BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – ” Live On Broadway “

Posted: October 5, 2017 in MUSIC
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Bruce Springsteen On Broadway Lights

Bruce Springsteen  has performed at just about every great venue on the planet: the Stone Pony, Madison Square Garden, the O2 Arena, the Hollywood Bowl, Red Rocks Amphitheater, football stadiums, state fairs, and now…Broadway?. On Tuesday, the 67-year-old icon began preview performances for his scheduled four-month run at the Walter Kerr Theatre, a 975-seat room on West 48th Street whose notable productions include Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

The rumor mill can officially stop churning: Bruce Springsteen has made it to Broadway and we have our first round of first-hand accounts from what attendees say was a “magical, special” night.

The Boss’s four-month residency at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York kicked off Tuesday night with its first preview show, and as you’d imagine, folks who made it to the very first “Springsteen on Broadway” performance were thrilled.

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It was just Bruce on a very sparse stage with just a black grand piano, and a few acoustic guitars. The “set” was just a grey wall and a few of those metal touring cases that bands use on the road for their gear. The best parts of the show were when he sat at the piano and sang and talked. I’d never seen him do that before so it was really special.”

Clad in his usual black attire, Springsteen opened the show on a somber note, Springsteen dedicated the Tuesday show to fellow rocker Tom Petty, who died Monday, sending prayers to members of The Heartbreakers and Petty’s family, Otherwise it appears the rehearsal rumors are true, that Springsteen mixes in a set list of hits, played on guitar and piano, with stories in a theater small enough to feel like a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Boss diehards.

What follows is two hours of music and storytelling interlaced with a kind of warm intimacy. There are anecdotes that might serve as footnotes to his arena shows, and passages some might recognise from last year’s autobiography, but given new life here as if they were always meant to be performed,

 

Springsteen stuck to his script, sharing recollections and reading passages from his bestselling memoir, Born to Run, as well as performing some of his best-known songs, He kicked things off by discussing his childhood, and how he acquired his first guitar, which he paired with a performance of “Growin Up,” from his 1973 debut Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Others such as Dancing in the Dark and Thunder Road lying alongside quieter moments such as My Father’s House and The Promised Land. Many are reimagined for the occasion  Growin’ Up, from Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ (1973), is spun out across several minutes, at one point taking on a kind of incantatory reverie that recalls Van Morrison’s Coney Island. Born in the USA, meanwhile, is recast as sour, lost-souled blues. “It is,” he reminds the crowd, “a protest song.”

He also shared the impact of reading veteran Ron Kovic’s memoir Born on the Fourth of July before performing his song inspired by it, “Born in the U.S.A.,”

Among the evening’s most arresting moments is the arrival on stage of Springsteen’s wife, singer-songwriter and E Street Band member Patti Scialfa. She accompanies him on Tougher Than the Rest and Brilliant Disguise, two songs from Tunnel of Love – the album he wrote in the wake of his split from his first wife Julianne Phillips. At an arena show these moments can be engulfed by the scale of the production, but here there’s a fragility and a new light cast on the songs and his relationship with Scialfa, as if he stands in her emotional shadow.

Setlist: Bruce Springsteen Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway, New York – October 3rd, 2017 1. “Growin’ Up” 2. “My Hometown” 3. “My Father’s House” 4. “The Wish” 5. “Thunder Road” 6. “The Promised Land” 7. “Born in the U.S.A.” 8. “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” 9. “Tougher Than the Rest” 10. “Brilliant Disguise” 11. “The Ghost of Tom Joad” 12. “Long Walk Home” 13. “Dancing in the Dark” 14. “Land of Hope and Dreams” 15. “Born to Run”

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Critics and press were invited to a performance next week: stay tuned for more reviews.

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