I went to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at Giants stadium at the Meadowlands in New Jersey this past Wednesday. I first saw him in 1986 in St. Louis, Missouri, when I lived there (unfortunately - that I lived in St. Louis- not that I saw him) I was a few months pregnant with my son, who is now 23, and the concert was so long I kept hoping he would stop so I could go home and go to bed, but I was loving the concert so much I didn't consider leaving for a second. Women in their first trimester get pretty sleepy.
Anyway, I have seen Bruce numerous times between then and now, and I always enjoy it. We have gone the past couple of times with some of our oldest and dearest friends, Steve and Patrice. They live on Long Island and we meet up, tailgate in the parking lot and enjoy the concert together. We've gone to several college reunions with them (Steve and Tom were once room mates and graduated together) and a long weekend with our respective kids in Vermont. I think as you get older, you appreciate long time friendships that have stood the test of time.
Usually for these get togethers we run like a finely oiled machine. We have tables, chairs, tablecloths, grills, a vast array of snacks and drinks. This year not so much. Steve and Patrice have had a lot on their plates recently which I will not go into here. I really don't have an excuse of any kind, the date just kind of got here.
It was all good though, and the company is what is most important, of course, it just wasn't what is typical of our tailgating. We had plenty to eat and drink, but not a chair to sit on in the parking lot. It was a chilly evening, in the fifties, but the one thing we did have in abundant supply was outerwear. Patrice brought an entire trunk full of coats, fleeces, sweatshirts, etc. I burst out laughing when I opened the trunk and saw it all. We joked that maybe we could each sit on a pile of jackets.
We had champagne, and I brought along champagne flutes, because the champagne was Veuve Cliquot, and you really shouldn't drink that out of a plastic beer cup. It's just wrong. Beside which, I had a New Year's day brunch a couple of years ago, and I went to William Sonoma to buy champagne flutes, because I certainly didn't have enough for the thirty or forty people we were expecting. They had some on sale for some ridiculous price, like two bucks, so I asked how many they had. They told me 40 so I just bought all of them. So if they got broken, I've got about 38 more at home.
We went on opening night for this leg of them playing the Meadowlands, and there is something magical about seeing Springsteen in his "home" stadium. The powers that be are building a new Giants Stadium, and the existing one will be torn down, and he opened with a song he had written for the occasion called "Wrecking Ball." He ran through the entire Born To Run album, in order, which was great fun.
We had a drink in the parking lot and let some of the traffic clear out and got home around 2 am. It was pretty windy that night, and for a moment during the concert I looked around, the breeze ruffling everyone's hair, the music cranking, and I'm not sure when I've had a better time on a beautiful autumn evening.