Thursday, February 19, 2009

Little Steven needs Little Rehearsal

Steve Van Zandt says that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band need less than a week's worth of rehearsals to gear up for their North American tour, which kicks off on April 1st in San Jose. Van Zandt explained to Billboard, "This will take, I'm going to guess, five or six rehearsals, only because we have a new album. We need to relearn or rearrange the new songs for the live versions. We'll fool around with that stuff for maybe a week, and out we go."

He went on to joke, "I have fun learning on the road. Every tour you spend the first month or two relearning the songs as you play them. I'm still learning the chords for 'Born To Run!'"

He shed light on Springsteen's recent Super Bowl appearance by saying, "(We rehearsed) more than the last two tours combined. The technical stuff was absolutely fascinating, to see how they did that staging. It was just amazing to me. They had the thing up in four minutes!"

Van Zandt remained noncommittal on whether Springsteen and the band would start tackling full albums in the concert setlists the way they did last May. At a Red Bank, New Jersey benefit, the group performed both the Born To Run and Darkness On The Edge Of Town albums in their entirety. Van Zandt said: "That was so much fun. It might be a fun way to do something different. Maybe we'll be able to fit that in somewhere, but we have a whole new album to do as well."

At a pre-Super Bowl press conference earlier this month, Van Zandt said that the members of the E Street Band continue to perform for the exact same reasons as they did when they were teenagers: "I think one of the things we're kind of proud of is that I think there is a certain inspirational quality to what we do. And that's because when we grew up, we had very high standards in the '60s, y'know? We're trying to attain that kind of greatness that we grew up with lookin' at the Beatles and the Rolling Stones -- people like that, Bob Dylan. So, we'll always be 16 as Bruce said, and we're always trying to attain that greatness that we grew up with, which also gives us that extra motivation. We get on stage and I think that helps communicate a little bit of inspiration."

The long-delayed 30th anniversary box set celebrating the 1978 Darkness On The Edge Of Town album is nearing completion. No release date has been announced yet.

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