Some explanations by the man himself
Backstreets: So this tour comes as quite a surprise!
Springsteen: It was a surprise. It was a surprise to us, too, you know? We were kind of heading on a slightly different path — I had some new music, which was a little more of a solo record. I thought that I'd be out on that next. But then the box set came out, and we started to fool around with the idea of playing maybe a show… then, well, maybe two shows… and that turned into a short leg that we have going here in the States. It's a chance to let people experience the record start to finish, which we've only played once before.
Of course every time a tour ends, there are always fans wondering if that's the last time we'll see the band, so it's exciting that we get another chapter. Do you know what the lineup will be this time?
It's just the original post-[reunion] setup.
No horn section, no singers?
Yeah. So that should be fun. It was the kind of thing where I looked at it and decided, well, I have this project that I like a lot, but it's probably going to involve me playing by myself. And I figured if I get into that, it could be quite a while before the band ends up touring again. So having this little respite in there is gonna be a nice thing — it gives us a chance to get out there again before it ends up being a real long span.
What inspired you to hit the road for this one? It was five years ago, almost to the day, that you were at the carousel in Asbury Park for the Promise show there, but that was a one-off. You've had the Born to Run box, and then the Darkness box... is there something about the River box that makes you want to go out and play it?
The idea of touring was just, well gee, we have this big project, these projects take a long time to put together, and what is the way to get it the most attention, and make it the most exciting? And that's obviously: well, we could play! It's been long enough since we've played that that tasted pretty good.
These days we don't have to go out and play 150 shows every time the band comes together. You can go out and play 20 shows, if you have something to do — or if you just feel like it. We're no longer bound by the previous rules of, "You've gotta have a record, then you've gotta go out and tour for two years.…" I don't think we have to do that anymore at this point. Though I'm sure we'll do it in the future.