Those of us who were with Bruce Springsteen from the beginning (or, in my case, almost from the beginning) have certain expectations for how he should behave. One of those expectations is that he should not charge $850 so that well-heeled fans can see him on Broadway. That said, I was looking forward to watching “Springsteen on Broadway” on Netflix, which I finally had a chance to do Sunday night.
It’s very good, and moving in parts. Springsteen is a master storyteller, and he expertly wove the story of his life around his music. The flashes of ego won’t be surprising to anyone who’s read or listened to his excellent autobiography, “Born to Run.” And, after all, he can back it up.
Since I had already heard him read his autobiography for many, many hours, “Springsteen on Broadway” was somewhat superfluous. Most of the rearrangements of his songs were second-rate, although “My Hometown” (on solo piano) and “Land of Hope and Dreams” (on acoustic guitar) were far better than the originals.
My only quibble is that he struck the same somber, elegiac tone for two and a half hours, with no variation in the pacing — not even when his wife, Patti Scailfa, joined him on stage. (And how weird is it that they sang “Brilliant Disguise,” which is about his troubled first marriage?) About two hours in, I was more than ready for the E Street Band to come out and launch into the Detroit Medley.
I’d give “Springsteen on Broadway” four out of five stars, of interest mainly to Springsteen obsessives.