Right now, in a world without Covid-19, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band would be preparing to tour their forthcoming album Letter to You. Slated to be the Boss and combo’s return to rock and roll, it destroys us to think of never hearing Letter to You live.
Before Covid hit, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band were scheduled to tour Spring of 2021. It’s been four years since Bruce Springsteen went on the road with the E Street Band, the last stint being 2016-17’s “The River Tour.” Though fans are witnessing several artists make plans to tour in 2021, Bruce Springsteen and fellow E Street Band members have, so far, taken themselves out of this tentative concert tour circuit.
“My antenna tells me, at best, 2022. And I would consider the concert industry lucky if it happens then,” Springsteen said in an interview with Rolling Stone. “I’m going to consider myself lucky if I lose just a year of touring life. Once you hit 70, there’s a finite amount of tours and a finite amount of years that you have. And so you lose one or two, that’s not so great.”
“The final stage of this thing when we’re back to normal like what you’re talking about, a concert with an audience, you’ve got to have a vaccine for that,” said Steven Van Zandt to the USA Today Network in May. “The earliest, earliest, earliest would be summer of ’21, and probably not. Probably somewhere in ’22.”
If Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band do wait until there is a vaccine to tour, sources indicate the earliest possibility for that would be Fall 2021. In that case, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Boss scraps together at least a few concerts to conclude the year on, while gearing up for a full-scale, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Tour in 2022.
“Letter to You,” the new album title track, arrived mid September. The song finds them in classic E Street band style—a relief for Springsteen, who’d been having trouble writing music for the band for some years (as reported in his Scorsese interview from May 2019). Crashing, confessional, and layered with years of being surrounded by musicians as talented as he is, “Letter to You” is, simply, a triumph.
Letter to You arrives October 23rd, along with a documentary which captures the mystical, bottled magic recording experience behind the album. In a press release, Springsteen described the recording session as “completely live in the studio, in a way we’ve never done before, and with no overdubs. We made the album in only five days, and it turned out to be one of the greatest recording experiences I’ve ever had.”
For five days in Springsteen’s recording studio in Colts Neck, NJ, the Boss and the E Street Band rekindled the flame fans first witnessed in 1993. You can check out the Letter to You trailer, below.
Will Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Tour in 2021? Probably not. But, we do think it’s likely that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band play together at least once before the year is over, as soon as it’s safe. Considering how desirous the Boss is of bringing this phase of the band on tour, we know it’s coming.
“Particularly because I feel the band is capable of playing at the very, very, very top, or better than, of its game right now,” Springsteen said. “And I feel as vital as I’ve ever felt in my life … It’s not being able to do something that is a fundamental life force, something I’ve lived for since I was 16 years old.”