Music fans in New Jersey know that when Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are between albums, attending a show in Asbury Park — no matter who is is headlining — could involve a Bruce sighting.
And while he's popped in at the Light of Day shows at the Paramount Theatre and The Press Room, a new bar and live-music space in Asbury Park, what fans probably don't know is that this winter Springsteen and his crew spent their days practicing at the Expo Theater inside Fort Monmouth in a quiet section of .
Springsteen and the band are preparing for the world tour in support of their new album, Wrecking Ball, which is available tomorrow in record stores and on iTunes tomorrow. He and the E Street Band will be playing about 20 indoor-arena shows this spring in the U.S. before heading for a European tour and likely back for as-yet-unannounced stadium dates back home in the late summer. He wrote the title song to honor the old Giants Stadium, where Springsteen was the last to perform before it was torn down. The tour starts Sunday, March 18, in Atlanta, but comes to the area for five shows: April 3-4 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, April 6, 9 at Madison Square Garden and May 2 at the Prudential Center in Newark, Springsteen's first show at "The Rock". They will be playing a special fundraiser at the Apollo Theater in Harlem on Friday night.
Closed as a military installation since September, the Expo Theater is a bit of a ghost town. On most days, security personnel outnumber the investors who have been looking over .
That made it an especially private and secure place for the band to practice. In fact, it has done so there for years, as part of a long-standing agreement with the Army, Patch has learned.
A touring manager with the band told Patch that they chose the location because, "We were told that no one would know we were here."
Another associate of the Springsteen crew, Jerry Bakal, told Patch that when the band runs practice shows in Asbury Park, "mobs show up." The intent, he said, in practicing at the fort, was to enjoy the peace and quiet and "to stay away from Asbury as long as possible."
This week fort officials would only tell us that Springsteen and his people have since moved on.
Springsteen performed several songs this week at a benefit at the Press Room in Asbury Park for the family of Tony Strollo, Springsteen's personal trainer who died unexpectedly last month. Strollo of grew up in West Long Branch and was a graduate of .
On Friday, Springsteen appeared as the only guest on Jimmy Fallon's Late Night third-anniversary show. He appeared with Fallon in a comedy sketch in which Springsteen, dressed as the "80s Bruce" and Fallon as Neil Young performing in character a cover of LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It," before Springsteen and the E Street band performed three songs from Wrecking Ball as well as an old chestnut, "The E Street Shuffle".