There are quite a few Bruce Springsteen-related Websites in existence, most of them put together by diehard fans of the Boss. The three discussed in this article offer the best and/or most information and entertainment in the most professional and high-quality format.
www.backstreets.com. Backstreets is the most straightforward of the three Springsteen sites to be examined. This site is the online version of the sixteen-year old Springsteen fanzine of the same name. Each section of Backstreets offers a wealth of information to Springsteen fans, ranging from casual to intense. The ‘news’ section details each and every move made by Springsteen and those associated with him. Rumors, major announcements, TV and radio appearances, you name it – if it happens with Springsteen they put it on the newspage. Over the years, Backstreets seems to have developed a decent relationship with Springsteen and his people. This relationship, in my opinion, has been good and bad. While they score some strong interviews and scoops as a result, it seems as if Backstreets has shyed away from posting unconfirmed rumors regarding tours and record releases, as to not upset the Boss and his power structure. These rumors are part of the fun of a following a star like Springsteen to the point of obsession!
Backstreets also has respective ‘tour’ and ‘setlist’ pages. On the ‘tour’ page, one will find a listing all Springsteen shows that have been announced, along with on-sale dates, venues, and other pertinent information. The ‘setlist’ page is sweet. Immediately after every Springsteen show, a summary of the night is printed alonged with song-by-song, blow-by-blow of the set. There is even a Springsteen ‘store’ on Backstreets, selling everything from the man’s music to concert t-shirts to odd promotional materials related to Bruce. There is a discussion forum on Backstreets, but the conversation, even when it is focused on Springsteen, borders on juvenile. There are better places to go if you wish to connect with Springsteen fans.
www.brucesetlists.com. There is not a whole lot to say about this site, but don’t let that fool you; the quality and content here is fantastic. This site is as fanatic as fanatic gets. The Bruce Springsteen Setlists page is an archive of every single Springsteen concert setlist since 1978! You can pick from numerous formats for viewing the setlists. One lists each song played on a given night while delineating the tour premieres. The site is chock full of statistics with a splendid searchable database that allows you to see how many times a particular song has been played or how many shows have been played in a certain city or on a certain date, among other variables.
www.greasylake.org. Run by a fan in Denmark, Greasy Lake is billed as “The Ultimate Bruce Springsteen Tribute Page.” And it is! The Lake, as it is known, features updated news, writings on the Boss, links to other Springsteen sites, and chronicles on shows and setlists dating back to the 1960s! But the feature of Greasy Lake is “The Circuit” where Springsteen fans congregate virtually and discuss everything from Bruce himself to politics to pretty much anything. A sort of community has formed among these fans as posts disect every move the Boss makes. There is some deep Springsteen talk here on the meanings of his music to the direction he is taking his career. There is controversy regarding numerous issues, including but not limited to Bruce’s decision to hold off on another record with the E Street Band in favor of solo tours and folk albums.
Certainly one of the most popular features of The Circuit on Greasy Lake is a section where fans are able to trade Springsteen ‘bootlegs,’ unauthorized fan recordings of Springsteen shows. Posts are made where a show is offered up, people put their name on a list, and then one fan burns a copy of the show for another fan and so on and so forth… all for free! The community here is evident in that many of the online participants know each other in “real life” and meet up from town to town when the Boss is on tour.
With Bruce currently on the road supporitng his latest record, “We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions,” the time is ripe to check out the top Springsteen sites on the net.