May 31, 2010
New Meadowlands Stadium -- 5/26/10 Night One!
Flavor Rating: vanilla
I'm late in posting this because I was so wrapped up in the other two nights that I never got a chance to reflect on the first! But I want to have some sort of memory of it because it was the official OPENING night of New Meadowlands, a historic night indeed, and *I* was THERE.
That's perhaps the coolest thing I can say about the night -- well that, and I was there for free! I wasn't planning on going at all (this whole adventure started with one night, then I added a second, and then when I arrived IN New Jersey on Tuesday night, my friend Lori surprised me with a free ticket in the 100 level. And I was officially going to all three. *insert glowing smile here*
It was the furthest I've ever been from the stage at a Bon Jovi show, but for free and from the kindness of a friend, how could I complain?! I was thrilled to even BE there, truly and honestly. And a part of me kind of liked being set aside from the floor crowd and the up-close frenzy, because I could take in the stadium and crowds from a better viewpoint. AND, because it was too far to take very good pictures, I was able to put my camera away and get lost in the music completely.
I really did enjoy the show. It was an entirely predictable setlist (a reason I had originally used for not buying a ticket for this night), but it was my first taste of the energy in a stadium -- and all I can say is, wow. People are right - there is nothing like the atmosphere within a stadium, with tens of thousands of screaming fans, and especially in New Jersey, Bon Jovi's hometown. The band was clearly happy to be there, and Jon was full of fire as he welcomed us to the new stadium and proudly reminded us which great state we were in! ;)
I am proud to say I was there for a moment that will no doubt go down in Bon Jovi history, when during the performance of 'Runaway', the SOUND WENT OUT! It literally just shut off without preamble, which anyone who has been to a concert will know sounds TOTALLY odd after the eardrum-shattering volume a split second earlier. It was startling to happen so unpredictably, but not really surprising considering it was the first night the stadium ever opened. Everyone had been expecting some sort of glitch anyway! But the funny part was that the band seemed to have NO IDEA the sound had gone out, and I still find myself giggling at the sight of them all ripping on their instruments, Jon bellowing into the mic, moving around and tearing it up...silently. I actually started laughing at the show and couldn't stop - Jon was being so serious and into it, and we couldn't hear a damn thing. It was hysterical! The cool thing was that the crowd picked up the song after about ten seconds, and we sang it for the band (who still had no idea). I saw people in the pit trying to relay the message to the band too, but nope...they ended the song with a relish and Jon looked out at us with a beaming smile, expecting the normal praise and applause.
Apparently the tech crew were too scared to come out and inform the band while they tried to fix it (I don't blame them, LOL!) and rumor has it the band didn't even find out about the mishap until a few songs later. I just find that SO funny! And it was a unique experience that will be told in stories for years to come, I'm sure.
Basically the night was my first taste, a preview, of what to expect in my good seats the next two nights, and I enjoyed having it low-key and low-intensity. It was HOTTER than hell that night, though, so I was even happier I wasn't crammed on the floor and could enjoy a slight breeze with a little elevation. And my view was pretty fantastic, except that I still manage to attract the crazy tall people -- there were THREE 8-foot tall men in front of me, I swear. Luckily, they sat down for the second half of the show, and before then I could hop around and peek between their heads, except when they leaned over to talk to each other -- which was often. Ah well.
It was our first experience with the fireworks during Keep the Faith, which I thought was just downright AWESOME. It spurs excitement and adrenaline, at least for me, and I was smiling all sorts of big the whole time. The first explosions come in sync with the crowd's "FAITH!" part during the song, and then when the final instrumental revs up, red beams shoot the perimeter of the stadium to end in a crashing explosion for the finale. I LOVED it!
We were treated with a few sprinkles in our vanilla set with Dry County in the encore, but I thought Jon strained too much (he did much better Saturday night, and on Thursday he joked about how he and Richie keep writing songs "up here" and need to start writing them "down here", after the performance of Always --another high song, for those non-Jovi fans ;))
Overall, a great experience. I got to get acquainted with the stadium and the experience before I was thrown onto the floor and finally the pit for my later shows, and for free...I don't think I can EVER say that again! LOL
So a HUGE thank you to Lori for giving me that wonderful chance, I appreciate it so much! I can always say I was there for the christening of the "new Giants," and was a part of Bon Jovi history.