Bruce Springsteen has played 25 shows in Dallas in the last 50 years, from a half-empty Gertie’s nightclub in ‘74 to two nights at the Cotton Bowl in ‘85 for a whopping 120,000 fans.
But his concert Friday night was in a class all its own. Performing for the first time in Dallas in nearly seven years, the Boss faced an E Street Band decimated by illness: Guitarist Steve Van Zandt, his longtime right-hand-man, was scratched from the lineup at the last minute after coming down with COVID-19. Singer-violinist Soozie Tyrell missed her second show in a row due to the coronavirus.
In a plainspoken tweet, Van Zandt apologized to fans. “Sorry folks. Covid,” he wrote.
“We’re missing a few people tonight … but we’re gonna give Dallas the best show you’ve ever seen,” Springsteen told the near-capacity crowd at American Airlines Center.
In 2020, Van Zandt told The Philadelphia Inquirer that touring would be different with the pandemic.
“We’re going to be at the mercy of this thing,” he said.
A full concert review will appear Saturday morning.