Wrapping up the 2012-2013 Wrecking Ball Tour, Part 3: “Top 5s”

Today is Part 3 of 4: The first of a set of “Top 5s” from the tour. Parts 1 and 2 covered the tour stats and can be found here (1) and here (2).

Top 5 Solo/Acoustic Performances:
Songs performed just by Bruce, either on acoustic guitar or piano

5. Incident on 57th Street, December 6, 2012, Phoenix
Granting a request, Bruce chose the opening of the encore of his last US show for this special version. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrBCgS_ELoE

4. The Ghost of Tom Joad, June 22, 2013, Nijmegen
Bruce opened several shows on his Europe 2013 tour with a new acoustic arrangement. The faster tempo, powerful harmonica break and deliberate vocal phrasing seemed to have been inspired by Tom Morello’s frequent guest appearances on the song. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEVkmF9wsKI

3. This Hard Land, July 28, 2013, Kilkenny
Starting this past October, Bruce’s official website released several official videos from the tour. Bruce introduced the series, writing: “as we’ve been on break we’ve had a chance to look back on some of the tour highlights.” It was no surprise that this song, from the final night in Kilkenny, was the first one chosen. On the symbolic “last night” of the tour, Bruce chose this song as the very last number. Watch for Bruce’s voice to quiver with emotion during the third verse: “Well, now even the rain it don’t come around, don’t come around here no more/and the only sound at night’s the wind slamming that back porch door.”
Official video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ssg4_KMrS0o

2. Roll of the Dice, May 28, 2013, Hannover
Granting a sign request, Bruce admitted that he’d never played this song before in a solo arrangement. The result shows that was no impediment – he sang the piano parts as necessary, and his vocal delivery was strong throughout.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9fM-9ssaUE

1. Independence Day, July 4, 2012, Paris
Bruce choosing to perform this song on the 4th of July (American Independence Day) wasn’t much of a surprise, but the arrangement certainly was. Bruce has often joked on stage about his lack of skill on the piano, but when he’s really concentrating (and probably with a little luck) he will sometimes pull something off flawlessly, as he did that night in Paris. In recognition of the magnitude of the performance, an official video was posted on Springsteen’s website and YouTube channel.


Top 5 Alternate Arrangements
(Songs performed in a arrangement different than their best-known version)

5. High Hopes, March 16, 2013, Brisbane
A new arrangement that was so good, Bruce selected it to be the title track of his forthcoming album. Featuring percussion from Everett Bradley, a trademark solo from Tom Morello and the E Street Horns.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O7kIRrgt0A

4. The Promise (full band), April 1, 2012, Washington
The full band version of “The Promise” was done at special performance in December 2010 before a tiny crowd, but never during a tour-proper show since its full-band debut on the first night of the Darkness tour. Just like in 1978, it was performed full-band just this one time, with Bruce returning to a solo-piano arrangement each subsequent time it was performed on the tour.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opzf0QU4dCY

3. Thunder Road (piano version) July 14, 2012, London
Bruce returned to this stripped-down version, with just Roy’s piano, voice and harmonica to open his performance in London – it was “the first thing we played when my feet first touched British soil in 1975.”
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpM_E8pM7kM

2. Prove It All Night (’78 Introduction), May 18, 2012, Barcelona
Fans yearned for its return. Bruce said it was unlikely to happen. But then, seemingly out of the blue, during the first of two shows in Barcelona, Bruce cued Roy and Max to begin the piano vamp that starts the famed extended introduction that was a hallmark of the Darkness tour. It would be performed a total of 18 times in this arrangement during the course of the tour.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFZrD4hoKeo

1. Devils and Dust (full band) November 12, 2012, St. Paul
Bruce and the E Street Band had worked on this song multiple times: in April 2003, when the song was first written; in October 2004, for the Vote For Change Tour; in April 2008, during the Magic tour – and never seemed to be able to get a band version right. After trying again several times at soundchecks in the fall of 2012, they finally debuted this on Veterans Day. The instrumentation in this arrangement had something for the entire band – Max’s pounding drums; a horn part; Charlie’s accordion; a guitar solo; and the backing singers adding to the chorus. The song had previously been performed either acoustic or with minimal instrumental backing. Now, with this arrangement, Bruce finally found music to match the power of the lyric.


Top 5 Songs Performed Once
Performed once and only once on the Wrecking Ball tour

5. Into the Fire, September 22, 2012, East Rutherford
A song that gained power by not being in the set every night, and a moment almost forgotten between the late start to the show and Bruce’s birthday. The “may your strength give us strength,” with a full complement of singers never sounded so good. This performance was dedicated to the memory of Rich Nappi, a New York firefighter (and big Bruce fan) who died in the line of duty earlier that year.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KxTPxfTSOM

4. Local Hero, July 24, 2013, Leeds
Practiced repeatedly at soundcheck and then finally brought out at the very end of the tour. In Bruce’s own words: “This song is one of my favorites off Lucky Town. A real ‘sleeper,’ this ought-a be played more often.”
Official video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELEGhf7dMJw

3. Man at the Top, July 28, 2013, Kilkenny
One of the requests granted to patient sign-holders at the end of the tour, this was the song’s first performance since the Born in the USA tour. It was an inspired arrangement, with the horn players brought down front, gathered around Nils’ microphone to provide the backing vocals.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWtMBPfVCEE

2. New York City Serenade, July 11, 2013, Rome
The song’s long-awaited European debut, with guest strings from the Roma Sinfionetta. On a day off in Rome prior to the show, Bruce rented out a local club to rehearse with the strings to make sure they got it right, and the results speak for themselves, with a stunning official video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-IZWISZ8CY

1. Wages of Sin, May 8, 2013, Turku
Already one of Bruce’s best “lost” songs, it was a surprise debut, performed beautifully and flawlessly, and as the start of a powerful thematic arc in the setlist. The special care Bruce and the band took in getting the performance right was obvious: the song was driven by Max’s steady beat, played with drum mallets on the toms and cymbals; Bruce’s singing was clear and deliberate with Roy’s piano just underneath; and a gorgeous, understated trumpet part. Combine the surprise factor, the rarity factor and the performance and it all adds up to one of the finest moments of the tour.


Top 5 Cover Songs
5. Knock on Wood, August 15, 2012, Boston
The horn section showing off their chops. With just a little polish, this would have been worthy of multiple appearances.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNu54cX61JQ

4. I Fought the Law, July 17, 2012, Dublin
A great response by Bruce to the pulling-the-plug debacle in London.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6R68gn0eE2E

3. Just Like Fire Would, March 14, 2013, Brisbane
Only performed once on this tour, but will be on the forthcoming album and presumably will be played a bit more frequently next tour. Like “High Hopes,” a song that comes alive with the expanded version of the E Street Band.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBkBSSWQunQ

2. Rockin’ All Over the World, Mönchengladbach, July 5, 2013
Bruce’s best use of a band-introduction song after he dropped “My City of Ruins” from the set. A great change of pace from “Twist and Shout,” which was becoming somewhat rote by the time the tour reached Europe in 2013.
Video: http://www.youtube.com1/watch?v=-sL_EqN5ZLs

1. Shout, June 3, 2013, Milan
Originally just a one-off request from a show in November 2012, this developed into a regular encore feature for the 2013 European leg of the tour. Sure, the “a little bit softer now/a little bit louder now” bit is silly, but silliness has long been a feature of Bruce’s encore.


Top 5 Most Unexpected Covers
“Twist and Shout” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain” are a given each tour. These are the cover songs that nobody saw coming.

5. Drift Away, August 18, 2012, Foxboro
There were two much-beloved performances of this Dobie Gray classic in 1984, when Steve Van Zandt made guest appearances with the E Street Band, but never since. The power of Steve and Bruce reuniting in 1984 probably can’t be replicated, but that didn’t stop this from been a frequently seen sign request. Bruce had ignored all the signs, but then, one night, changed his mind.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDE0Sj7ZyWI

4. Manifesto, September 12, 2013, Santiago
Bruce has long favored “local specials” in his shows, covering an artist whose hometown the band is playing in, or a song about that particular location. For his debut performance in Chile, Bruce tackled Victor Jara’s “Manifiesto.” Particularly notable: Bruce singing in Spanish. He’d tried a verse of “Across the Borderline” in Spanish at several shows in 1993, but never before an entire song in that language.
Official video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNQm1Plu63k

3. Sociedade Alternativa, September 18, 2013, Sao Paulo
As the tour moved on to Brazil, Bruce upped things a notch: not only was he singing a song by Brazilian native Raul Sexias, he was doing it to open the show.
Official video: http://vimeo.com/74972181

2. The Weight, May 2, 2012, Newark
An unfortunate example of bad behavior being rewarded, a sign requesting something to honor Levon Helm’s death was held up at the front of the pit for most of this show. Bruce eventually took it, initially to the dismay of all reasonable fans.

The performance though, was stunning. The band pulled this off with no rehearsal, and the results speak to the combined musical knowledge of the players on that stage, in particular Roy, Charlie and Max and the horn section. Adding to the moment was the crowd participation, as surprising (they knew all the words!) as it was welcome.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY2DO_QLRIA

1. When I Leave Berlin, May 30, 2012, Berlin
A seemingly out-of-the blue choice, as discussed here.
Played to open the show in Berlin, as a thank-you for the memorable German concerts of 2012, and released as an official video by Springsteen.



Top 5 Underplayed Songs
Songs played fewer than ten times on the tour that deserved to be regular features

5. Real World (played 1 time on the tour)
Bruce tried it twice in Cork on July 18, 2013, during his pre-set and again to open the encore. Both were a solo-piano arrangement. Sadly, he never tried to a full-band version, as the tools available to him with this incarnation of the E Street Band could have made this a showstopper.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYY9uJ5CKBQ

4. Girls in Their Summer Clothes (2)
From the underrepresented Magic album, Bruce debuted a new, horn-highlighted arrangement in Gothenburg on July 27, 2012 and then proceeded to play it only one other time on the tour.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3CRu0eur7Y

3. Mary’s Place (2)
Without band introductions or a long shtick about “building a house,” this is actually a great song and makes good use of the horns and singers while also allowing Bruce to have fun prowling around the stage.
Video from July 5, 2013 in Mönchengladbach: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FPYgKARK4A

2. This Depression (7)
The times when Tom Morello was present to do the guitar solo were great, but as proven on September 21, 2012 in New Jersey, Nils could do that solo just as well and still maintain the attention of a stadium-sized crowd. “Jack of All Trades” was a hugely important song for the show, but this one seemed neglected in comparison. It’s a shame Bruce didn’t find a way to fit them both into the set.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChlVtg7aW3E

1. Talk to Me (6)
In the middle of the third show of the tour, on March 23, 2012 in Tampa, Bruce spots a sign behind the stage and calls this one out to the band. It’s one of the biggest highlights of the show, and a crowd favorite each time it’s played. So why was it only done six times? A mystery.


Top 5 Songs Practiced in Soundcheck but Unplayed
Songs confirmed to have been rehearsed but were never played to a public audience during the tour.

5. My Father’s House, November 15, 2012, Omaha
The show in Omaha already included six songs from the Nebraska album, including the tour’s only performances of “Highway Patrolman” and “State Trooper.” Yet this song, the rarest of all from the Nebraska album, went unplayed, despite being on Bruce’s handwritten setlist.

4. One Step Up, March 26-27, 2013, Melbourne
The song made Bruce’s handwritten setlist during the second show in Melbourne and was practiced again in the soundcheck before the third night. It would’ve been the song’s first playing by the E Street Band since 1988.

3. City of Night, November 26, 2012, Vancouver
Another tantalizing possibility of material from The Promise that went unfulfilled this tour.

2. Can I Get A Witness, April 13, 2012, Detroit
Extensively rehearsed before the tour’s only stop in Detroit, it’s not quite clear what Bruce’s intentions were. This Motown classic could have been a logical replacement for the “Apollo Medley,” or perhaps a “local special” for the encore. Alas, this one gets filed away in the same category as Sam Cooke’s “Good Times” (planned for the August 21, 2008 show in Nashville) as songs that Bruce has never tried live despite being practiced at soundcheck.

1. County Fair, September 2, 2012, Philadelphia
Played not once, but twice, in a beautiful full band arrangement at the first of the two Labor Day weekend shows in Philadelphia. The big ameliorating factor: those lined up for the general admission pit on the field got to hear and see the band practicing this gem, as well as “TV Movie.”

Acknowledgements: thanks to all those who filmed shows (in particular: Dan French, “dvddubbingguy” and “The MagikRat”) for the great videos that were invaluable in conducting the research for and illustration of this article.

Bruce Springsteen’s 2012-2013 Wrecking Ball Tour: Tour Statistics Part 2

Today is Part 2 of 4: Album breakdown, opening and closing songs, and the full song list and more.  Part 1 can be found here.

Number of Songs Played From Each Album:
The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle: 7 of 7
Born to Run: 8 of 8
Darkness on the Edge of Town: 10 of 10
Born in the USA: 12 of 12
Wrecking Ball: 12 of 13
The River: 17 of 20
Nebraska: 8 of 10
Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ: 7 of 9
Lucky Town: 6 of 10
Magic: 6 of 12
The Rising: 7 of 15
Human Touch: 5 of 14
Working on a Dream: 4 of 13
Tunnel of Love: 2 of 12
The Ghost of Tom Joad: 2 of 12
Devils and Dust: 2 of 12

Tracks: 23 of 58*
The Promise: 10 of 22

*Tracks has 66 songs, 58 of which are “exclusive” to that collection.


Percentage of Songs Played by Album:
The most represented album was Wrecking Ball, with songs from that album performed 766 times.

The least represented album was Devils and Dust, with only 6 performances of songs from that album.

The songs played from Tunnel of Love, Human Touch, Lucky Town, Devils and Dust, Magic, Working on a Dream and The Promise combined represented only 3% of the performances on the tour.

On the 2012-13 Wrecking Ball tour, new material made up 20.71% of the songs played.

On the 2009 Working on a Dream tour, new material made up 10.35% of the songs played; on the 2007-08 Magic tour, 27.76%; on the 2002-03 Rising tour, 39.34%.

 

Full-Album Shows
Born in the USA: 7 shows
Born to Run: 6 shows
Darkness on the Edge of Town: 3 shows


5 Longest-Missing Springsteen Songs Resurrected During This Tour:

1. Bishop Danced, played May 2, 2012 in Newark.
Last played March 2, 1973 (39 years, 2 months)

2. Man at the Top, played July 28, 2013 in Kilkenny.
Last played August 5, 1985 (27 years, 11 months, 23 days)

3. Secret Garden, played July 24, 2013 in Leeds.
Last played June 22, 2000 (13 years, 1 month, 2 days)

4. Lion’s Den, played April 6, 2012 in New York.
Last played February 28, 2000 (12 years, 1 month, 6 days)

5. Take ‘Em As They Come, played July 14, 2012 in London.
Last played June 14, 2003 (9 years, 1 month)


Songs Never Played Live Before This Tour:
High Hopes
Just Like Fire Would
Living on the Edge of the World
Manifiesto
Monster Mash
My Kind of Town
Sociedade Alternativa
Spanish Eyes
TV Movie
Wages of Sin
When I Leave Berlin


Crowd-Surfing Songs
634-5789 from the “Apollo Medley”
Hungry Heart
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
Out in the Street
Spirit in the Night


Show-Opening Songs
44 different songs were used to open shows.  26 were used one time only in that spot. The most common were:
1. We Take Care of Our Own     27
2. Badlands     19
3. This Little Light of Mine    7
4. Shackled and Drawn    6
4. Land of Hope and Dreams    6
4. The Promised Land    6


Main Set-Closing Songs
7 different songs were used to close the main set.  2 were used one time only in that spot.  The most common were:
1. Land of Hope and Dreams     68
2. Thunder Road    37
3. Badlands    17
4. Light of Day    7
5. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)    2


Encore-Opening Songs
39 different songs were used to open the encore.  26 were used one time only in that spot.  The most common were:
1. Rocky Ground    28
1. We Are Alive    28
3. Born in the USA    14
4. Thunder Road    10
5. Jungleland    7


Show-Closing Songs
14 different songs were used to close the show.   8 were used one time only in that spot.  The most common were:
1. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out    60
2. Twist and Shout    28
3. Thunder Road    15
4. American Land    14
5. This Hard Land    5


Songs Used as Both Show-Opener and Show-Closer:
American Land
Night
Rockin’ All Over the World
This Hard Land
This Little Light of Mine
Thunder Road
Twist and Shout
Who’ll Stop the Rain

Thunder Road is the only song that was used in all four spots (a show opener, main set closer, encore opener and show closer) on the tour.


Of the 225 different songs played on the tour:
77 songs were played only once.

23 songs were played only twice.

Only 15 songs were played at more than half the shows.

162 of the songs played were written/co-written by Bruce Springsteen.

63 were covers.


The Full List:
Born to Run    133
Dancing in the Dark    133
Death to My Hometown    133
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out    132
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day    132
Wrecking Ball    128
Badlands    125
We Take Care of Our Own    114
Shackled and Drawn    113
The Rising    107
My City of Ruins    95
Land of Hope and Dreams    85
Thunder Road    85
Spirit in the Night    82
Hungry Heart    70
Jack of All Trades 65
Born in the USA    64
We Are Alive    62
Darlington County    57
Out in the Street    57
The Promised Land    57
The River    53
Because the Night    52
She’s the One 52
Working on the Highway    52
Prove It All Night    42
Twist and Shout    42
Rocky Ground    40
Bobby Jean    39
No Surrender    38
Lonesome Day    36
Johnny 99    35
The E Street Shuffle    34
Glory Days    34
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)    32
“Apollo Medley”    31
Atlantic City    28
American Land    25
My Love Will Not Let You Down     25
The Ties That Bind    25
Pay Me My Money Down    24
Seven Nights to Rock    24
Murder Incorporated    23
Candy’s Room    23
Downbound Train    21
Radio Nowhere    21
The Ghost of Tom Joad    20
Trapped    20
Backstreets    19
Cover Me    18
Easy Money    18
Shout    18
Youngstown    18
Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?    17
Jungleland    17
Open All Night    17
Racing in the Street    17
Raise Your Hand    17
Darkness on the Edge of Town    16
Night 16
Something in the Night    16
Adam Raised a Cain    15
Two Hearts    15
American Skin (41 Shots)    14
I’m Goin’ Down    14
I’m on Fire    14
This Little Light of Mine    14
Cadillac Ranch    12
Light of Day    11
My Hometown    11
Incident on 57th Street    10
Jackson Cage    10
Long Walk Home    10
This Hard Land    9
Lost in the Flood    9
Ramrod    9
Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town    9
Who’ll Stop the Rain    9
Drive All Night    8
I’m a Rocker    8
It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City    8
Seeds    8
Sherry Darling    8
Streets of Fire    8
Growin’ Up    7
Meeting Across the River    7
The Promise    7
This Depression    7
Thundercrack    7
Frankie    6
High Hopes    6
If I Should Fall Behind    6
Loose Ends    6
Seaside Bar Song    6
Talk to Me    6
Tougher Than the Rest    6
Better Days    5
Detroit Medley    5
Factory    5
For You    5
Human Touch    5
Kitty’s Back    5
Point Blank     5
Save My Love     5
Summertime Blues    5
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)    5
Be True     4
My Lucky Day     4
Reason to Believe     4
Rockin’ All Over the World     4
Roulette     4
Ain’t Good Enough For You     3
Blinded By the Light     3
Boom Boom    3
Brilliant Disguise     3
Devils & Dust    3
Fire    3
Janey Don’t You Lose Heart    3
Jersey Girl    3
Jole Blon    3
Leap of Faith    3
Long Time Coming    3
Red Headed Woman    3
Savin’ Up    3
Stand on It    3
Back in Your Arms    2
Bishop Danced    2
Cynthia    2
Don’t Look Back    2
Drift Away    2
Empty Sky    2
Follow that Dream    2
4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)    2
From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)    2
Girls in Their Summer Clothes    2
Lion’s Den    2
Lucky Town    2
Man’s Job    2
Mary’s Place    2
Mountain of Love    2
Pink Cadillac    2
Quarter to Three    2
Queen of the Supermarket    2
Rendezvous    2
So Young and in Love    2
Sociedade Alternativa    2
Streets of Philadelphia    2
This Little Girl    2
Across the Borderline    1
Ain’t Too Proud to Beg    1
Bad Luck    1
Bad Moon Rising    1
Burning Love    1
California Sun    1
Dirty Water    1
Fade Away    1
Get Out of Denver    1
Give the Girl a Kiss    1
Good Rockin’ Tonight    11
Gotta Get That Feeling    1
Held Up Without a Gun    1
Higher and Higher    1
Highway Patrolman    1
How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?    1
I Don’t Want to Go Home    1
I Fought the Law    1
I Saw Her Standing There    1
I Wish I Were Blind    1
I’ll Work For Your Love    1
In the Midnight Hour    1
Independence Day    1
Into the Fire    1
Jailhouse Rock    1
Just Like Fire Would    1
Kansas City    1
Knock on Wood    1
Last to Die    1
Living on the Edge of the World    1
Local Hero    1
Long Tall Sally    1
Lucille    1
Manifesto    1
Mansion on the Hill    1
Man at the Top    1
Monster Mash    1
My Beautiful Reward    1
My Kind of Town    1
Nebraska    1
New York City Serenade    1
A Night With the Jersey Devil    1
96 Tears    1
None But the Brave    1
Oh Mary Don’t You Weep    1
One Way Street    1
Pretty Flamingo    1
The Price You Pay    1
Proud Mary    1
Real World    1
Roll of the Dice    1
Secret Garden    1
Shake    1
Shake, Rattle & Roll    1
Something You Got    1
Spanish Eyes    1
State Trooper    1
Stolen Car    1
Surprise, Surprise    1
Sweet Soul Music    1
Take ‘Em As They Come    1
Terry’s Song    1
Travelin’ Band    1
TV Movie    1
Wages of Sin    1
We Gotta Get Out of This Place    1
The Weight    1
When I Leave Berlin    1
When the Saints Go Marching In    1
When You Walk in the Room    1
Where the Bands Are    1
Wild Billy’s Circus Story    1
Wild Thing    1
Working on a Dream    1
You Can’t Sit Down    1
You Never Can Tell    1
You’ve Got It    1


Pre-Set Statistics
Growin’ Up    6
For You    4
This Hard Land    4
I’ll Work For Your Love    2
All That Heaven Will Allow    1
Blinded By the Light    1
Burning Love    1
Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?    1
The Fever    1
Girls in their Summer Clothes    1
Hearts of Stone    1
In Dreams    1
Leap of Faith    1
Maria’s Bed    1
No Surrender    1
The Promised Land    1
Real World    1
Surprise, Surprise    1


Tour Statistics FAQs

1. Where is “This Land is Your Land?”  Why is the Apollo Medley counted as one song instead of two?

I used Brucebase standards.  No partial songs (This Land is Your Land, Not Fade Away, etc.)  Just like the “Detroit Medley,” the “Apollo-Medley” is counted as one song.  Brucebase didn’t count “Green Onions,” which was played by the band when Springsteen collected signs on September 2, 2012 in Philadelphia.  I might personally disagree on that song but it was easiest to stick to one standard.

2. Where did the numbers come from for show attendance?

Billboard Magazine’s “Boxscore” attendance reports.  Note that not all festival attendances were reported.  The top 3 spots (Roskilde, Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon) are estimates only.  They were almost certainly the largest crowds of the tour but exact figures are not available as they were for the other shows.

3. What about the show lengths?

The proper methodology for timing of shows was previously discussed in this article.  Show length ranking was based off timing done at the show and was subject to confirmation with show recordings.


Acknowledgement: Thank you to Victor Beyer for error-checking the numbers.

Wrapping up the 2012-2013 Wrecking Ball Tour: Tour Statistics Part 1

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s 2012-2013 “Wrecking Ball” tour lasted 133 shows, from March 18, 2012 in Atlanta to September 21, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro.

As 2013 draws to its close, take a look back at Bruce’s longest tour since Born in the U.S.A. This will be the first of four parts:

Part 1 (Statistics) (below) – The basic numbers, show length, attendance, cities and locales.
Part 2 (Statistics) – Album breakdown, opening and closing songs, and the full song list and more.
Part 3 (“Top 5s”) – Best solo performances, covers, one-time only performances and more.
Part 4 (“Top 5s”) – Best new songs, biggest surprises, best tributes to Clarence Clemons and more.

Wrecking Ball Tour – The Basic Numbers:
Shows: 133
Cities: 98
Countries: 23
Continents: 4
2012 shows: 96
2013 shows: 37
Different Songs Played: 225


Shows Per Continent

Show Length

Fewest Songs Played: 23, 5 times

Most Songs Played: 34, Nijmegen, June 22, 2013

Average Number of Songs Played: 27.81

Songs Per Show

10 Longest Shows (by total time)
1. Helsinki, July 31, 2012
2. Madrid, June 17, 2012
3. East Rutherford, September 19, 2012
4. Philadelphia, September 2, 2012
5. Gothenburg, July 27, 2012
6. Vienna, July 12, 2012
7. Milan, June 7, 2012
8. Oslo, July 21, 2012
9. Toronto, August 24, 2012
10. Paris, July 5, 2012

10 Largest Crowds
1 Roskilde, July 7, 2012: ~100,000
2. Rio de Janeiro, September 21, 2013: ~95,000
3. Lisbon, June 3, 2012: ~90,000
4. London (Hyde Park), July 14, 2012: 76,656
5. London (Wembley Stadium), June 15, 2013: 70,425
6/7. Gothenburg, July 27-28, 2012: 65,803
8. Nijmegen, June 22, 2013: 64,900
9. Paris, June 29, 2013: 61,867
10. Werchter, July 13, 2013: 60,193

Note: Attendance estimates for festival crowds (numbers 1-3)

10 Smallest Crowds
1. Santiago, September 12, 2013: 5,256
2. Sao Paulo, September 18, 2013: 5,359
3. Buenos Aires, September 14, 2013: 7,095
4. Mexico City, December 10, 2012: 7,690
5/6. Turku, May 7-8, 2013: 9,279
7. Charlottesville, October 23, 2012: 9,931
8. Omaha, November 15, 2012: 10,269
9. Rochester, October 31, 2012: 10,405
10. Leeds, July 24, 2013: 11,367

Note: Turku and Leeds shows were “sell-outs”

Most Different Songs in a Multi-Night Stand

1. East Rutherford, NJ (September 19, 21 and 22, 2012): 62 songs
2. Stockholm, Sweden (May 3, 4 and 11, 2013): 54 songs
3. Sydney, Australia (March 18, 20 and 22, 2013): 51 songs
4. (tie) Kilkenny, Ireland (July 27-28, 2013): 50 songs each
Melbourne, Australia (March 24, 26-27, 2013)
Gothenburg, Sweden (July 27-28, 2012)

Locales the E Street Band Had Never Played In (before this tour)
Cork, Ireland
Coventry, UK
Geneva, Switzerland
Hanging Rock, Australia
Hanover, Germany
Isle of Wight, UK
Kilkenny, Ireland
Las Palmas, Spain
Limerick, Ireland
Lisbon, Portugal*
Mexico City, Mexico
Mönchengladbach, Germany
Moncton, Canada
Naples, Italy*
Newark, NJ, USA*
Nijmegen, Netherlands
Padua, Italy
Prague, Czech Republic*
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Roskilde, Denmark
Santiago, Chile
Sunderland, UK
Trieste, Italy
Turku, Finland
Vernon, NY, USA
Werchter, Belgium

*previously played by Bruce, sans-E Street

Shows with Acoustic Pre-Sets:

Los Angeles, April 27, 2012 (1 song)
Helsinki, July 31, 2012 (5 songs)
East Rutherford, September 19, 2012 (2 songs)
Oslo, April 29, 2013 (4 songs)
Naples, May 23, 2013 (2 songs)
Padua, May 31, 2013 (2 songs)
Paris, June 29, 2013 (3 songs)
Limerick, July 16, 2013 (3 songs)
Cork, July 18, 2013 (3 songs)
Belfast, July 20, 2013 (4 songs)

Acknowledgement: thanks to Jessica Letkemann of definitive Pearl Jam site Two Feet Thick for the inspiration/assistance on the charts and graphs.