Bruce Springsteen 1992–1993 World Tour

The Bruce Springsteen 1992–1993 World Tour was a concert tour featuring Bruce Springsteen and a new backing band, that took place from mid-1992 to mid-1993. It followed the simultaneous release of his albums Human Touch and Lucky Town earlier in 1992. It was his first of four non-E Street Band tours. Later, Springsteen had more non-E Street Band tours, the Ghost of Tom Joad Tour, the Seeger Sessions Tour, and the Devils & Dust Tour. The tour was not as commercially or critically successful as past tours, due to poor reception of Human Touch and Lucky Town as well as changes from previous tours. According to Springsteen biographer Dave Marsh, die-hard fans have informally referred to the backing band as “the Other Band” (and the tour as “The Other Band Tour”).[1]

Itinerary

The tour was preceded by a June 5, 1992 U.S. “dress rehearsal” radio broadcast of the new band. Springsteen said, “I missed playing. I missed getting out. I missed the fans. I’ve been home a while. I’ve worked hard on the records.”[2] The tour’s first leg was conducted in arenas in Western Europe, opening on June 15, 1992 at the Globen in Stockholm. Springsteen said, “It’s nice to start the tour here. It’s nice to be back among people who have always been hospitable.”[2] After 15 dates there, including five at London’s Wembley Arena, the tour came home to the United States.

There, the second leg began in late July with a then-record 11 consecutive dates in New Jersey’s Meadowlands Arena. It continued in arenas through the U.S. and Canada, for a total of 61 shows through mid-December.

Springsteen then took a three-month winter break, before starting up again in late March for the third leg, a longer stint in Western Europe that played 31 dates there, some in outdoor stadiums. The tour proper ended on June 1, 1993 in Oslo’s Valle Hovin.

The 1992–1993 Tour backing band

Springsteen had dissolved his long-time backing E Street Band in 1989, and had not used them on Human Touch and Lucky Town. This tour was his first time out with another group. Looking for a somewhat different sound, he assembled an outfit that gave him both more guitar-based arrangements and a more R&B-based feel with more backup singers; gone were the organ and saxophone key elements of the traditional E Street sound.

Keyboardist Roy Bittan was the only E Street Band member retained. Most of the rest of the touring band were experienced session musicians who were not well known to the general music audience. Better-known ace session drummer Jeff Porcaro, who had played on Human Touch, was supposedly offered $1 million to join the tour, but instead stayed with his band Toto.[3]

Springsteen’s new wife and previous E Street backup singer Patti Scialfa was not a regular member of this band, but made guest appearances at many shows to duet with Springsteen on some combination of “Brilliant Disguise”, “Tougher Than The Rest”, and “Human Touch”.

The show

Shows typically began with several selections from the new albums—typically the self-described happy songs “Better Days”, “Local Hero”, and “Lucky Town”—and emphasized the new material throughout. Slots for older songs were mostly given to numbers from his massively-selling 1984 Born in the U.S.A. album.

Highlights from the new material included Springsteen crowd surfing during “Leap of Faith”; nature imagery motifs running through the show and culminating with frequent show closer “My Beautiful Reward”; a distortion-fest on “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)”, one of several numbers where the band’s sound verged on heavy metal; and the emotional peak of “Living Proof” with its U2-styled synthesizer settings.

The main set closer continued to be “Light of Day”, a role that it had assumed in the Tunnel of Love Express Tour and here was elongated with an “I’m just a prisoner … of rock and roll!” rap, while the band introductions song was “Glory Days” in the encores.

Springsteen 1970s classics that were heavily identified with the E Street Band sound were finessed either by rearranging them (“Thunder Road” was recast on acoustic guitar) or avoiding them (gone were the epics “Backstreets”, “Jungleland”, and “Racing in the Street”). Springsteen’s biggest hit single, 1984’s “Dancing in the Dark”, was stripped down to near-solo electric guitar and given a tired, weary reading, before being dropped from the set lists altogether.

Commercial and critical reaction

Meadowlands Arena officials placed a large sign on their structure for the opening of the North American leg of the tour. July–August 1992.

The tour played a large number of dates and sold many tickets. The eleven-show stint in the Meadowlands surpassed his 10-show run there in the first leg of the Born in the U.S.A. Tour, but ticket demand was much higher then; here, the shows were not actually sold out at start time.[4] Ticket sales were strong along the Eastern Seaboard, but weaker in areas such as Cleveland and Detroit, a reflection of the two albums’ lackluster sales performance and failure to generate much in the way of hit singles.[5]

Critical reception of the tour was varied. Lars Lindström reviewed the opening Stockholm show for Back Beat and said, “the musicians have not yet become a band – and they lack the moments of total togetherness both musically and physically. Only singer and percussionist Crystal Taliefero […] and singer Bobby King have the undisputed charisma.” USA Today nationally visible music writer Edna Gundersen thought very highly of the opening New Jersey show, saying that “For those doubting that such [domestic bliss and] inner contentment can co-exist with rebellious rock passion, Springsteen offers living proof: an emotionally resonating, downright rowdy 27-song rock ‘n’ roll shindig.” She also said that the new band was “a cohesive force worthy of succeeding the crack E Street Band”, and also called out Taliefero for praise. The New York Timess Jon Pareles, reviewing the same show, also commented about the show’s themes of “the healing power and everyday complications of love”, and said that “Mr. King brings a falsetto gospel to songs with a touch of 1960’s soul music, while Ms. Taliefero is a sassy female foil.” Matty Karas of the Asbury Park Press wrote that “The whole show seemed something of a monologue on what he’s been up to: getting divorced, getting remarried, having children, changing bands, sorting out a rocky life, falling off the pop charts, realizing there are more important things in life than rock ‘n’ roll and realizing you need to rock ‘n’ roll anyway. Mirroring his real life, it was as directly autobiographical a show as he’s ever performed.”

Fan response fell roughly into three categories:[citation needed]

  1. Those who welcomed the new sound and thought highly of the shows
  2. Those who were open to a new sound but did not think that this particular band hit the mark
  3. Those who were aghast at the very notion of departing from the E Street sound.

It is impossible to measure the relative proportion of these; among the Springsteen faithful, the most common verdict over time has been that they enjoyed the shows while they were there, but have not felt cause to revisit them (via bootleg or official recordings) since. However, Springsteen biographer Dave Marsh later wrote that the Springsteen hard-core fan base had rejected the tour because “its sound was somewhat blacker.”[citation needed] Whatever the cause, certain new numbers such as “Big Muddy” and “If I Should Fall Behind” were completely ineffective in the United States, eliciting an exodus to the beer and bathroom lines and minimal applause afterward.

Several specific developments did annoy fans. One was the general discovery that Springsteen was using a Teleprompter to remember his words by. It soon became clear that he was dependent upon the device, as for on long lyrics such as “Thunder Road” he would check the screen a good eight or nine times. A similar discovery was made by those seated behind the stage, that drummer Zachary Alford[6] was using a red-LED metronome to keep proper time. Finally was the unexpected outcome of the band’s MTV Unplugged appearance, where Springsteen lost the confidence in the band and after one acoustic song, did the rest of the concert in normal electric mode, thus violating the show’s fundamental premise. This did result in the In Concert/MTV Plugged album release, which documents what the 1992–1993 Tour band sounded like.

In the end, the fact that this was still a rock band, with a still conventional instrumental line-up, meant that it would be directly compared with the E Street Band and thus find it hard to establish a significant identity of its own. Over a decade later, Springsteen would solve this problem in his next non-E Street Band, non-solo tour, the Sessions Band Tour, where the makeup of the band and of their sound was utterly different from anything before and thus impossible to compare.

Broadcasts and recordings

As previously mentioned, a national radio rehearsal show and the abortive MTV Plugged show, the latter of which as In Concert/MTV Plugged was released in audio on CD and in video on VHS and later DVD formats.

Several shows have been released as part of the Bruce Springsteen Archives:

  • Brendan Byrne Arena, New Jersey June 24, 1993, released January 5, 2018
  • Meadowlands, July 25, 1992, released May 3, 2019
  • Boston December 13, 1992, released May 7, 2021

Tour dates

DateCityCountryVenueAttendanceRevenue
Europe
June 15, 1992StockholmSwedenGlobe Arena15,500 / 15,500
June 17, 199216,337 / 16,337
June 20, 1992MilanItalyForum di Assago
June 21, 1992
June 25, 1992FrankfurtGermanyFesthalle Frankfurt
June 26, 1992
June 29, 1992ParisFrancePalais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy
June 30, 1992
July 3, 1992BarcelonaSpainPlaza Monumental de Barcelona
July 4, 1992
July 6, 1992LondonEnglandWembley Arena
July 9, 1992
July 10, 1992
July 12, 1992
July 13, 1992
North America
July 23, 1992East RutherfordUnited StatesBrendan Byrne Arena220,902 / 220,902$6,295,707
July 25, 1992
July 26, 1992
July 28, 1992
July 30, 1992
July 31, 1992
August 2, 1992
August 4, 1992
August 6, 1992
August 7, 1992
August 10, 1992
August 13, 1992WorcesterThe Centrum28,531 / 28,531$813,134
August 14, 1992
August 17, 1992Auburn HillsThe Palace of Auburn Hills
August 18, 1992
August 21, 1992RichfieldRichfield Coliseum
August 22, 1992
August 25, 1992LandoverCapital Centre36,563 / 36,563$1,042,046
August 26, 1992
August 28, 1992PhiladelphiaThe Spectrum37,402 / 37,402$1,065,958
August 29, 1992
September 2, 1992Tinley ParkWorld Music Theatre
September 3, 1992
September 24, 1992Los AngelesLos Angeles Memorial Sports Arena48,547 / 48,547$1,383,590
September 25, 1992
September 28, 1992
September 29, 1992San DiegoSan Diego Sports Arena11,138 / 14,336$328,571
October 2, 1992PhoenixAmerica West Arena29,555 / 33,050$711,813
October 3, 1992
October 6, 1992SacramentoARCO Arena
October 13, 1992TacomaTacoma Dome
October 15, 1992VancouverCanadaPacific Coliseum
October 17, 1992CalgaryOlympic Saddledome15,976 / 16,972$408,439
October 18, 1992EdmontonNorthlands Coliseum
October 21, 1992Mountain ViewUnited StatesShoreline Amphitheatre40,000 / 40,000$1,008,000
October 22, 1992
October 26, 1992DenverMcNichols Sports Arena
October 30, 1992AmesHilton Coliseum
October 31, 1992MinneapolisTarget Center17,903 / 17,903$447,575
November 3, 1992MilwaukeeBradley Center17,720 / 17,720$443,000
November 5, 1992TorontoCanadaSkyDome48,781 / 48,781$1,300,361
November 6, 1992
November 9, 1992UniondaleUnited StatesNassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum33,940 / 36,000$967,290
November 10, 1992
November 13, 1992SyracuseCarrier Dome29,411 / 32,000$735,275
November 15, 1992HartfordHartford Civic Center15,673 / 15,673$446,681
November 17, 1992Chapel HillDean E. Smith Student Activities Center
November 18, 1992CharlotteCharlotte Coliseum
November 23, 1992OrlandoOrlando Arena14,822 / 14,822$370,550
November 24, 1992MiamiMiami Arena15,739 / 15,739$393,475
November 30, 1992AtlantaThe Omni
December 2, 1992DallasReunion Arena15,756 / 17,000$385,329
December 3, 1992St. LouisSt. Louis Arena12,415 / 19,184$282,325
December 5, 1992IndianapolisMarket Square Arena14,000 / 17,000
December 7, 1992PhiladelphiaThe Spectrum36,119 / 36,119$1,029,392
December 8, 1992
December 13, 1992BostonBoston Garden28,841 / 28,841$821,969
December 14, 1992
December 16, 1992PittsburghCivic Arena15,710 / 15,710$392,750
December 17, 1992LexingtonRupp Arena13,000 / 23,000
Europe
March 31, 1993GlasgowScotlandScottish Exhibition and Conference Centre
April 3, 1993DortmundGermanyWestfalenhallen
April 4, 1993
April 7, 1993ZürichSwitzerlandHallenstadion
April 8, 1993
April 11, 1993VeronaItalyStadio Marcantonio Bentegodi
April 13, 1993LyonFranceHalle Tony Garnier
April 15, 1993SheffieldEnglandSheffield Arena23,650 / 23,650$734,108
April 16, 1993
April 19, 1993RotterdamNetherlandsRotterdam Ahoy Sportpaleis
April 20, 1993
April 23, 1993GhentBelgiumFlanders Expo
April 24, 1993
May 1, 1993LisbonPortugalEstádio José Alvalade
May 5, 1993MadridSpainVicente Calderón Stadium
May 7, 1993GijónEstadio Municipal El Molinón
May 9, 1993Santiago de CompostelaAuditorio Monte do Gozo
May 11, 1993BarcelonaEstadi Olímpic de Montjuïc
May 14, 1993BerlinGermanyWaldbühne
May 16, 1993MunichAlter Flughafen Riem
May 17, 1993MannheimMaimarkthalle
May 20, 1993DublinIrelandRDS Arena
May 22, 1993Milton KeynesEnglandNational Bowl
May 25, 1993RomeItalyStadio Flaminio
May 28, 1993StockholmSwedenStockholm Olympic Stadium
May 30, 1993GentofteDenmarkGentofte Sportspark
June 1, 1993OsloNorwayValle Hovin
North America Benefits
June 24, 1993East RutherfordUnited StatesBrendan Byrne Arena
June 26, 1993New York CityMadison Square Garden

Cancellations and rescheduled shows

July 2, 1992BarcelonaPlaza Monumental de BarcelonaRescheduled to July 4, 1992 due to transport strikes in France
October 8, 1992Mountain ViewShoreline AmphitheatreRescheduled to October 21, 1992 due to illness
October 9, 1992Mountain ViewShoreline AmphitheatreRescheduled to October 22, 1992 due to illness
October 28, 1992St. LouisSt. Louis ArenaRescheduled to December 3, 1992 due to sore throat
November 21, 1992LexingtonRupp ArenaRescheduled to December 17, 1992 due to illness
December 11, 1992PittsburghCivic ArenaRescheduled to December 16, 1992 due to bad weather

Songs performed

Originals
Cover songs
Soundchecked/on setlist but not performed

Source:[7][8][9][10][11]

Band members

  • Bruce Springsteen – lead vocals, guitar & harmonica
  • Shane Fontayne – guitar
  • Tommy Sims – bass
  • Zachary Alford – drums
  • Roy Bittan – keyboards
  • Crystal Taliefero – guitar, percussion & background vocals, saxophone on “Born to Run”
  • Bobby King – background vocals
  • Gia Ciambotti – background vocals
  • Carol Dennis – background vocals
  • Cleopatra Kennedy – background vocals
  • Angel Rogers – background vocals
  • Patti Scialfa – guest appearances for guitar & harmony vocals on “Brilliant Disguise”, “Tougher Than The Rest”, and “Human Touch”
  • Jon Bon Jovi – lead vocals, guitar (Last show on April 3)
  • Richie Sambora – lead vocals, guitar (Last show on April 3)

Notes

  1. ^ See

    Marsh, Dave (2006). Bruce Springsteen on Tour, 1968-2005. Bloomsbury USA. ISBN 1596912820. On page 194, Marsh writes that the ‘Other Band’ term first came from “Bruce’s cult”, which “expressed itself in Internet discussion groups, fanzines, and parking lots before shows.” Marsh then adopts the term himself in writing about the tour. For example, on page 198, he states of fans’ impressions of the tour, “The idea seemed to be that anything Bruce did with the Other Band that he hadn’t done with the E Street Band indicated error.” On page 204 he writes, “Human Touch and Lucky Town, the Other Band and the tour, even Bruce’s split with Juli … combined to crack the illusion of a solid bond between the artist and his audience.” On page 208, he begins a chapter with, “The Other Band Tour lasted almost exactly a year, from June 15, 1992, in Stockholm to June 26, 1993, at Madison Square Garden in New York.”

  2. ^ a b “AP story June 1992”. greasylake.org. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  3. ^ William Ruhlmann, Jeff Porcaro biography, Allmusic. Accessed April 19, 2007.
  4. ^ Asbury Park Press, July 25, 1992.
  5. ^ Asbury Park Press, July 19, 1992.
  6. ^ Discogs – Zachary Alford – (profile & discography)
  7. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2015-06-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ “Brucebase – home”. brucebase.wikidot.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  9. ^ “Backstreets.com: 2017-2018 Setlists”. backstreets.com. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  10. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2012-07-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ “Boston ’07”. www.brucespringsteen.net. Retrieved 20 April 2018.

Sources

  • Killing Floor’s concert database supplies the itinerary and set lists for the shows, but unfortunately does not support direct linking to individual dates.
  • Brucebase the same, with ticket and promotional images as well.


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