Monday, November 12, 2007
With the exception of Dinger getting sick and bailing on the show at the last minute, this was one of those nights where everything just fell into place perfectly.
I was on TM at 10:00am when tickets went on sale and they disappeared pretty much immediately. I pulled up about 5-6 pairs of 400-level seats and threw 'em all back. Then it was sold-out for about 10 minutes. More tickets eventually popped-up. FLOOR. To be honest, I was hoping for lower-level reserved seats (the floor was all general admission), but I wasn't about to turn these down. I grabbed them immediately.
So here I was, resigned to standing in the very back of the floor all night. I'm too old, tired and lazy to put in the effort to fight for a spot up front. I don't even do that in clubs, much less at a 20K seat arena. But then I heard there was a special pit section up front. hmmm. Turns out they hold a lottery for access to that area. What the hell. I show up at 2:00 yesterday, hoping to just grab a number and go home until 5:00. There were already 118 people there. Ugh. I get in line. About 1/2-hour later I get wristband #119, get my ticket punched with the little heart-shaped hole and I'm heading home again.
Dinger feels like hell and doesn't want to go, so I head back downtown a little early to try to sell his ticket. I didn't even have enough time to start calling my friends to see if they wanted it, because I needed to get back to the lottery. I just wanted to sell the ticket for face value, but I didn't see many people actively looking. One guy with his finger in the air. He offered me $60 for the $100 ticket. Ummm...no. Scalpers were getting $300 for floor seats. I'm a nice guy, but I'm not selling this for a loss. 30 seconds later someone tapped me on the shoulder, thrilled to get a floor seat for face value. Everybody's happy and I keep my good ticket karma intact.
Back to the lottery. The pit holds 400 people. There are a few thousand floor tickets. I figure I don't stand much of a chance, but what the hell. If I don't get in the pit, I'll just go get some dinner somewhere nearby. They pull the number. #060. Are you kidding me? My little part of the line erupted with glee. Not only did we get into the pit, we were among the first ones in the door. Ticket karma indeed.
Another line. Another wristband. Another marking of the ticket. We took a Spinal Tap-esque trip through the bowels of the Verizon Center. A hidden stairwell, narrow hallways, another stairwell, a walk past the catering area, crew entrances and the place where they store all the unused chairs. Suddenly we're on the floor of a completely empty arena. I was the 60th person inside (out of nearly 20,000 people). I was never more than 5-feet from the stage the whole night. My new BFFs (affectionately known as #118, #120 and #121) and I all took turns making beer runs and holding each other's spots until Bruce came on.
And what a show. Not quite as hit-laden as I would have hoped, but everything sounded great. Two hours and twenty minutes of non-stop fun. The time just flew by. Here's the setlist, blatantly stolen from Backstreets:
Reason to Believe
She's the One
Livin' in the Future
The Promised Land
I'll Work For Your Love
Tunnel of Love
Working on the Highway
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
* * *
Girls in Their Summer Clothes
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Heavy on the new stuff, but it didn't really matter. Everyone around me knew every word to every song. Folks love them some Bruce. After "Promised Land" Bruce handed his harmonica to the kid right next to me. Nice moment. "Tunnel of Love" was pretty much fantastic, with hometown hero Nils just tearing things up. "She's The One", "Badlands", "Born To Run"....hmmm...what was that I was saying about not enough hits? Never mind.
Great show. Great night. I'm getting a little old for the GA thing though. I basically stood around from 4:30-11:00. Most of that in one spot. These old bones aren't made for that anymore. I'd do it again in a heartbeat though. It's a whole different world right up front.