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Western Stars

Beautiful Bruce Springsteen live concert. It will make your day.

Western Stars

Grade: A

Directors: Bruce Springsteen, Thom Zimmy

Screenplay: Springsteen

Cast: Springsteen

Rating: 1n hr 23 min

Runtime: PG

By: John DeSando“The best music... is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with.” Bruce Springsteen

Western Stars contains Bruce Springsteen singing in a live concert 13 of his original songs with one ending cover. That’s enough because, like Leonard Cohen, he can write songs to make you swoon and maybe cry they are so infused with authentic sentiment and wise commentary on living.

This concert, set in his well-appointed barn, captures his love of people, horses, and deserts, along with some heartfelt thoughts about the importance of friends and most of all love. What makes him so compelling is that, like Sinatra, you know he has personally experienced the highs and lows of life and sings as if he has to share them with the audience to make his life complete.

Springsteen brings a string orchestra to accompany his guitar, a testimony to a lifelong desire to combine classical and country. The combo works as does his wife occasionally accompanying him on vocals and guitar. IMDB doesn’t list in its “full cast & crew” the names of the artists on stage with him, so I’ll not mention their names either.

Therefore, it’s clear this is all about Bruce, and he deserves the attention. His songs are poignant and somber, from wild horses to loneliness, and everything in between. Mostly the shots are of him, many in closeup. His face is clear and sharp, his eyes filled with sincerity. Sometimes he appears completely self-centered, but hey, he’s The Boss.

“I think that is what film and art and music do; they can work as a map of sorts for your feelings.” Springsteen

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at

John DeSando holds a BA from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in English from The University of Arizona. He served several universities as a professor, dean, and academic vice president. He has been producing and broadcasting as a film critic on It’s Movie Time and Cinema Classics for more than two decades. DeSando received the Los Angeles Press Club's first-place honors for national entertainment journalism.