Netflix’s Springsteen On Broadway sets a new standard for concert films

by David Anthony. Please visit Twitter account on@DBAnthony

There’s a unique kind of intimacy to sitting in a theater with 974 other people in total silence, no one so much as checking the time on their phones for fear of being kicked out of the venue. That’s the aura inside New York’s Walter Kerr Theater when attending a Springsteen On Broadwayperformance, a fact I am lucky enough to be able to present here. Other artists have instituted anti-phone policies at their shows, often as a precautionary measure to keep new material from being leaked out into the world, but with Bruce Springsteen, this practice was in service of something else. Sitting in the dark, Springsteen ambled onto stage, guitar in hand, then immediately subverted expectations by simply not playing a song. Instead, he jumped into an origin story, allowing it to stretch out for a few minutes as people hung on his every word. There was no vamping, no raucous “One! Two! Three! Four!,” no extended band intros, no spectacle. There’s just a man, one often viewed as a great American myth, showing you, once and for all, that he’s human.

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Netflix’s Springsteen On Broadway sets a new standard for concert films