Friday, October 9, 2009

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band @Giants Stadium, Oct. 8th

Unlike a few weeks ago when Bestest Boy and I saw U2 and Muse, today I decided to fly solo for a chance to be in the GA Pit for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. I got into line at about 11:10 am and subsequently was awarded bracelet #90 out of 1,000. For the next 3-1/2 hours I chilled in the parking lot and chatted with other fans, eager to pass the time until security drew the winning number which would signify the start of the line: #787, which meant that I was then actually ~303rd in line. Not bad. After strategizing with my neighbors, including some really nice Canadians named Eddie and Rebecca, we decided we would shoot for center towards Clarence Clemons' mic. Surprisingly, the Giants Stadium staff handled the line lottery rather well, and we were able to position ourselves pretty much where we envisioned, about 3 deep from the stage.

This night marked the 4th time I have seen the Boss in concert, and my 2nd time on the floor, but this was the closest to the stage I had ever been by far. While I came to the show fully aware that the album Born To Run would be performed in its entirety, I don't think I was prepared for the impact of hearing it live and seeing it so close. Our positioning in front of the Big Man Clemons proved key as Born To Run runs pretty heavy on sax, especially the closing song "Jungleland," during which I did get a little weepy. While it was amazing to see Clarence wail away on the sax, I could only imagine the physical stress with which his body must have been dealing as he moved slowly across the stage.

Bruce Springsteen, while younger than Clemons, is no spring chicken himself, recently turning 60(!), but you never would have known it. His energy was absolutely incredible, running through an amazing setlist that ran exactly three hours with nary a lull. I was particularly jazzed to hear "It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City" and "Because The Night," which were audience requests, as well as a moving "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)," played in memory of longtime E Streeter Danny Federici, who passed away last year. Bruce ran all over the stage and up and down several ramps and catwalks which extended into the pit, and even bodysurfed the crowd for a while during "Hungry Heart." Killer!

It's gonna take me a long time to forget this experience. After all, Bruce was one of my first loves -- Born In The U.S.A. was the very first cassette I owned. I even had a Cabbage Patch Doll I dressed in blue jeans, white teeshirt, red bandana and ball cap in the back pocket. Gimme a break -- I was in the 5th grade! =)

Here's a kinda shaky recording of "Thunder Road":

More photos on my Flickr.

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