10


One word comes to mind when looking to describe my tenth time seeing Bruce Springsteen on Monday: endurance.

After seeing Bruce and the band two weeks ago the itch to go again was back, and thanks to eBay I was able to score my first GA tickets to a show. My friend and bodyguard Chris and I arrived in Albany around 2:45PM, got our tickets at will call, got our GA lottery wristbands, and then got lunch at the Pearl St. Pub ($2 drafts, hell yeah). We left the pub at 4:00 and walked back to the Times Union Center to get ready for instructions. We were soon told to head to specific spots to arrange ourselves in numerical order based on the number on our wristbands. My number was 0303, and Chris was 0305.

Once in line, we found ourselves standing behind three young European guys with higher wristband numbers than us who sarcastically blew me off when I tried to explain to them that everyone needs to be in numerical order. A little while later a woman in line explained to them the same thing and they finally relented and moved back to their spot. Leave it to a woman. We also met a couple from Canada (the husband had seen Bruce more than 60 times and they've met the man a couple times), a middle-aged asshole who wished Bruce would stop doing his whole "common man" thing (if you don't like what he does then why are you here?), and a 17-year-old girl named Cindy who had driven from Concord, MA, and was planning to drive back that night. Don't know if she did or not. It was during this time that I developed my dehydration headache.

We didn't make the drawing for the front pit, but were finally let in to the arena around 7:00. We hit the bathroom and made our way to the floor, staking out our spot about five people deep behind the second barricade just to the right of stage center. I could've throw a baseball and hit the stage if I wanted to. It was the closest I had been, and the people around us were great. Very territorial. If you had to go to the bathroom, they would save your spot, and they did not like it when people tried to squeeze in front after we were there. And there we stood until the show started at 8:30.

1. Badlands
2. We Take Care of Our Own
3. Wrecking Ball
4. Out in the Street
5. Death to My Hometown
6. My City of Ruins
7. Darlington County
8. Jack of All Trades
9. Murder Incorporated
10. Downbound Train
11. Shackled & Drawn
12. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
13. The Promised Land
14. The Way You Do The Things You Do/634-5789
15. Janey Don't You Lose Heart (solo/acoustic)
16. Backstreets
17. The Rising
18. Lonesome Day
19. We Are Alive
20. Land of Hope and Dreams
* * *
21. Thunder Road
22. Rocky Ground (with Michelle Moore)
23. Born to Run
24. Dancing in the Dark
25. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

All in all, seven different songs from when I saw them two weeks ago, and at times during the show I was no more than ten feet from Bruce while he was on a raised platform. During "634-5789," Bruce was on this platform drinking a beer that someone from the crowd gave him. He then flipped the cup in our direction and Chris caught it. I got beer in my hair and almost dropped my iPhone as I was filming at the time, but how awesome is that? Chris wants to never wash it and have it framed. And big shout-out to the Times Union Center security team. In the middle of "Wrecking Ball," these two obviously wasted guys came charging through the crowd and stopped right in front of me. They were there for a few minutes acting wasted, blocking my view, and talking about how they had gotten past security, but pretty soon security arrived and my whole section made sure to point out who should be removed. I love teamwork.

When the show was over, we walked back to the car, then to one pizza place, then another, and we finally sat down in the car to leave at 12:08AM. That means we were on our feet, basically standing in one place, for over 8 hours. We were so exhausted and dehydrated on the drive home, and yesterday, too. It was a great experience, but not a relaxing one, and definitely not one that we would want to do outside in the summer when you have to deal with the heat and sun. Anyway, we like to tailgate before summer shows. Meadowlands in September? We shall see.

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    © STEVE SCHULTZ