When you grow up in New Jersey, there are certain experiences you assume other Jerseyans have also had. Been “down the shore” (yep, even to Seaside Heights); been held up in massive traffic jams on the turnpike or parkway; have sworn allegiance to Jersey tomatoes (nothing better); have dealt with non Jerseyans telling you Jersey sucks because they once spent two hours at Newark airport (I wish I were kidding about that one). I think the “You’re from Jersey, what exit?” and “Joisey” jokes from my teenaged days have finally bitten the dust, because over the last decade,we’ve been getting a lot more street cred.
Like many New Jerseyans, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with being from New Jersey. In high school, I couldn’t wait to get the hell out…which I did. Then I came back…and ended up staying…and ended up developing Jersey pride.
So, I’m proud to say that on Tuesday night, I added another notch to my “Jersey belt.” Yep…mr. strivingcynic and I headed way the hell up the turnpike to what is now called the Izod center, but what I remember growing up was called the Meadowlands. Our objective?
That’s right, we saw Bruce Springsteen in concert….and we did it the “right way” to do it as New Jerseyans. We saw him in New Jersey.
Now, I should explain, unlike mr. sc (who has seen Bruce before), I am not an avid Bruce fan. Mr. sc has all his albums/cds…I only recognize the songs that play on the radio. People always expect you to be a Bruce fan if you’re from NJ, but I never got into his music growing up, or later. I always liked hearing what I heard, but felt no need to investigate further. This in no way, however, diminishes the Jersey pride that I, like my cohorts, take in Bruce. He’s someone we’re all proud of. (I’d say I feel the same way about Bon Jovi, another group I was never a big fan of the way a lot of my classmates were).
To be fair, I had actually seen Bruce once before….in New York. I went to a Sting concert at Madison Square Garden in the 80s and at one point some guy came out on stage and started singing with Sting. I turned to my friend and said, “Who the hell is tha.aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! Omigod it’s Bruce Springsteen!!” But, aside from that random moment, nothing.
The concert itself was a lot of fun. The audience had that “We’re seeing Bruce in Jersey” good vibe feeling to it. Bruce has a lot of energy…after watching his running around stage (and the way he used the microphone stand as if it were a piece of exercise equipment [actually it reminded me of a friend of mine who takes pole dancing classes....] I have to say, the man is in great shape). Mr. sc and I and most of the audience were standing for most of the concert. And you know, “Born to Run” brought the house down (as it should)!
And of course, now I get to say, “Yes I’m from New Jersey. And of course I’ve seen Bruce Springsteen in concert!”
What singers is your town/state/province/country known for? Have you seen them in concert?