What Springsteen on Broadway demonstrates, as his performances have for decades, is that the equation actually makes sense — that in this kind of setting, something extra can happen so that there is a third thing, a bigger thing. In fact, as simple starts go, this is almost as basic as it gets: Heather Wolensky's scenic design evokes a black and white photograph — say, Springsteen photographed by Eric Meola 40 years ago, under a fire escape on a city street. Up to this point, the show seems to write itself. Only a few have made the leap across the Atlantic in any significant way.
Those road cases give the proceedings a backstage ambience and some on-brand cool; they also present some irony. For decades, his concerts have been described as feats nothing short of miraculous, and he has discussed his own songwriting in terms of a magical act: Love still plays a part — that, after all, has long been a subject of Bruce's work, too. He's going to live here for a while. It's tailored for the space. Their intimacy points to a real hallmark of the whole night's experience. He draws on French and English-language Pop particularly the Beatles. That awakening for Springsteen — to the beauty of America, and to the promises and improbabilities of the American Dream — entered his writing in the late-'70s and early '80s; Bruce himself traces the subject back to Darkness on the Edge of Town. It's not quite a new trick for an old dog, though. His cooing falsetto is perfectly suited for his Rock-meets-Disco Funk sound. He's one of the biggest Pop stars in France today. It's right there in the title, and Springsteen doesn't resist its natural place in the show: He's bringing select portions of his memoir to life, telling a story in words and music to the extent that at times you can't really say where the songs stop and the stories begin. He gained notoriety during season 5 of Nouvelle Star French "American Idol" , when his riveting performances quickly became the main draw. Springsteen is a showman par excellence. For all the comparisons to previous acoustic tours and performances that might come to mind, Springsteen on Broadway is especially suited to one of the smaller houses in the theater district. But he maximizes the living room effect, stepping away from the mic at various points to let his voice be heard, unamplified, to the upper reaches. Though he was inspired by… Vanessa Paradis: The second time you see it, you might be astonished to realize how much is a clockwork part of the show: Stacks of black road cases are the closest things to props. The naturalistic performance establishes the standard operating procedure for the entire evening. Midway through the night, he introduces his wife and co-star to blend their voices for two absolutely gorgeous duets: The memory of that sound echoes so much through "The Wish," you can only imagine how much it echoes through the writer's mind. Another way Springsteen might describe his magic trick — or love, or a band, or rock 'n' roll — is the equation "one plus one equals three. He's a critics' darling and one of French music's most beloved stars. After tracing some E Street glory and man, does "Tenth Avenue Freeze-out" on the piano not disappoint, confident and soulful , we'll find ourselves in the realm of "Brilliant Disguise," "Living Proof," and "Long Time Comin'.
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