Minear, who was chair of the Fringe from 2014 to 2020, has had a long career in the advertising industry and also runs his own surf music label, Bombora. Classic Bruce will be the first Fringe show he has produced, with five performances scheduled for Gluttony’s large open-air stage The Moa.

Together with a team that includes local musicians Julian Ferraretto and Rohan Powell, Minear has worked to create a concert that channels Springsteen’s showmanship and energy with hits such as “Glory Days”, “Born in the USA” and “Born to Run”, as well as a few surprises.

Describe your Adelaide Fringe show in 10 words or less?

15-piece orchestra and rock-band deliver the songs of Bruce Springsteen.

How does the former chair of Adelaide Fringe come to now be producing a Fringe show himself?

I loved my six years as chair of the Adelaide Fringe. However, I always wondered what it was really like on the frontline – being that person and that team presenting your own show. All the blood, sweat and tears – and the obvious joy when it all comes together. I guess I am about to find out.

How did your fascination with Bruce Springsteen begin?

I love music full-stop and many, many artists. However, I have a huge regard and respect for Bruce. His lyrics, his songs, their musical power, the stories they tell, the real emotions they connect with and his ability to speak one on one with the person listening.

You also have to admire his relentless energy, his prolific output – recording, writing, filming and performing – and his generosity in sharing who he is and how he is thinking.

Tell us about the all-Adelaide line-up you’ve assembled to perform Classic Bruce.

My two key partners in this journey are Julian Ferraretto and Rohan Powell.

Julian Ferraretto, a locally based but internationally regarded jazz violinist and composer, is our musical director. He is also our closest connection to Bruce. He played in the orchestra on stage with Bruce during his 2017 Adelaide concerts. Julian has also gathered around him a great team of classical players.

On the “rock” side, Rohan Powell is the co-creator of Classic Bruce and a well-known local performer, often with John Schumann and in his own band Acoustic Juice with Ian “Polly” Politis, drummer Peter Matzick and bass player Chris Ackland.

Add to that two really local surprises for me – singer and musician Mel McCaig and guitar wizard and singer Dusty Lee Stephensen.

This is one hell of a band. Bruce should be happy. I am. 

Jazz violinist and composer Julian Ferraretto is musical director of Classic Bruce.

Springsteen has had a lot of hits over his career – how did you select the songs for this show?

It was an impossible task. Working with my two key musical collaborators, Rohan Powell and Julian Ferraretto, we simply selected the obvious hits and then a few perhaps lesser-known Springsteen gems.

What makes Classic Bruce more than a traditional tribute concert?

Armed with those songs, Classic Bruce is a 15-piece classical orchestra colliding head-on with an outstanding group of Adelaide rock musos and singers. And Kapow! An all-Adelaide, all-out tribute – but not a traditional one,

It’s thanks to COVID that we have so many open-air performances at Fringe this year – is the outdoor stage a bonus for a show like yours?

It’s absolutely a bonus. The Moa in Gluttony. It’s magical. It feels like performing in the Hollywood Bowl. Not that I have.

It’s perfect for our late afternoon/pre-sunset shows, and of course, open-air, COVID-safe numbers and spaced seating.

The only thing we need now if for Bruce to drop by.

Classic Bruce will be at Gluttony on February 27 and March 2, 8, 9 and 16.

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This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.