Fairy tale magic was in the air on July 27. A long time ago, while Debbie Gibson taught me how to have "love only in my dreams" and Bon Jovi gave me lessons on how to "live on a prayer," Bruce Springsteen unleashed the fact I do not always have to be proud of my country through "Born in the U.S.A." Granted I was only six when I first listened to this protest song, but the lyrics still hold true and shape some of my writings. So when my brother asked me if I wanted to see the Boss at Giant Stadium, I felt my childhood reflect back to the day I first listened to the Born in the U.S.A. album on my cassette player. How could I say no.
Of course I admit, I did go through my non-Boss liking phase. He wasn't always in the
forefront of my mind as my favorite Jersey boy. The Jov was more of my cup of tea for a while, until he metamorphed himself into a new image. BRUCE never did that and never had to. While ABBA, the Bee Gees and other grotesque disco polluted the airwaves, Springsteen, Tom Petty and Bob Seger were rescuing rock with their songs that told stories of love and struggle. Springsteen's songs particularly struck the chord of understanding with the Blue collar workers, the salts of the Earth. His honest words and common values have kept him in a league higher than any other performer.
We tailgated before going into the Stadium. The parking lot was filled with local and out of town Jerseyians, young and old. People even from overseas were in our lot area. A generational family was next to us. Grandparents, parents, children and grand-children. It was a beautiful site. Everyone bonding over the same purpose. I can hear various live versions of "Jersey Girl," as I sizzled the meat on the grill. I don't remember feeling like a giddy girl for seeing a band such as this since maybe my one and only Phish concert (2/24/03).
After eating our grizzled grub, we ventured past the porto-potties to make our way into the Stadium. BRUCE excitement was everywhere not to mention lots of drunk people. I felt like I was at a huge family reunion. Everyone is waiting for the big important relative to tell us something important. While waiting for that moment, the Yankee game was on. We heard constant cheers of LET'S GO YANKEES, which were then followed by LET'S GO BOSTON, which of course were followed by BOSTON SUCKS. But before the lights went down, the NY fans retaliated even more with LET'S GO GIANTS (although the season doesn't start until Sept. 4).
After an hour delay, we all assumed was due to the rain not the Yankee game, BRUCE and the E-Street Band went right into "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out," "Radio Nowhere," "Lonesome Day," "No Surrender," "Adam Raised a Cain" and "Spirit in the Night." I was enthralled by his energy and ability to go into song after song after song after song.
During "Lonesome Day," BRUCE collected poster-board sized requests from the people in the front rows. While singing "Spirit in the Night," BRUCE allowed a lucky little lady to kiss him on his cheek. Every time the camera went on Steven Van Zandt, I screamed, "Silvio!"
They shredded into "Summertime Blues." The Boss introduced his wife Patti Scialfa, before they harmonized "Brilliant Disguise" together and "Atlantic City" soon followed. Now it was time for BRUCE to finally get to the requests. A ten-year old girl by the name of Rosie requested "Growin' Up." The Boss commented to Rosie how he wrote that song, "A quarter of a century before you were born. When your daddy was a wink in your mommy's eye."
Other requests of the night were "Janey don't You Lose Your Heart," "I'll Work for Your Love," "Working on the Highway" and "Bobby Jean"(one of the encores). Before going into "The Rising," BRUCE dedicated the song to Obama. Besides doing his hits, he did recent songs from his new album Magic.
His encores lead him well beyond the 11 o'clock mark. During "Born to Run," the lights went on, but the band continued into "Dancing in the Dark." The Stadium and I were all dancing like Courtney Cox. The lights went back down before "American Land." I guess the Stadium techies realized, the Boss is in charge for the night, and he will tell them when the night is over.
After a three and a half hour set with no intermission, BRUCE and the E Street Band ended the night on a fairy tale note, since it started with one, by doing "Rosalita." Thus, also ending my fairy tale, of now living happily ever after seeing one of the greatest shows ever at Giant Stadium before the wrecking ball commences.
Other songs in the set were: "Youngstown," "Murder Incorporated," "The Promised Land," "Livin' in the Future," "Mary's Place," "Tunnel of Love," "Last to Die," "Long Walk Home," "Badlands." Encores: "Girls in their Summer Clothes," "Jungleland," "Born to Run," "Bobby Jean," "Dancing in the Dark," "American Land," "Rosalita."
By Lori who urges everyone, whether a fan or not, to see BRUCE and see why his shows are such a phenomenon. It is an experience like no other and this is coming from someone who has seen more shows than you can imagine from various genres and cultures. Concert Junkie forever.