The man who was “Born to Run,” has made a pit stop….to the Broadway stage! Bruce Springsteen, iconic rocker turned troubadour is currently performing in a one-man show of sorts at the 975-seat Walter Kerr Theater (219 W. 48th St, NYC). In some ways, the show is a live version of his memoir “Born to Run,”
According to contributing writer, Andy Greene of rollingstone.com, “the performance is hard to categorize.” It is not exactly a concert, and definitely not a Broadway musical, but is “one of the most compelling and profound shows by a rock musician in recent memory.”
Bruce Springsteen is one the last true remaining rock n’ roll heroes of this generation. He has aged beautifully, like a fine wine. Just like one of his signature “moves,” knee-sliding across the stage, he’s gone from the young rocker, who’d struggled with depression to a wise and seasoned storyteller. His music has become embedded in the rich American, musical landscape.
His is a contemporary sound that incorporates traditional roots-rock, folk, and country with a twist of blues.
“Born In The USA,” (his 1984 breakthrough album), with the title song’s powerful signature synthesizer riff played by Roy J. Bittan, and the “exploding drums,” masterfully driven by Max Weinberg (of the E-Street Band), was an anthem for Vietnam vets, and blue collar workers everywhere.
Springsteen stood for the everyman. He gave the disillusioned masses something to hold on to, a sense of pride in being American. One could watch him perform, with all his blood, sweat and tears…and signature knee slide, and forget life’s problems, if even for a few hours.
Though he’s never had a number one hit, he’d come close with “Dancing In The Dark,” hitting number two on the Billboard music charts. He’s created hit-producing music with “The River,” “Born In The USA,” and “Tunnel of Love,” as well as writing songs for other artists (co-writing: “Because The Night” for Patti Smith and writing: “Fire” for The Pointer Sisters).
Like all brilliant artists, Springsteen has grown into his sound. Along with other visionaries such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Madonna, he has definitely experimented musically and matured as an artist. Most of us recognize his earlier music, with themes of heartbreak, escape and finding the elusive American dream, all of which he will always hold a thread.
He continues to tackle subjects that are difficult (“Streets of Philadelphia,” from the movie “Philadelphia,” about a young man stricken with Aids), and to create music with a greater depth of understanding.
With the recent passing of Tom Petty, as music fans, we hold tight to those musical legends still present, who reminds us why our hearts beat, that we all have dreams, and that,“Baby, we were Born To Run.”
The show, “Springsteen on Broadway,” opened this past October 12TH, and runs into February 2018.