The Humanity of Bruce Springsteen


Here is a taste of Peter Van Buren’s wonderful review of “Springsteen on Broadway“:

The evening was as necessary as a last hospital visit with an old friend. Bruce wanted to know—he asked—if he’d done okay by us, if he’d been a “good companion.” We’d made him very rich, allowing him as he joked to never have to hold a job in his life. Twice he accused himself of being a fraud, saying he’d never been inside a factory. But it’s time now to take that long walk. We’re tired, we’re old, we’re at the point where there is more to look back on than to look forward to. So did he do okay by us? Was it…enough?

Yeah, Bruce, it was. The show finished where things started, really, with “Born to Run.” Everyone in the audience heard it a first time a different time since it came out in 1975, but since then 43 years had passed, we had grown old together. Every one of us, and by God that had to include Bruce, heard a hundred versions of that song in that moment. We heard it on 8-track, bootleg cassette, LP, CD, MP3, DVD, YouTube, and Netflix, and faced together the warm embrace and cold slap of never being 16 years old again.

Age is omnipresent—maybe we ain’t that young anymore—right down to the construction of the song list; it’s telling that a 69-year-old Springsteen chose about a third of the set from his youthful period 40 years earlier. As he said on stage, there’s less blank paper left for us to write on. Maybe as a person, maybe as a nation. Maybe they are the same thing if we think on it right.

Read the entire piece at The American Conservative.