A humble Bruce Springsteen sat centerstage of New York’s Radio City Music Hall to perform for the 72nd Tony Awards on Sunday night. The famous rocker traded in his Fender guitar for a baby grand piano, which acted as both his musical paintbrush and canvas as he delivered a wonderfully beautiful stripped version of ‘My Hometown,’ the seventh and final single from his 1984 Born in the U.S.A. album.
The entire performance from Sunday night’s award show can be watched and heard in the pro-shot video above. A youthful looking Springsteen walks out to the stage in a simple set of black jeans and casual t-shirt, which matched the dark shade of his piano for the evening. Bruce can be heard starting out the famous rock ballad with a lengthy autobiographical spoken word verse before going into the song’s opening lyrics.
“I grew up on Randolph Street with my sister Virginia, she was a year younger than me, my parents Adele and Douglas, my grandparents Fred and Alice and my dog Saddle. We lived spitting distance from the catholic church, the priest’s rectory, the nun’s convent, the St. Rose of Lima Grammar School, all of it just a football’s toss away across the field of wild grass.”
Springsteen goes on to musically explain his family-driven childhood as he noodles on the piano while discussing the church’s presence in his hometown near Freehold, New Jersey. He admits that while he never cared for the smell of coffee that filled the community air whenever it rained, its comforting aroma reminded him of home. Bruce finally dives into the song’s familiar opening lines starting around the 5:15 minute mark, and its hauntingly beautiful melody accompanied by piano-only instrumentation really helps the song come alive as what it was always meant to be - a moving walk down memory lane.
The Boss was also given the “Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Award, mostly thanks to his one-man “Springsteen on Broadway” show, which was recently extended to continue running throughout the rest of summer and fall, and into winter before wrapping up on Dec. 15. Footage of his acceptance speech can also be watched in the video below.