Bruce Springsteen has a new album out that is getting mostly good reviews. He is out this fall touring with the E Street Band. If you read my list of artists I’ve seen multiple times, you know that Bruce is a three-fer, so naturally I wanted to check out the tour for the new album.
Unfortunately, all the dates in my area conflict with my son’s marching band schedule. This leads to one of those ethical dilemmas parents always face: doing something you want to do versus doing something to support your kid. To help make that decision I mentally weighed the relative merits of The E Street Band against The Marching Band.
|Band Size||There are 9 people including Bruce in the most recent official group photo.||This year’s band is 35 strong including two drum majors and three color guard members.|
(Click picture to see a bigger version.)
|Tour Schedule||Bruce is playing 26 dates in 17 cities for the US leg of the tour. There were “rehearsal” shows in Asbury Park and the tour kicked off earlier this week in Hartford. The closest shows to me were Philly and DC.||The Marching Band plays at five home football games and travels to five competitions including Hershey, Wilmington, Cumberland, and Annapolis.|
|Ticket Prices||At the Verizon Center, most tickets were $95 plus service charges for any decent seat. Current prices on StubHub for non-nosebleed seats range from two hundred to over a thousand.||Four bucks gets you into a home football game. I don’t know what the competitions charge since I usually get in free because “I’m with the band.” I bet five bucks sounds about right.|
|Ticket Availability||The first DC show sold out in less than five minutes. A second show was added but tickets were all gone by the time I learned about it at noon.||Walk-ups welcome.|
|Set List||Each night’s setlist is a little different, but it tends to be equal parts new material off his new Magic album, big hits, and older gems.||This year's show celebrates the 50th anniversary of West Side Story featuring excerpts from “Maria” and “Officer Krupke”.|
|Show Length||Bruce shows are nearly three hours long with over 20 songs.||Each band has ten minutes to perform, but with dozens of bands, a competition can go for 6 to 8 hours.|
|Saxophonist||Clarence Clemons is one of the world’s best recognized and most loved sidemen in music.|
My son is a senior and it's his second year as section leader. This year he is playing the tenor sax in the show.
When all the pros and cons are weighed, especially the all-important sour-grapes there-was-no-way-to-get-Bruce-tickets factor, I think I will spend my fall weekends earning Good Parent Karma Points by driving to obscure stadiums to watch my son play out his senior year in the marching band. Bruce will come back to town someday. My son will never be seventeen again.
BlatantCommentWhoring™: Who would you rather see, your favorite rock band or your kid's marching band? Come on, be honest.