The Bruce Springsteen Timeline

Winter-spring 2002

The aftermath of September 11 has inspired Bruce to write about the consequences of the terror attacks on ordinary people and altogether the concept of loss. So armed with a load of new songs he and The E Street Band enter the Southern Tracks Studio in Atlanta where acclaimed producer Brendan O'Brien will try to take the band's sound into the new millenium. Quick progress is made and around April the new album is finished.

July 30 2002

The Rising is released in most of the world. On the same day Bruce and the band can be seen live on the Today Show, which has moved its studio to the beach in Asbury Park. They perform live at the Convention Hall in front of an audience of contest winners and are interviewed by anchor Katie Couric as part of an unprecedented marketing blitz. In the following days and weeks Bruce is all over the television screen giving several interviews and performing his new songs.

August 7 2002

After several rehearsal shows at the Convention Hall, the Rising Tour officially kicks off at the Continental Airlines Arena. The show is marred by technical problems and lack of flow. For the first time at arena shows in North America, the floor now offers general admission in an attempt to both raise the crowd's energy and beat the scalpers. The first 300 in line will even be let into a pit directly in front of the stage, causing lots of controversy among the fans.

August-September 2002

The first part of the tour, dubbed the barnstorming tour by Jon Landau, rolls through the US with exclusively one-night stands in selected cities. In the beginning the setlists vary very little, if at all, but later on Bruce loosens up and start to add new songs and surprises.

August 29 2002

Bruce opens the MTV Video Music Awards playing "The Rising" from an outdoor stage in New York City in front of a small, but wet audience and millions of TV viewers.

October 14-27 2002

The tour heads to Europe for a brief European stint consisting of only seven shows. The first half of the show in Barcelona is broadcast live on MTV. The complete show is later released on DVD.

November-December 2002

The North American tour continues with more barnstorming shows and more setlist changes.

October 5 2002

Bruce and the band perform on Saturday Night Live.

December 11 2002

Bruce performs on Late Night With Conan O'Brien. Unlike earlier appearances on David Letterman, Bruce and the band are not there to promote The Rising. Instead they do some loose versions of "Merry Christmas Baby" and, incredibly, "Kitty's Back" in what ranks as one of the best TV performances by Bruce ever.