The Year in Music 2023: Nothing can stop Bruce Springsteen … except his stomach

Bruce Springsteen tour after a seven-year absence was something fans were celebrating — until his stomach had other ideas. 

– In February, Springsteen and the E Street Band kicked off their first tour since 2016 in Tampa, with a show that had Bruce exploring loss and mortality. 

– The show included several songs off 2020’s Letter to You, as well as lots of old favorites, like “Rosalita,” “Born to Run” and “Dancing in the Dark,” and deeper cuts like “Kitty’s Back” and “E Street Shuffle.”

– While the shows received critical praise, some fans were left disappointed because unlike previous tours, the set each night remained mostly unchanged with the exception of one or two songs. 

– Fans also continued to be upset over the high ticket prices, with the organizers of longtime Springsteen fanzine Backstreets even announcing their decision to shut down over the issue.

– The tour also had to deal with COVID-19, with some shows going on without an E Street member and others postponed or canceled outright due to illness.

– After the first leg ended, Bruce brought the trek to Europe and the U.K., which included headlining British Summertime Hyde Park in London, a show attended by celebrities like Peter GabrielJon Bon Jovi and Billy Joel

– The tour returned to the U.S. in August with Springsteen playing stadium gigs, but he had to postpone several shows due to illness.  

– Then, after a triumphant three-night stand in his home state of New Jersey, things took a turn, with The Boss announcing in early September he was postponing the month’s remaining shows to recover from peptic ulcer disease.

– By the end of the month, Springsteen had announced the postponement of the rest of the 2023 tour in order to have more time to recover.

– The shows were eventually rescheduled for 2024, with the new dates kicking off March 19 in Phoenix. He also announced a 2024 European leg of the tour.

Also in 2023 …

– Springsteen’s debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J., as well as The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, celebrated their 50th anniversaries.

– In March, President Joe Biden honored Springsteen at the White House with the National Medal of Arts.

– New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy declared The Boss’ birthday, September 23, Bruce Springsteen Day in the Garden State.

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