Fans continue to be wowed by Steve Van Zandt‘s performances on Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band‘s The River tour, which at seems as though “The Boss” has finally given up some of the spotlight to become a “double act.” Van Zandt, who co-produced the 1980 double set, has always been partial to the live “in-your face” sound of the album — as well as the cross-section of Springsteen tunes, which make for one of the most musically diverse albums of his career.
Van Zandt told Rolling Stone that he had “fantasized” about the band spending a shorter amount of time off the road, and with the hiatus of 2014’s High Hopes tour interrupted by a revival of The River, Van Zandt’s dream came true: “Six months, same time, then do other stuff. It’s never happened. (He) doesn’t play by the rules of career. I mean, look at the marketing, which is zero (laughs). If anyone else tried to have a career with no marketing. . . But he’s managed to come all this way, bigger than ever. This is the most successful tour we’ve done here in a long time. So from his point of view, why fix what ain’t broke?”
- Although the non-River material in the show has drawn from a very shallow pool of songs — with one 1980-era song “Meet Me In The City Tonight” — opening the show, as always, Van Zandt is the champion of the legendary outtakes from The River that began trickling out with 1998’s Tracks, with even more coming out last year on The Ties That Bind: The River Collection box set: “I’m looking at that outtake album as new music — absolutely, which is why I hope some of it gets integrated into the show, whether we’re doing it in sequence or not. We might have occasionally played ‘Loose Ends.’ We did ‘Where The Bands Are’ maybe twice, ‘Take ‘Em As They Come’ a couple of times, ‘Restless Nights’ once. Honestly, I think we’re coming out to promote a new album in that sense.”