Bruce Springsteen spins yarns and digs deeply into his soul to express his feelings, memories, dreams and fears. His lyrics are narrative and introduce us to the characters that have populated his life since childhood. That made him ideal to host an episode of VH1’s popular series, Storytellers.
Bruce had just completed his third solo-acoustic album, Devils & Dust—if you count Nebraska as the first. It explored themes of war, religion, love and life. The show was shot before a live audience at the Two River Theatre in Redbank, NJ. Bruce played acoustic and electric guitar, and shifted to the piano for a surprising and different rendition of Thunder Road. Before and after each song, Bruce explained the history and thought process behind each song, including anecdotes about the origins of the hyper-rhymed Blinded By The Light.
I created a lighting system that allowed me to subtly reveal Bruce, angle-by-angle, as the song dictated to whatever part of my brain reacts to Bruce’s music and lyrics. Each number had a unique look that placed Bruce, in one song, in a dark void barely seen from one side or another, and in the next song, more fully exposed against a background of Anne Brahic’s batik-esque panels, and bleachers of audience members seated on the wings of the stage. It was a magic evening that I was very grateful to be a part of.