On the occasion of the release of U2’s 14th studio album, Songs of Experience, it is worth noting how remarkable it actually is that this band has remained a going concern for over 40 years, since Larry Mullen Jr. put up a notice at Mount Temple Comprehensive School: “Drummer seeks musicians to form band.”
Springsteen on Broadway isn’t an evening of brisk, cheerful anecdotes interspersed with lively versions of your favorite songs. Instead, it offers a sequence of interconnected vignettes that Bruce Springsteen has chosen to represent the story of his life as an artist, which provides a clear dramatic arc.
Chris Cornell was a galvanizing singer, whether solo, with Soundgarden or Temple of the Dog or Audioslave, or on any of his many guest appearances. The albums and songs were great, but they pale compared to the spectacle of his live performance.
In 1974, a random phrase popped into Bruce Springsteen’s head as he was writing, one that seemed to match the music he was hearing in his mind. It took Springsteen six months to turn that phrase, “Born to Run,” into a song, and it was a watershed moment for his work: the first time he wrote a song with the studio in mind rather than how it would sound onstage.