Springsteen :: Giants Stadium, 7.28.08

AD's Marty Garner, an unrepentant Bruuuuuce fanatic, having left L.A. for the Summer, made his way east to New Jersey to catch Bruce and E Street Band at Giants Stadium earlier this week. Here's how it went down.


I am not from New Jersey. I do have a friend from New Jersey, though, who moved down to my home state of Louisiana to attend LSU for no reason other than to experience the thundering weirdness that is LSU football. Sure, there are probably other, less romantic reasons that he chose to attend LSU, but the reason that he gives is LSU football. And it’s a pretty good reason, too; I grew up going to LSU games and, like any good southerner, I have wiped tears from my cheeks at the sound of the first four notes of the school’s fight song. People — fans, interested journalists, and even the rare roadside gawker — come down south to see the carnival of colors, to hear the revving engine of the bourbon crowd when the Tigers run onto the field; they see it and in so doing become a part of it. For nine months of the year, the south lives with a chip on its shoulder; for three, it is validated. And so, Saturdays in the fall are a sort of worship experience, cathartic and communal and weirdly glorious. For many people, they are something of a secondary Sabbath.

In much the same way, I went to New Jersey to see Bruce Springsteen. I had seen Bruce and the boys twice before — once in Houston on The Rising tour in 2003 and once last fall in Cleveland. Both shows — like any Bruce show — were more experiences than rock concerts; it’s no coincidence that people used to call E Street shows the Church of Rock ‘n’ Roll. But if that term still applies, then the show last night at Giants Stadium was something akin to seeing the Pope say Mass at St. Peter’s, and not only because a sticky Jersey mist hung over the crowd like a blanket of incense: this is the Garden State’s answer to college football.

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