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Springsteen plans intimate solo tour

The Boss will play 14 shows in U.S. through May 20
/ Source: Billboard

Bruce Springsteen will get intimate on a solo acoustic tour in support of his new Columbia release, “Devils & Dust,” which will be released April 26.

The tour of theaters and arenas scaled down to theater configurations begins April 25 at the Fox in Detroit. Springsteen will play 14 shows in the U.S. through May 20 before beginning a European run May 24 at the Point in Dublin.

The Boss finishes in Europe June 26, with more U.S. dates likely. “Our hope is that sometime by the fall we will come back to the U.S. and make some additional appearances in our biggest Bruce markets,” longtime Springsteen manager Jon Landau told Billboard.

The plan is to quickly showcase the music of “Devils & Dust,” Landau said. “Bruce has a beautiful new CD that we’re very excited about and we want to get out and show the colors right off, touch base with as many cities as we can conveniently do,” he said.

Ticket prices are not yet final, but Landau said they will be in the $85 range for premium seats and will not exceed $100 in any markets.

All of the shows will be intimate, Landau said, even in the arenas. “A number of arenas, like our friends at the Meadowlands (in East Rutherford, N.J.), have perfected a sort of theater look that allows us to play to a slightly larger audience than a typically sized theater without giving up the overall feeling of intimacy,” Landau said. “We will be playing in this theater-in-the- arena setting in Phoenix, St. Paul, (Minn.), Cleveland and New Jersey, as well as in most of Europe.”

The production will use “appropriately sized” video screens at all venues, Landau adds.

Springsteen last toured solo in support of his “Ghost of Tom Joad” release in 1995. Then, he played only acoustic guitar. This time, he will also play piano, Landau said.

“Bruce is rehearsing the show right now, creating a very specific perspective for it,” Landau said. “As is always the case with Bruce, the set will evolve right up until the last show.”

A solo performance is the best way to go with the new material, Landau believes. “’Devils & Dust’ has a combination of rock music and acoustic music, but as a body of work we thought that the intimacy of the solo show wound up best serving the CD as a whole,” he explained. “The full rock version of some of the new songs is sure to be part of the next E Street Band tour.”

On Springsteen’s last solo tour, he played more than 100 North American dates. The 48 shows reported to Billboard Boxscore grossed about $5 million and drew roughly 150,000 people.

Landau said this run will not be nearly as extensive because “Bruce is also working on new music. This tour won’t turn into one of our typically super-extended run of shows.”