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Springsteen tour freeze-out: Big-name acts become big-ticket items

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (pictured on the screen of a fan recording with their phone) performed at the TD Garden on March 20.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Shows are where the money is made now that the music is basically free

Re “On tour: Top billings, but only for top earners: With nosebleed prices, concerts become another preserve of the affluent” (Page A1, March 19): When I was a teenager, I saved up much of my money to buy the latest albums of my favorite solo artists and groups and saved up most of the rest of my money to go to concerts by those favorite acts that came through town. Now, almost half a century later, the concerts are far more expensive than back in my day, but the music itself is pretty much free. Artists have become more dependent on concert tours for their livelihood since they are no longer able to earn as much on purchases of their popular songs.


While it is unfortunate that only the affluent can afford to attend concerts with these updated pricing structures, compared with 50 years ago this approach has also resulted in much broader access to the music itself.

Paul E. Greenberg


That TD Garden show? Guess you had to be there.

Re “Springsteen shows a lot of faith, and there’s magic in the night” (Living/Arts, March 22): It sounds from Marc Hirsh’s review of the Bruce Springsteen show at TD Garden like it was a really good concert.

Too bad you have to be wealthy to get a ticket these days.

Makes me miss Tom Petty more than ever.

Rick Cutler

West Barnstable

A sellout or strictly business? Views vary

Eric R. Danton’s front-page story about the astronomical prices of big-name concerts generated more than 360 comments on BostonGlobe.com. The following is an edited sample:

Bruce, sorry pal, you have sold out. Your 25-year-old self wouldn’t recognize you now that you’re 73. (gandalf433)

Most of the bands favored by well-to-do boomers have turned into oldies acts. People spend this money in an effort to pretend they aren’t getting older. I wouldn’t go to one of these concerts for more than $50 a ticket. (visionsofneal)


There’s a ton of good music out there in the small venues. Save your money and help save the really talented artists out there trying to make it. Experiment, don’t get stuck in a rut, you’ll be glad you did. Try an outdoor festival in the summer, too. (Geo22)

Been a long time since I’ve gone to a concert once the prices got out of control. It’s not just the tickets but also the add-on charges from Ticketmaster that are making it worse. I remember paying $25 face value to see The Rolling Stones and Living Colour at what was then Foxboro Stadium in 1989, plus paying $12 to see Aerosmith (1986) in a general admission show where I wound up in the front row. Folks today won’t get the same experience at today’s equivalent to those prices. (bh1214)

They can’t rip people off with albums and CDs anymore so live is where the money has to be made. (EphWilliams)

The Declaration of Independence offers “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as inalienable rights. Nowhere does it guarantee that you will have access to inexpensive tickets to concerts by top artists. Life ain’t always fair. (Capt. Jeffrey Spaulding)

The problem is that greed is destroying this country and turning it into an oligarchy of the 1 percent. The middle class is being destroyed. We can’t afford anything any longer. Capitalism at work. (metintodd)


Have you figured it out yet? It’s not personal — it’s strictly business. A lesson that needs to be learned. (Numeral)

I always get stuck behind the 6-foot-6-inch guy with the mullet. Never fails. (hard_rocker)

Well, anyway, how was the concert?

And then there was the show itself. Marc Hirsh’s review of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Monday night tour date at TD Garden generated more than 75 online comments. Here’s an edited sampling:

He’s the man. To anybody who didn’t think you got your money’s worth, oh well. (RickS357)

His music is a constant across the decades of our changes. (telex108)

He is a multimillionaire, and he decided that it’s about time he started acting like one. If you can’t pay thousands to hear him sing about poor people, then you can just be one of the poor people and you will understand his message. (dewitt clinton)

I was at the show, and reactions are going to vary based on the metrics a person is using. Personally, it’s powerful to see Bruce up there at 73 playing with passion and the band still together, many of them for nearly 50 years. That said, it was largely a crowd-pleaser show. Maybe the tour will evolve, but right now there’s no spontaneity, limited engagement, and very little of the “you had to be there” magic that would convert a non-Bruce fan. It was a great rock concert, just not a great Bruce concert. (apatrickg08)


Heaven forbid a musician try to please the crowd! It was a phenomenal concert. There were enough new and quasideep cuts, but the meat was the hits, as it should be for a 2023 Springsteen concert. (WashingtonMD)

I went to hear Aiofe O’Donovan on March 17 at the Sanders Theatre. She played and sang all of “Nebraska.” Did Bruce do any of her material? (csandmel)