In terms of live performances, it takes a very special artist to be able to play to a room of 800 people and an audience of 80,000 people and still have the same impact.
Bruce Springsteen is that type of artist.
For more than 50 years, The Boss has been playing in all sorts of venues. In fact, during his wonderful Netflix documentary/concert show Springsteen on Broadway, he even mentions a few of them.
When he was starting off, The Boss would happily play biker bars, boardwalks, bar mitzvah, funeral homes, dive bars, boardwalks, parks, private birthday parties, streets, and everywhere else.
20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, an Academy Award, a Tony Award, 19 studio albums, and millions of records sold later, it’s fair to say that he’s playing to bigger crowds!
However, Springsteen is not against mixing his live set up and the format of his gigs.
After all, he did record one of his greatest ever live albums in Dublin’s The Point Theatre – something that the co-director of Western Stars, Thom Zimny, still holds fond memories of – during The Seeger Sessions.
Springsteen and Zimny still speak fondly of their strong connection to Irish culture and the unique energy that The Boss gets from Irish crowds.
After all, the format of Springsteen on Broadway does lend itself to a more intimate setting in a theatre – something that Ireland has plenty of.
Zimny told JOE that the Springsteen on Broadway format isn’t intended to go on the road, but that’s not exactly a bad thing.
Grated, it’s great seeing The Boss in conversational mode as he reflects on his career in a more intimate setting but in recent weeks, Springsteen has confirmed that he’ll be back out on the road with the E Street Band behind him.
Ultimately, this is a good thing because Zimny’s answer means that Springsteen’s upcoming tour won’t be a stripped back, personal, and more intimate gig like the Broadway shows.
Therefore, it’s going to be a bigger venue with bigger crowds.
In a recent interview, Springsteen confirmed his plans to get the whole E Street Band back out on the road.
“Yeah, we want the band to get back together. You know, I’ve got some songs that I’ve written for the band. I’d like to make a really good rock band record with The E Street Band and get back out on the road. So, we’ll be seeing you!,” he said.
During his chat with JOE, Zimny elaborated on the connections that all of Springsteen’s most recent works had on Western Stars.
“Working on Western Stars, the voiceover parts had sections that were confessional but I was never surprised, or taken back, by how honest Bruce was. That was a process that he started with the book and Springsteen on Broadway. I recognise the writing of his songs on Western Stars simply from those other projects. They’re all sort of confessional and honest. I recognise this film as part of this trilogy – the book is the start, Broadway is the next level, and the film is the latest challenge,” he said.
Irish fans will get another chance to see Western Stars when it’s re-released in cinemas.