I am too old for the pit.

My husband and I are huge Springsteen fans. HUGE. We have been to at least five of his concerts together, and that is in addition to the ones my husband saw before he knew me. Every time we have gone, we’ve sat in the stands like dignified adults. It’s great. It’s fun. No one puts on a performance like The Boss.

But my husband had an item on his bucket list that I had the chance to fulfill. He wanted to see a Springsteen concert in the pit. The last time we went, I said no way. I wanted to sit. But this time, I caved. I agreed to buy field tickets and stand for hours to see The Boss perform up close and personal.

It was . . . um . . . interesting.

First of all, the forecast called for rain, rain and more rain. Fortunately it hasn’t been cold in these here parts, and last time I checked I don’t melt, so I decided to deal with the rainy forecast in good humor.

rainy concert attire

What I was more skeptical about was being crammed with the masses of humanity in an open area with no seat assignments and no boundaries.

You see, I am a woman who likes her boundaries. Don’t invade my personal bubble, and I won’t invade yours, and we will all get along just fine, thankyouverymuch.

The good news is, the rain miraculously held off. It rained constantly all day long, then it stopped when we arrived on the field for the concert and resumed during our ride home. A bizarre turn of good fortune, indeed!

The bad news is, The Pit.

It wasn’t too bad during the two (yes, TWO) hours that we stood around waiting for the concert to start. People meandered in and casually claimed their spots. Everyone was friendly and the atmosphere was festive, despite the tedious wait.

But my carefully guarded personal bubble was popped the second the concert started and certain people who didn’t feel like arriving early and waiting around decided to push through to try to claim a closer spot. That was annoying enough, but it was to be expected so I tried to go along with it.

The real clincher was when the frat boys beside us (who, incidentally, were some of the ones who pushed their way through right before show time) started lighting up a joint.

Yeah, I know, it is a concert, and I know what people do at concerts, but this is Bruce, not Phish. Plus also. I am old and crotchety.

Paul tried to convince me to back out of the way, but I was determined not to give up my spot (I had a great view!!)

So I dealt with the bozos for most of the show, but by the end, I had had enough, and we moved to the back of the field area where there was a fresh breeze and a little more room to move around and enjoy another of Bruce’s epic performances.

The Boss did not disappoint. Despite the close quarters, we truly had a great time. He pulled out all the stops, sang for almost four hours without a break, did all his typical antics on stage, even walking through the crowd and dancing with a little girl, putting his face out for photo opps with audience members, and then pulling a woman up on stage to dance with Little Steven — who is hilarious, by the way. I adore him, especially after seeing him as a mentor on American Idol last season.

I didn’t snap too many photos; I was too busy enjoying the show, but I had to grab a shot of Bruce dumping out his boots right before the encore. Throughout the show he would douse himself with water to keep his body temperature at a somewhat healthy level, and by the end his boots were full. It was hilarious.

The set list, for the two of you who might actually care, was quite good but different than usual. He sang a lot of old favorites towards the end, but earlier on he pulled out two from his very first album, he sang a few from his newer album, The Rising, and then there were some of his more obscure songs as well. It was pretty serious for the first half of the show, and lightened up towards the end.

The tribute to the late Clarence Clemons was really cool, and I didn’t realize until reading reviews this morning that the new featured saxophonist is Clarence Clemons’ nephew. That explains the clear depth of sentiment between the two.

Bruce finished off with a fun Irish-inspired piece called American Land from The Seeger Sessions that inspired the audience members around us to lock arms and dance a jig. It was a great way to finish off the night.

Here is the set list and some fabulous photos, compliments of philly.com:

Factory / Adam Raised A Cain / Streets of Fire / Prove It All Night / Something In The Night / We Take Care Of Our Own / Wrecking Ball / Death To My Hometown / My City Of Ruins / Does This Bus Stop At 82d Street / It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City / Frankie / Jack Of All Trades / Atlantic City  / Darlington County / Mona > Shackled An Drawn / Waiting On A Sunny Day / The River / Lonesome Day / Badlands / Thunder Road / We Are Alive / Born To Run / Dancing In The Dark / Jungleland / Tenth Avenue Freeze Out / American Land

I’m so glad we went, and in spite of everything, I’m glad we got field tickets. It was an experience to remember. But I’ve done it once, and I don’t need to do it again.

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15 Responses

  1. What a hoot. I stood for 8 hours (waiting, running to the front, standing) for Switchfoot several years back and I couldn’t barely get out of bed the next day. Pit standing is done for me. Glad you both had fun!

  2. He does put on quite a show! I didn’t realize he was touring again. I saw him while I was 7 months pregnant, and it was hilarious to feel her kick throughout the show.

    And now, I’m off to listen to some Bruce. 🙂

  3. You had to be VERY close to us last night! We, too, were in the pit and I know the group of people you’re speaking of – the rude group of guys that came in right before the show started and couldn’t wait to light up! Even still, the pit is an awesome experience – we always opt for field tickets – so close, so personal. I love it. Although this was my upteenth time seeing Bruce, it was sad for me, no Clarence. But, like he said, if you’re here and we’re here…they’re here. The fact that the rain stopped and then started again after the show still amazes me….

  4. Wow, we drove past the sports complex on our way home from Wildwood. It was *pouring*, I thought for sure it was going to be cancelled. We were at Hershey on Saturday for Rock Allegiance(took oldest to his first concert). There is no way I could survive the pit! We had seats the whole time, and even that was tiring.

  5. Funny, I was never a big Springsteen fan until I spent 5 months in Spain and had the opportunity to see him in the bullring in Madrid. Concerts in the Madrid bullring are…strange…we got tix for like $15 at the venue the week before the concert…but singing “Born in the USA” among 20,000 Spaniards the week before we came back to the USA after being gone for 5 months was PRICELESS!

  6. 2 hours before it even started?? Whoa. No way I want to do that. I’ll stick to my seats. So glad you had fun though, and he puts on a show worthy of all that standing. 😉

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  8. Good morning. We are a Spanish couple will travel next Monday 17 to attend the concert on the 19th in New Jersey. It is our first trip to USA. We have tickets field. But we have no idea what to do to enter the pit. Please, I’d really appreciate if you can explain what exactly is the procedure to get to the front rows. We are a bit lost and our great hope for this trip is to be close to the stage as possible up front.
    Best wishes from Madrid

    1. They will tell you what to do. You will go to a second ticket booth after entering the stadium and they give you an arm band that allows you onto the field. If you want to get in the very front, you will be able to go early and stand in yet another line and get lottery tickets. We did not choose to do that, and by the time we got there, we were about half-way back on the field. It was still a great spot, but if you want to be in the front, where Bruce might actually touch your hand or get in a photo you will want to do the lottery. They should send an email explaining that. Have fun!!

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