If Taylor Swift is working overtime — three and a half hours per show, to be exact — on her blockbuster Eras Tour, then blame it on the Boss.
According to no less than Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen is responsible for this concert season’s trend of marathon shows — stretching three hours and beyond — put on by everyone from Swift and Beyoncé to the “Born to Run” rocker himself.
“I blame Bruce Springsteen,” McCartney, 80, joked about the New Jersey legend’s famously epic-length concerts, during a talk with Conan O’Brien at NYC’s Tribeca Performing Arts Center on Thursday night. “I told him so. I said, ‘It’s your fault!’
“He ruined it for everyone!” McCartney continued during the conversation, which was part of the Tribeca Festival. “He did! We used to do a half hour. That was, like, The Beatles’ thing — and we got paid for it.”
This summer, though, a half hour would barely cover one of the Eras — representing all 10 of Swift’s studio albums — on the “Shake It Off” singer’s titanic trek. And Swifties have even been resorting to buying adult diapers so that they can pee in their seats without missing one of the 210 minutes.
Meanwhile, another über-diva, Beyoncé, has been displaying endless energy for three hours on her “Renaissance” tour in Europe, before Beyfest hits home July 12. (She’s even put 11-year-old daughter Blue Ivy to work as a backup dancer, to help mama out.)
While jam bands like the Grateful Dead, Phish and Dead & Company have traditionally played lengthy shows, it’s new to see pop superstars such as Swift and Beyoncé perform for more than about two hours. No doubt they’re eager to give fans more for their money, as ticket prices skyrocket.
Some older rock acts are putting themselves to the endurance test too.
The Cure will deliver a mope-rock marathon made up of some 30 songs when they hit Madison Square Garden for three shows next week.
Considering that their 64-year-old frontman Robert Smith typically looks as if he barely wanted to get out of bed, that’s impressive.
Then, of course, Springsteen is still proving it all night at 73 — apparently no worse for wear after a well-publicized on-stage tumble in Amsterdam in May.
While he and the E Street Band are currently touring Europe, they’ll be back in the USA for some supersize stadium shows in August, with three MetLife dates starting on Aug. 30.
Many of these A-list acts are embarking on their first major tours since the pandemic, finally getting to play live all the music they released in the interim.
Clearly, the desire is there from the artists — and the demand is there from the fans. So let the music play on — and on.