Vince Cartier, From Where I Sat!
It was a rough day, really rough. I was pretty stressed out most of the day and the last place I wanted to be was a Bruce Springsteen concert. The one place I needed to be was a Bruce Springsteen concert. Needs won out over wants. We live just a short distance from MetLife stadium, so leaving at 4:30, meant we would be there at 4:45 if that. Traffic was light going east on Rt 3. We had a short momentary wait to pay the $25 parking fee. It is one of the things you get used to in NJ. Everything is expensive today and you know it will be even more expensive tomorrow. Today was one of those tomorrows. We had time finding a good parking spot with an exit strategy. When you go to MetLife Stadium or The Izod Center, exit strategy is important. With the perfect spot, we unloaded the two chairs for my wife Marie and myself and a little table for our small tailgating feast of roast beef sandwiches with provolone. We have had more elaborate food in past tours, but this today was all that was needed. The afternoon was warm, little if any humidity and very pleasant. Other than the noise from the cars on RT. 3, it was your typical Springsteen Tailgating scene. Every few cars, Springsteen songs from albums, concerts and special mix cd blared. People sitting around all enjoying the camaradare of the pre-show party. What you learn early on is that everyone is your friend. Everyone has a story of a show or song and you all sit around sharing everything, food, drink and new friendships, short friendships, but friendships none the less. Only once did we actually meet a very irritating person, who was from LA and was with a NYC friend. Needless to say both were as obnoxious as any two people could be. The LA Lady was very snobby, rude and not to smart. She actually asked if Giants Stadium had rest rooms. Today was just wonderful as we sat back read a bit and ate. No music or even tailgater to enter the stadium. Of course the ticket time for the show was 7:30 and we were sitting in our seats at around 7:15. We were in section 228A row 5, seats 16 & 17. We had great sight lines to the stage that was about 110 yards away. Everything on the stage looked like it was set up for an ant concert. But with binoculars and the big screens, we had pretty decent views that weren’t so bad. It was better than being in the upper deck on the sidelines. This was the second time we had been to MetLife Stadium and let me say, it is very big. Great sightlines and comfortable seating, but this is not as intimate as the old stadium was before it faced the Wrecking Ball. So, in a fairly empty stadium, we sat there enjoying the weather and just talking about things. Comparing these seats to other shows we have seen. In a short time others began to sit down in our section and the stadium was also beginning to fill up. The show started at around 8:30 and it was a barn burner from the opening song. What I noticed immediately was there were a lot of newbies and we have learned that is never good. Other than the four folks in front of us, we were in a very dead energy section. Many of the folks just sat there taking it in or standing quietly when they had to. A Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band show is a participation event, not just observation. I remember my first show I just got sucked in and went along for the ride. That was in 1977 and I have to say, the ride just keeps getting better with every show I attend. That didn’t seem to be the case at the show. My wife and I just did our thing. We were calling out the songs as soon as we could figure them out. We were singing and dancing jumping up and down and getting into the vibe from the stage. But being so far away you could not feel the crowd’s energy of an indoor arena show. In a stadium, much of the energy goes up into the heavens. In a stadium as large as MetLife this was even more the case. Unless you were in the pit, you had to pretty much just forget everyone else and do your thing. One thing I have learned going to a concert or a game. It is an excuse to drink as many beers as you can. Leaving your seat at any time of the show or game is common practice now. I hate this. People are always getting up to get more beer or go to the bathroom. Me, I never miss any action unless I really have to go to the bathroom. Even then, I will wait till there is an intermission or make sure I go before the event starts, so I won’t be going during any of the action. Another thing I have noticed of late, is that people have to text, why I haven’t a clue. All they do is sit or stand texting and drinking a lot. Even walking out of the show, many people had their phones out texting and making it tough to move to the exits. It was a good night. We even got see Gary US Bonds who sang Jole Blon and This Little Girl. Bruce actually found a sign requesting Jole Blond and the girl who had it, wanted to hear it in the original key of Bm. She knows her Jole Blonde. The people all around me didn’t know who Gary US Bonds was. Every die-hard Bruce fan knows Gary and all of his songs. But in spite of being in newbie land, the show was great and we both had a good time. We get to do it again, tonight!