The Boss is coming to town for the first time ever, and it’s something many Springsteen super fans in Winnipeg have been waiting decades for.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are scheduled to play Canada Life Centre Nov. 10, True North Sports and Entertainment (TNSE) confirmed Tuesday.
Winnipegger Stu Reid has been waiting for Springsteen to come to Winnipeg since 1978 when he first heard Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town.
“That was a pivotal moment for me,” Reid told Global News.
“It was a huge moment. Hearing his music, the things he was talking about and expressing, it was like ‘I’m not alone.’ It was something that really spoke to me in a deep way.”
Since then, Reid has travelled to see Springsteen in concert 44 times. He’s also met him on a few occasions, and has taken part in various campaigns to bring The Boss to Winnipeg.
He also created a Springsteen fanzine in 1981 and credits some major life events to the artist.
“One of the people that bought it was Kathy Sumner from Winston Sale in North Carolina,” Reid said. “She bought a couple of copies and I ended up marrying her, about four years later.”
“And 37 years later, we’re still married. And she complains about being a Winnipegger pretty much every day, but we’re still here,” he joked.
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Although Reid has some concerns regarding the price of tickets for this Springsteen tour, he says he’ll definitely be in the crowd on Nov. 10.
“Still, the 17-year-old kid in me is thrilled to pieces that this is finally happening,” he said.
Winnipegger Diane Geddes says she was elated by the concert announcement.
“When I heard, I didn’t know whether I should laugh or cry or dance,” Geddes told Global News “It’s been so long coming and there have been moments where I didn’t think this would happen, so I was elated.”
Geddes has seen Springsteen more than 60 times, travelling to the U.S., Europe, New Zealand, Australia and throughout Canada to see him perform. Now, she can finally see him in her hometown.
“There are so many people in Winnipeg who have never seen him. So I was just so excited for my friends and family in the city, it was just a lot of emotion,” she said.
“It’s almost like therapy, you go and you forget the world for a while, you become transcended into that moment, into the lyrics, into the music. You meet other people and everyone is happy and in a good mood, some people liken it to almost a religious experience. But it’s an emotional, fun event that you just want to do it again, once you get that bug, you want to do it again and you want to go back.”
Springsteen concert a boost to Winnipeg’s economy
Kevin Donnelly, the senior vice president of True North Sports and Entertainment, says they have been trying to get Springsteen to Winnipeg for quite some time.
“More times than I care to share, virtually every plan of a tour we’re reaching out to try to (find) out their plans for Canada (and) can Winnipeg get considered,” Donnelly said.
“We’ve been really close before, but never successful. Always a bridesmaid, today we feel a bit like a bride.”
Donnelly says the Springsteen concert will likely draw fans from far and near.
“This is going to be really impactful for our economy, I’m sure it’s going to fill every downtown hotel up and probably beyond that,” he said. “I expect fans from Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Minnesota, (and) there’s no American tour date for Wisconsin I don’t think, we’re close enough proximity that those fans could come up here. So I think this is going to be good on a number of levels for sure.”
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Into the Music record store owner Greg Tonn says shows of this magnitude usually bring a spike in sales, and they’ll be sure to have an ample supply of Springsteen vinyl in store before showtime.
“The day or the weekend that the show happens the store fills up from people out of town,” Tonn said. “Those big, big shows, those classic shows – the ones that attract a wide spectrum of people, usually mean a lot of people will come in from North Dakota, Minnesota, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and across northern Manitoba. So we’ll see a lot of people we don’t normally see at the store.”
“I think my first reaction was ‘finally,’” Tonn added. “Thrilled, thrilled that (Springsteen)’s on his way and coming to Winnipeg.”
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