After seeing my last two Bruce Springsteen shows in arenas (the Izod Center & the Pepsi Arena), it was nice to get back to nose-bleed seats at an outdoor show at the Meadowlands on Friday - show two of a three-night stand at MetLife Stadium. And not only back to the the seats in the clouds, but the great tailgate atmosphere in the parking lot. People BBQing, drinking, playing games, and blasting music. It's such a great atmosphere that really brings the whole experience of a show to another level. Due to time and logistical constraints, we had to settle for deli sandwiches instead of grilled meat and Labatt Blue instead of...well, something else, but the goal was accomplished none-the-less.

The most remarkable thing about my 11th Springsteen show (the 10th with the E Street Band) were the number of songs played that I had never seen live before, and that this was the 2nd show I've seen where Gary U.S. Bonds was a special guest. 9 of the 28 songs were new live experiences for me, 4 of which welcomed Bonds to the stage, and it brought the total number of Springsteen songs I've seen live to 128 (yes, I keep track because I am an addle-minded music geek) There were album classics like "Lost in the Flood" and "Incident on 57th Street," some more pop-oriented songs like "Talk To Me" and "From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)," and some tunes that I didn't even know. I thought I was past the point where the band could break out songs that I didn't know, but there you go. And this was my first time seeing Bruce where he didn't play "The Rising." I had a 10-show streak going on, and I'm while I didn't need to hear the song again, the streak was kinda cool. At least in my addled mind. Oh well.

I was also happy to take one friend to his first show and another friend to her second (her first was on Wednesday, but we aren't counting that because she didn't get the full tailgate pre-show experience). It's always great to introduce people to the live Springsteen experience for the first time and show them why people come back time and time again.

Saturday night was the last show of the outdoor venues, but the tour now goes back indoors for arenas throughout the country. We'll see when I end up there, again. My next concert tickets are for Ben Folds Five on October 9th. Let's go.

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