The Boss and The Pixies Take Full Albums On The Road

Ah, the full album concert: an often under-appreciated, sometimes overdone twist on an otherwise typical rock show. Some bands do it to promote a new album, some do it because their old albums are much better than their newer ones, and still others do it just because their songs don’t make sense in any other format. This week saw announcements from two acts that will perform a full album on the road.

Bruce-Springsteen-002

Ah, the full-album concert: an often under-appreciated, sometimes overdone twist on an otherwise typical rock show. Some bands do it to promote a new album, some do it because their old albums are much better than their newer ones, and still others do it just because their songs don’t make sense in any other format. This week saw announcements from two acts that will perform a full album on the road.

Rolling Stone reports that “a source close to Bruce Springsteen” has confirmed a rumor that he will perform at least one full album during his upcoming tour. On September 20, he will play his 1975 album, Born to Run, at Chicago’s United Center. The show announcement comes about a year after the Boss performed both Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town at New Jersey’s Count Basie Theater. An as-yet-unconfirmed rumor states that he will play an album per night during his five-night residency at Giants Stadium in early October. Rolling Stone predicts Greetings From Asbury Park, The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle, Born To Run, Darkness On The Edge Of Town and Born In The USA.

When asked which album he would most like to play live, E Street guitarist Steve Van Zandt responded, “It’s gotta be The River. I’d want to include the outtakes on the Tracks collection. Then you have a hell of a show. You don’t have to do anything else.” Van Zandt may have to wait awhile, though, as the Boss thinks “the E Street Band will probably take a rest for a little while. But it all will happen again. We’re lifers, we’re gonna go on forever.”

On the indie rock front, The Pixies have just confirmed a solid block of U.S. shows where they will perform 1989’s Doolittle. The tour, which will follow some previously announced European gigs, will commemorate the album’s 20th anniversary and will include related B-sides.

The full album gig is catching on of late. Bands from Aerosmith to the Decemberists have been whipping out these epic shows in the past year. Even Public Enemy is in on the trend, having wowed Bonnaroo with a live take of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back this June. This format, however, is nothing new. The organizers of All Tomorrow’s Parties have been convincing acts like The Stooges and Sonic Youth to try it since the “Don’t Look Back” series began in 2005. Even further back, Pink Floyd, notorious for albums that should only be played straight through, played all of The Wall at shows throughout the early 80’s.

While some speculation circulates concerning the viability of these shows in a struggling economy, the format works to some artists’ advantage. Pollstar’s Gary Bongiovanni suggests, “Part of it’s just experimentation…you’re just trying to stand out in what’s going to be an increasingly crowded marketplace.” If you are a diehard fan (or just willing to take a musical and financial risk), go catch some “stand out” full album shows this fall.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour:

07-16 Carhaix, France – Festival des Vielles Charrues

07-19 Rome, Italy – Stadio Olimpico

07-21 Turino, Italy – Olimpico di Torino

07-23 Udine, Italy – Stadio Friuli

07-26 Bilbao, Spain – San Mames Stadium

07-28 Benidorm, Spain – Estadio Municipal de Foietes

07-30 Sevilla, Spain – La Cartuja Olympic Stadium

08-01 Valladolid, Spain – Estadio Jose Zorrilla

08-02 Santiago, Spain – Monte Del Gozo

08-19 Hartford, CT – Comcast Theater

08-22 Mansfield, MA – Comcast Center

08-23 Mansfield, MA – Comcast Center

08-25 Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center

09-10 Nashville, TN – Sommett Center

09-12 Tampa, FL – Ford Amphitheatre

09-13 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Bank Atlantic Center

09-16 Greenville, SC – Bi-Lo Center

09-20 Chicago, IL – United Center

09-30 East Rutherford, NJ – Giants Stadium

10-02 East Rutherford, NJ – Giants Stadium

10-03 East Rutherford, NJ – Giants Stadium

10-08 East Rutherford, NJ – Giants Stadium

10-09 East Rutherford, NJ – Giants Stadium

10-13 Philadelphia, PA – Spectrum

10-14 Philadelphia, PA – Spectrum

10-25 St. Louis, MO – Scottrade Center

10-26 Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center

11-02 Washington, DC – Verizon Center

11-03 Charlotte, NC – Time Warner Cable Arena

11-07 New York, NY – Madison Square Garden

11-08 New York, NY – Madison Square Garden

11-10 Cleveland, OH – Quicken Loans Arena

11-13 Auburn Hills, MI – Palace at Auburn Hills

11-15 Milwaukee, WI – Bradley Center

Pixies Doolittle tour:

08-29 Burl’s Creek Park, Ontario – V Festival

09-30 Dublin, Ireland – Olympia

10-01 Dublin, Ireland – Olympia

10-02 Dublin, Ireland – Olympia

10-04 Glasgow, Scotland – SECC – Hall 4

10-06 London, England – Brixton Academy

10-07 London, England – Brixton Academy

10-08 London, England – Brixton Academy

10-09 London, England – Brixton Academy

10-11 Frankfurt, Germany – Jahrhunderhalle

10-13 Amsterdam, Holland – Heineken Music Hall

10-14 Brussels, Belgium – Forest National

10-15 Paris, France – Zenith

10-16 Paris, France – Zenith

11-04 Los Angeles, CA – The Palladium

11-08 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater

11-09 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater

11-12 Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre

11-13 Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre

11-14 Eugene, OR – Hult Center

11-16 Denver, CO – The Fillmore

11-20 Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom

11-21 Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom

11-23 New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom

11-24 New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom

11-25 New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom

11-27 Boston, MA – Wang Center

11-30 Washington, D.C. – Constitution Hall

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