Can the ‘working man’ afford ‘Bruce on Broadway’?
When Bruce Springsteen sings "Put on your best dress baby and darling fix your hair up right", that dress is going to have to come from the clearance rack, (or should I say "Clarence") and the hair is going to have to be done at home if they're going to see Bruce on Broadway.
Tickets are going for as much as $850 and if you want the orchestra figure on spending $450. No those are not scalped prices, those are Bruce prices for roughly 35,000 tickets for about 40 performances. So much for the work, the work, the working man.
This has upset many Springsteen fans including Steve Milton, a London writer who has followed Bruce for 35 years. In an opinion piece, Milton charges 'The Boss" with profiteering on Broadway. According to Milton, in 2016, Bruce played to 2.4 million fans grossing $268 million dollars charging on average $111 per ticket. On Broadway, Springsteen will gross approximately $535,000 per night, which comes to more than a quarter of a million dollars an hour.
When Bruce sang "Factory" in 1977 he was the hero of the working man. His songs were about people who struggle to survive and they still are. I grew up a Bruce fan and like many, there are certain lyrics that ring true with me. It was those fans back in the seventies that Bruce built his career on and now many of those struggling people will not get to see him under the bright lights. I would think the character he created singing those songs would want those fans right there with him when he sings under the bright lights and would make it affordable for them.
I'm figuring there will not be a lot of political pontificating at these shows since the only people who can afford these seats will be the people he rails against.
Does Bruce have the right to charge these prices? Sure... but should he? That's the question. I hope if you're a Springsteen fan, you will be able to see one of these shows, or if you live in New Jersey, maybe you can use the money to simply make ends meet.
I remember when Bruce used to end "Growin Up" in concert with the words "it was bye bye new Jersey, we were airborn!" Please don't soar too far away from us.
More from New Jersey 101.5: