Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Bruce Springsteen heads to Kilkenny in July

The facts: Bruce Springsteen has added two more Irish dates to his Irish tour in July. In addition to previously announced shows in Limerick, Cork and Belfast, Springsteen & The E Street Band will now play Kilkenny’s Nowlan Park on …

Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 08:28


The facts: Bruce Springsteen has added two more Irish dates to his Irish tour in July. In addition to previously announced shows in Limerick, Cork and Belfast, Springsteen & The E Street Band will now play Kilkenny’s Nowlan Park on Saturday and Sunday July 27 and 28. The dates, the last in the band’s European tour, are part of a Wrecking Ball Weekender at the venue with Glen Hansard and Damien Dempsey on the bill for Saturday and Imelda May and the awesome LAPD (Liam O’Flynn, Andy Irvine, Paddy Glackin and Donal Lunny) playing on Sunday. Tickets for the Wrecking Ball Weekender go on sale next Thursday (February 7) and cost €90 for standing tickets and €100 for seated tickets (both plus Ticketmaster Born In the USA taxes).

Brian Cody, I’m coming for you

The overview: I bet every promoter out there is wondering if there is any other act who could do play five big stadium shows in Ireland in a month and sell them all out. Yes, these two dates will go the way of the other three. Any cribbing about high ticket prices is not going to make a blind bit of difference in this case and all 40,000 tickets (20k per show) will be gone by lunchtime next Thursday because people know that Springsteen delivers a hell of a show. That will be 140,000 tickets sold by Springsteen in Ireland this summer.

Back to the question: would Bon Jovi, for example, be able to do this? We hear that the Slane show is still stuck in the mid-thirties ticketwise so it’s turning out that the instant demand, as predicted, is just not there and this will require a lot of promo. Jon Bon Jovi on the Brendan O’Connor TV show? Get ready Jon boy!

However, flip the script and send the Jovi round the country and what would happen then? Stick ‘em in stadiums in Cork, Killarney, Galway and Thurles. Would that work? Would the band be prepared to do that? While freeing up more dates in the schedule would be an issue, the gigonomics would probably work out well. And the Jovi would probably be more at home in those sports arenas than Slane. Actually, most people would be home at home away from Slane.

But it really is a case of what-if because that New Jersey band is clearly not like this New Jersey band. I’m always reluctant to talk about any “bond” between an act and an audience, but it does appear as if Springsteen’s appeal to Irish music fans has just grown stronger in recent years. You can see it in the huge numbers of younger fans at the shows here now, joining the grey-hairs in the audience for some of that magic.

Taking Springsteen out of Dublin on this occasion was a masterstroke by promoter Peter Aiken because it freshens things up. Springsteen has played Dublin so many times at this stage that he could probably make his way from the Merrion Hotel to his favourite bowling alley in the city on Dublin Bus without too much bother. But taking him around the country means there’s a new narrative to tell and the rapid sell-out of those three early shows is hugely telling in this regard because people have definitely bought into the move. It would be interesting to know did Team Springsteen require much persuasion to go beyond the M50. Clearly, like the fans, they’re happy with the move because they’re back to end the European tour in the Marble City. Don’t be surprised if other acts and promoters copy the manoeuvre in the next few years, if they come up with the right act. After all, not every aul’ lad with a guitar can sell 140,000 tickets just like that.

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