa hasn't been present at every show due to her responsibilities as a mother supporting her daughter in her equestrian career. Due to Patti not being present at every show, along with no choir, Garry Tallent, standing in Patti's spot on stage, sang backup vocals on a consistent basis on the front line this tour.
The original River Tour began in October 1980 and continued through September 1981. With sets that regularly approached the four-hour range, the 140-date international tour firmly established a reputation for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as marathon performers.
The tour got underway in Pittsburgh on January 16, 2016. Each show so far has kicked off with "Meet Me in the City" followed by the full album performance of The River and concluded with a twelve-song set featuring songs from the rest of Springsteen's catalog usually finishing the night with a cover of The Isley Brothers' classic, "Shout". At the first show in Pittsburgh, Springsteen and the E Street Band performed "Rebel Rebel" in tribute to David Bowie who had died earlier that week. Two nights later at the tour's second show, Springsteen gave an acoustic solo performance of "Take It Easy" in tribute to Glenn Frey who had died the previous day. The show scheduled for January 24, 2016 at Madison Square Garden was postponed due to Winter Storm Jonas, a record setting snowstorm that hit the East Coast. The show was rescheduled for March 28. As a gift to fans due to the postponed concert, Springsteen made the MP3 download of his Chicago performance free for two days. At Springsteen's Washington, D.C. stop he dedicated "No Surrender" to Ryan Chalmers, a man who used the song as his anthem as he pushed his wheelchair across the United States for 71 days and over 3,000 miles. He also dedicated it as he had done at past concerts to the various military veterans attending which included Bobby Muller, president and co-founder of the Vietnam Veterans of America.Peter Wolf joined the band providing vocals on "Shout" during the show of February 4, 2016 while Joe Grushecky and Johnny Grushecky made a surprise appearance during "Born to Run" at the show of February 23, 2016. At the Rochester, New York show, Springsteen performed "I Wanna Be With You" for only the third time since 1999. Eddie Vedder made a surprise appearance on March 24, 2016 in Seattle when he joined the band for "Bobby Jean". On April 14, 2016 Bob Seger surprised the Auburn Hills crowd by joining on stage to sing on "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" and "Shout". On April 23, 2016, at the first of two Brooklyn shows to end the first leg of the tour, Springsteen said that Brooklyn would mark "the last two nights we're officially playing The River from start to finish". That night he opened with "Purple Rain" in tribute to Prince, who had just died. He made the song available as a free download on his website two days later. Chris Christie was among the crowd in Brooklyn on April 25 at the Barclays Center when Springsteen and the E Street band broke the venue's all-time attendance record. It marked the final night of the first leg of The River 2016 Tour and last show the band would be performing the entire album.
Two nights later in San Sebastián, "Fire", "Murder Incorporated", "Waitin' on a Sunny Day" and "This Hard Land" made their tour debuts. On May 25, 2016 at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Springsteen performed "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" after he spotted a fan in the crowd wearing a Santa Claus suit holding aloft a sign reading "Santa Claus is coming to Manchester", and inviting him on stage to sing with him. At the second show in Dublin on May 29, 2016, Springsteen opened the show with a rare solo piano performance of "Incident on 57th Street", which also made its tour debut, and Bono made a surprise appearance joining Springsteen on "Because the Night". The performance in The Hague on June 14, 2016, marked the second appearance of "Jersey Girl" in Europe. On July 13, 2016 and for the first time since April at the final day of the first North American leg of the tour, The River was performed in its entirety. At the same show, Springsteen opened with a solo performance of "Iceman" marking only the third time ever the song has been performed and the first time it was performed outside of the United States. Three nights later in Italy on July 16, 2016, Springsteen and the E Street Band opened the show with a very rare and surprising "New York City Serenade" complete with a string section. Springsteen has only performed the song three times outside of New York City since 2000, twice in Italy in the past three years. Springsteen also dedicated "Land of Hope and Dreams" to the victims of the 2016 Nice attack a few days earlier. On July 20, 2016, Springsteen opened the show with "Dream Baby Dream" in tribute to Suicide's Alan Vega who died a few days earlier.
Springsteen and the E Street Band kicked off the second North American leg of the tour on August 23, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey at MetLife Stadium. The show opened with a performance of "New York City Serenade" complete with string section headed by violinist and composer Sam Bardfeld (who was a member of The Sessions Band), and that song would become the opener for all shows on this leg of the tour. The show closed with a fireworks display during the song Jersey Girl (song), which also made several appearances on this leg. The second night of his three night stand at MetLife Stadium on August 25, 2016 featured a surprise appearance by Tom Morello who joined the band on several songs. The final MetLife Stadium performance on August 30 clocked in at over 4 hours and opened with a remarkable, unprecedented run of nine original songs written in 1973 or earlier, plus early live favorites Summertime Blues and Pretty Flamingo. The practice of playing a string of tracks from Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle continued throughout the rest of this leg.
The show on September 3, 2016 in Virginia Beach was postponed until September 5, 2016 due to inclement weather. On September 7, 2016 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Springsteen again broke his longest show record clocking in at 4 hours and 4 minutes, which now stands as his longest show in the United States and second longest ever. The show also saw the tour debuts of "The Fever", "Thundercrack" and "Streets of Philadelphia". The second night in Philadelphia featured original E Street Band drummer Vini Lopez on "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City" and "Spirit in the Night". Springsteen performed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2016 which was the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The show featured six songs from Springsteen's 9/11 inspired album, The Rising. Springsteen wrapped up The River Tour 2016 on September 14, 2016 in Foxborough, Massachusetts where he performed a 4 hr and 2-minute set.
On September 12, 2016, a fourth leg of the tour was announced, scheduled for nine shows in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) in early 2017, no longer being labelled as The River Tour 2016, but rather Summer '17; however, the same promotional artwork as the 2016 tour is used. The tour kicked off in Perth on January 22, 2017. The opening night's setlist for the most part was very similar to the shows during the second North America leg in 2016. "Blood Brothers" was performed for the first time since 2008. During the show, Springsteen reflected on the historic 2017 Women's March held in opposition to President Donald Trump saying "The E Street Band is glad to be here in Western Australia. But we're a long way from home, and our hearts and spirits are with the hundreds of thousands of women and men that marched yesterday in every city in America and in Melbourne who rallied against hate and division and in support of tolerance, inclusion, reproductive rights, civil rights, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, the environment, wage equality, gender equality, healthcare, and immigrant rights. We stand with you. We are the new American resistance." Springsteen again during his show on January 30, 2017 in Adelaide spoke out against President Donald Trump's Muslim ban in the United States and defending the protests against it saying "Tonight we want to add our voices to the thousands of Americans who are protesting at airports around the country the Muslim Ban and the detention of foreign nationals and refugees. America is a nation of immigrants and we find this anti-democratic and fundamentally un-American." This statement was followed by American Land, an obscure song usually performed at the end of a set, which Springsteen called an immigrant song. The show featured a cover of Van Morrison's Brown-Eyed Girl, a solo acoustic performance of "If I Should Fall Behind" and Richie Sambora made a surprise appearance on "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" and "Shout". On February 2, 2017 in Melbourne, Springsteen opened with a cover of The Orlons' "Don't Hang Up" in response to President Trump's heated phone call with the Prime Minister of Australia. "We stand before you embarrassed Americans tonight. This is a song from 1965 by The Orlons. We're going to use this to send a letter back home." The song was followed by "American Land" which Springsteen has been performing as a message of support for immigrants being kept out of America. The show also featured an acoustic performance of "Long Walk Home"."Adam Raised a Cain" and "Detroit Medley" both made their tour debuts on February 9, 2017 in Australia.
Springsteen's concert in Christchurch on 21 February 2017 was especially poignant, as it fell on the eve of the anniversary of the earthquake which devastated the centre of the city. In the weeks that followed the quake, Springsteen's song "My City of Ruins" was adopted by Christchurch as an unofficial anthem. Springsteen played the song during the concert, dedicating it to the people of the city.
Springsteen throughout his career has been well known for his lengthy shows and this tour continued that trend with the longest shows of his entire career. The show on August 23, 2016 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey lasted 3 hours and 52 minutes, at the time his longest show ever in the United States and the third longest show of his career. Two nights later, the second show at MetLife Stadium lasted 3 hours and 59 minutes surpassing the previous show. At his third and final MetLife Stadium show Springsteen performed for 4 hours and 1 minute. Springsteen's concert on September 7, 2016 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, topped the previous three shows, clocking in at 4 hours and 4 minutes, which now stands as his longest show in the United States and second longest ever just two minutes shy of his 2012 show in Helsinki.
As with previous Springsteen tours, ticket scalpers were a major problem when it came to buying tickets. Tickets for Springsteen's New York City shows began popping up on resale sites such as StubHub and eBay on December 7, 2015, four days before they went on sale to the public. Scalpers were re-selling tickets not yet available for as much as $5,000. This prompted the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to launch an investigation into how this happened and wrote a letter forcing both companies to immediately remove any listings for ticket sales. When tickets finally went on sale on December 11, many fans again were shut out from buying tickets as most venues sold out quickly and within minutes, tickets were appearing for hundreds to thousands of dollars more on resale sites. According to reports, Springsteen's shows sold out in record time. Springsteen's show in Newark, New Jersey at the Prudential Center sold out in a few minutes. His previous 2012 show at the same venue took two hours to sell out.
All shows were professionally recorded and released on live.brucespringsteen.net Many were also featured on E Street Radio.
This set list is representative of the average setlist of the tour's first North American leg as conducted by Setlist.fm, which represents all concerts for the duration of the tour's first leg. The full album performance was dropped following the first leg although was performed at a few shows on the second leg of the tour.
|January 16, 2016||Pittsburgh||United States||Consol Energy Center||N/A||18,353 / 18,353||$2,412,020|
|January 19, 2016||Chicago||United Center||19,120 / 19,120||$2,756,475|
|January 27, 2016||New York City||Madison Square Garden||18,474 / 18,474||$2,508,528|
|January 29, 2016||Washington, D.C.||Verizon Center||18,093 / 18,093||$2,383,850|
|January 31, 2016||Newark||Prudential Center||16,539 / 16,539||$2,227,836|
|February 2, 2016||Toronto||Canada||Air Canada Centre||18,134 / 18,134||$1,793,936|
|February 4, 2016||Boston||United States||TD Garden||17,039 / 17,039||$2,062,417|
|February 8, 2016||Albany||Times Union Center||15,162 / 15,162||$1,966,730|
|February 10, 2016||Hartford||XL Center||14,672 / 14,672||$2,080,294|
|February 12, 2016||Philadelphia||Wells Fargo Center||19,411 / 19,411||$2,503,356|
|February 16, 2016||Sunrise||BB&T Center||18,658 / 18,658||$2,174,905|
|February 18, 2016||Atlanta||Philips Arena||16,713 / 17,450||$1,888,030|
|February 21, 2016||Louisville||KFC Yum! Center||15,730 / 16,900||$1,847,730|
|February 23, 2016||Cleveland||Quicken Loans Arena||19,071 / 19,071||$2,520,055|
|February 25, 2016||Buffalo||First Niagara Center||18,351 / 18,351||$2,186,795|
|February 27, 2016||Rochester||Blue Cross Arena||12,581 / 12,581||$1,712,080|
|February 29, 2016||Saint Paul||Xcel Energy Center||18,628 / 18,628||$2,576,190|
|March 3, 2016||Milwaukee||BMO Harris Bradley Center||17,653 / 17,653||$1,969,655|
|March 6, 2016||St. Louis||Chaifetz Arena||9,965 / 9,965||$1,334,370|
|March 10, 2016||Phoenix||Talking Stick Resort Arena||16,480 / 16,480||$2,050,630|
|March 13, 2016||Oakland||Oracle Arena||17,117 / 17,117||$2,245,715|
|March 15, 2016||Los Angeles||Memorial Sports Arena||49,302 / 49,302||$7,050,775|
|March 17, 2016|
|March 19, 2016|
|March 22, 2016||Portland||Moda Center||12,074 / 13,700||$1,639,915|
|March 24, 2016||Seattle||KeyArena||14,767 / 14,767||$1,929,695|
|March 28, 2016[A]||New York City||Madison Square Garden||18,484 / 18,484||$2,508,003|
|March 31, 2016||Denver||Pepsi Center||16,770 / 18,540||$2,211,320|
|April 3, 2016||Oklahoma City||Chesapeake Energy Arena||12,603 / 14,332||$1,557,353|
|April 5, 2016||Dallas||American Airlines Center||15,563 / 16,961||$1,991,405|
|April 7, 2016||Kansas City||Sprint Center||12,286 / 13,813||$1,557,745|
|April 12, 2016||Columbus||Schottenstein Center||12,008 / 13,941||$1,568,810|
|April 14, 2016||Auburn Hills||The Palace of Auburn Hills||15,754 / 15,754||$1,949,443|
|April 18, 2016||University Park||Bryce Jordan Center||14,447 / 15,000||$2,038,548|
|April 20, 2016||Baltimore||Royal Farms Arena||14,124 / 14,124||$2,054,260|
|April 23, 2016||Brooklyn||Barclays Center||33,248 / 33,248||$4,641,260|
|April 25, 2016|
|May 14, 2016||Barcelona||Spain||Camp Nou||N/A||64,865 / 64,865||$6,014,054|
|May 17, 2016||San Sebastián||Anoeta Stadium||41,100 / 41,100||$3,839,494|
|May 19, 2016[B]||Lisbon||Portugal||Parque da Bela Vista||N/A||N/A|
|May 21, 2016||Madrid||Spain||Santiago Bernabéu Stadium||55,695 / 55,695||$5,359,310|
|May 25, 2016||Manchester||England||Etihad Stadium||48,614 / 50,000||$5,785,157|
|May 27, 2016||Dublin||Ireland||Croke Park||160,188 / 160,188||$19,228,100|
|May 29, 2016|
|June 1, 2016||Glasgow||Scotland||Hampden Park||45,330 / 45,330||$5,314,504|
|June 3, 2016||Coventry||England||Ricoh Arena||36,588 / 36,588||$4,523,864|
|June 5, 2016||London||Wembley Stadium||68,696 / 68,696||$9,251,527|
|June 14, 2016||The Hague||Netherlands||Malieveld||67,715 / 67,715||$5,980,218|
|June 17, 2016||Munich||Germany||Olympiastadion Munich||54,119 / 54,119||$4,797,890|
|June 19, 2016||Berlin||Olympiastadion Berlin||66,464 / 66,464||$5,932,416|
|June 22, 2016||Copenhagen||Denmark||Telia Parken||50,178 / 50,178||$4,931,456|
|June 25, 2016||Gothenburg||Sweden||Ullevi||124,734 / 124,734||$10,016,748|
|June 27, 2016|
|June 29, 2016||Oslo||Norway||Ullevaal Stadion||30,283 / 30,283||$3,111,732|
|July 3, 2016||Milan||Italy||San Siro||104,646 / 104,646||$8,998,967|
|July 5, 2016|
|July 9, 2016[C]||Werchter||Belgium||Werchter Festival Grounds||N/A||N/A|
|July 11, 2016||Paris||France||AccorHotels Arena||35,344 / 35,344||$4,103,898|
|July 13, 2016|
|July 16, 2016[D]||Rome||Italy||Circus Maximus||56,369 / 56,369||$5,258,043|
|July 20, 2016||Horsens||Denmark||CASA Arena Horsens||29,423 / 29,423||$2,927,130|
|July 23, 2016||Gothenburg||Sweden||Ullevi||64,622 / 64,622||$5,052,563|
|July 26, 2016||Trondheim||Norway||Granåsen||36,994 / 36,994||$3,897,365|
|July 28, 2016||Oslo||Frogner Park||37,126 / 37,126||$3,858,353|
|July 31, 2016||Zürich||Switzerland||Letzigrund||36,728 / 36,728||$5,178,033|
|August 23, 2016||East Rutherford||United States||MetLife Stadium||N/A||153,930 / 153,930||$18,239,039|
|August 25, 2016|
|August 28, 2016||Chicago||United Center||19,313 / 19,313||$2,459,600|
|August 30, 2016||East Rutherford||MetLife Stadium||-[a]||-[b]|
|September 1, 2016||Washington, D.C.||Nationals Park||36,463 / 36,463||$4,627,705|
|September 5, 2016[E]||Virginia Beach||Veterans United
Home Loans Amphitheater
|11,629 / 15,000||$1,082,764|
|September 7, 2016||Philadelphia||Citizens Bank Park||77,670 / 80,000||$10,048,796|
|September 9, 2016|
|September 11, 2016||Pittsburgh||Consol Energy Center||16,674 / 18,353||$2,117,125|
|September 14, 2016||Foxborough||Gillette Stadium||48,324 / 51,664||$5,439,521|
|January 22, 2017||Perth||Australia||Perth Arena||N/A||39,957 / 39,957||$5,914,782|
|January 25, 2017|
|January 27, 2017|
|January 30, 2017||Adelaide||Adelaide Entertainment Centre||10,920 / 10,920||$1,612,374|
|February 2, 2017||Melbourne||AAMI Park||Jet||51,192 / 54,000||$7,384,735|
|February 4, 2017||Jet|
|February 7, 2017||Sydney||Qudos Bank Arena||N/A||31,323 / 32,000||$4,546,210|
|February 9, 2017|
|February 11, 2017||Mount Macedon||Hanging Rock||Jet
|19,644 / 19,644||$2,895,699|
|February 14, 2017||Brisbane||Brisbane Entertainment Centre||N/A||25,220 / 25,220||$3,896,163|
|February 16, 2017|
|February 18, 2017||Hunter Valley||Hope Estate Winery||Jet
|19,722 / 19,722||$2,848,983|
|February 21, 2017||Christchurch||New Zealand||AMI Stadium||Jet
|29,254 / 29,254||$4,106,197|
|February 25, 2017||Auckland||Mount Smart Stadium||33,952 / 40,000||$4,767,320|
|TOTAL||2,486,058 / 2,520,141 (98.6%)||$293,703,964|
N/A Festivals and other miscellaneous performances
On April 8, 2016, Springsteen announced on his official website that he was cancelling his concert, two days later, at the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina, in protest at the state legislature's new law, the HB2 (nicknamed the "Bathroom Bill"), which bans transgender people from using public restrooms of the gender with which they identify and overturns local laws that ban employers from discriminating against certain workers. "Some things are more important than a rock show", remarked the singer. Springsteen was forced to postpone his concert on September 3, 2016 in Virginia Beach due to inclement weather from Hurricane Hermine. The show was rescheduled for two days later.
|April 10, 2016||Greensboro||United States||Greensboro Coliseum||HB2 law in North Carolina|
|September 3, 2016||Virginia Beach||United States||Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater||Postponed to September 5, 2016 due to inclement weather from Hurricane Hermine|