Spirits In The Summer Night

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“You’ve got to take your satisfactions where you can get them.” ~ Bruce Springsteen, during the intro to Independence Day at MetLife Stadium, 8.23.16.

Anytime you can see Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band in the Great State of New Jersey…especially in the summer…you go.

Even if it’s in a football stadium with 53,000 other people.

There is just something about seeing Bruce and the band play a hometown show. I know there are people all of the world who have “See Springsteen in NJ” on their bucket list. It’s easy to take it for granted when you see him in the Garden State.

But it is special.

And magical.

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I went with the intent to see the show, of course, but also to document the scene, the pre-show parking lot. “Parking Lot Portraits” I called it, akin to the boardwalk photos I took last summer.

I didn’t have The River album with me, but no matter. I was still able to meet some very interesting people and see some interesting scenes.





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This is Dave, owner of Asbury Park Fight Club clothing. Check out their website for nifty items.

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(Ran into my buddy Zack Sandler with Kyle Brendle and Steve Weiss of The Stone Pony)

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Probably my favorite portrait of the evening. I missed their names, but this father and teenage daughter were on rushing to get in. I was walking back to my truck to put my cameras away before heading in myself, but had to ask them for this shot. They seemed so excited, both in their River t-shirts. The generations – the couple at the opening of this post that have been seeing Bruce since the early ’70s they told me, to these two, happy to see him now.

A few more quick thoughts on the show last night:

* Such a beautiful late summer night. It was 55 degrees when I woke up Tuesday morning, and thought it might actually get chilly for the evening show. It didn’t. It was about 85 at show time and it was just a beautiful, clear night.

* Nothing is more special than seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in New Jersey. Even if it’s with 53,000 other people.

* Standing on the floor of MetLife Stadium, and looking up at the Ring Of Honor for the NY Jets and NY Giants is pretty cool, too, and I’m not even a fan of those teams.

* Santa Claus Is Coming To Town….in August. Why not.

* Nils made me dizzy during his Because The Night solo.

* Darlington County, not really a favorite of mine, rocked. As did The Promised Land, which has always been a favorite.

* Jungleland, special as always.

* She’s The One, yes.

* Jersey Girl. in New Jersey. Double Yes.

* Jack of All Trades – tour debut. Nice.

* Wished they had done Backstreets.

* Very fun to see some old friends, and meet some new ones too.

* Unfortunate: Saw many more drunk people here than at the Guns ‘N Roses show in July. Kinda made me fear getting out of the parking lot. But it was ok.

* Also, too many people on their phones, scrolling scrolling scrolling, taking pictures, or otherwise engaged in conversations. Why pay all that money if you’re not going to pay attention to the goshdarn show??

Overall, a very fun night. I enjoyed meeting some people and just walking around the floor, watching different people and how they reacted to songs.

Spirits in the summer night, everyone. All coming together in North Jersey for one thing…


As I walked out, though, I felt Summer 2016 shutting down.

And that made me a little sad.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

14 thoughts on “Spirits In The Summer Night

  1. Wonderful photos, I am pretty sure I saw you “stalking” the lot. 🙂 Agree with your thoughts on the show, although I’ll trade “NYC Serenade” for “Backstreets”. My daughter and I were in the pit and there were a few too many drunks and definitely many distracted by their phones, but the crowd was more attentive than some I’ve been with at past Bruce shows. And don’t you wish you could have brought your good camera into the show? I miss those days.

    • Glad you liked the show, John. Actually, I don’t mind not taking my cameras into the show. Onstage shots are nice and all, but I’d rather have backstage/off stage access. It’s the quiet portraits, the in-betweens that I prefer.

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