Weekend Journal

IMG_3923 Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack! I went out for a ride and I never went back.
Like a river that don't know where its flowing, I took a wrong turn and I just kept going
On Friday night, Steve and I dropped the kids off at the grandparents' house and went to Giant Stadium for a Bruce concert.

I haven't been to a stadium concert in ages. My last stadium concert might have been a Dead show at Brendan Byrne Arena, which has since been renamed twice. At that Dead show, we danced around in the field with the general admission tickets. It rained buckets, and my cut-off shorts were so soaked that I had to hold them up. I was never a big Grateful Dead fan, but I went to keep some friends company. After that concert, we mostly went to see music in smaller clubs in the city.

Then the kids came, and it was Wiggles and Raffi concerts for us. At least, I never saw Dora on Ice.

Twenty years later, I was back in a stadium, three rows from the top. 

It was a good concert. Bruce worked the crowd like a preacher leading an old-style revival. The crowd were die-hard fans. Median age = 50. He didn't even need to sing. For Hungry Heart, he just held the microphone over the audience and thousands of people sang it.

Bruce's music was always about nostalgia. Singing about time when the working-class man had dignity and about '69 Chevy's. But for the audience, Bruce takes them back to where they were in the 70s and 80s. Layers of nostalgia.

The Born to Run album always takes me back to my freshman year of college. We used to hang out with some guys who were obsessed with that album. We would sit around an illegal beer ball in their dorm room. Every time that Thunder Road came on, they would stand on their chairs and sing along. One guy, Fenton, would sometimes play Born to Run on the crappy piano in the basement. More singing and drinking. 

The band played for nearly three hours, which is amazing considering his age. As the meathead down the row so eloquently put it, "he's sixty f@ckin' years old!"

It was good to get out and do something different. We did a lot this weekend, but it was all stuff that we've done before. On the long wait to get out of the parking lot, Steve and I talked about doing new things.

6 thoughts on “Weekend Journal

  1. I’ve seen Bruce three times (well, once was a huge concert in Saratoga we never got really close enough to).
    I actually was backstage at a Springsteen concert once. I didn’t get to meet Bruce, but I followed him and the band when they were getting on stage (I was heading to my seat). He is very short.
    I always see the nostalgia as more personal, to be honest. Many of his characters seem to be nostalgic for a time when they were innocent. “Now I act like I don’t remember; Mary acts like she don’t care.”


  2. We always called them “Party Balls” and I never saw one with anything but Coors Light. Eventually, we decided they were too much risk of getting caught because the shape was too out-of-the-ordinary. Cans can be carried in a suitcase or other less suspicious shape. Also, they took an hour to ice down.


  3. I prefer the Dead to Bruce. Both good, but I would take the Dead. Also, I think Brendan Byrne is an indoor arena?


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