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New Meadowlands Stadium - Night 1

Thursday, May 27, 2010

From the New Jersey Star Ledger:

Fans fill New Meadowlands Stadium as Jon Bon Jovi performs live



EAST RUTHERFORD — With the rubble of the old Giants Stadium kicking up dust next door, concertgoers filled New Meadowlands Stadium yesterday to watch Bon Jovi christen the $1.6 billion complex with a sold-out concert that heralded a new era in New Jersey sports and entertainment.

Jon Bon Jovi took the stage at 8:45 p.m., raised his fist in the air and launched into stadium-shaking renditions of "Blood on Blood," "We Weren’t Born to Follow" and "You Give Love a Bad Name."

"The New Meadowlands Stadium: I like it, I like it, I like it. Out with the old, in with the new," Bon Jovi told the crowd. "I get to be the first guy to get on a big microphone and say welcome to the home of the Super Bowl!"

On Tuesday, the 82,500-seat stadium in East Rutherford was selected to host the 2014 Super Bowl in a vote that will bring one of the world’s biggest and most lucrative sporting events to New Jersey. Concertgoers said the Super Bowl news made attending the New Meadowland’s inaugural concert even more historic.

"A lot of memories in the old stadium, but we are looking forward to many to come — especially the Super Bowl," said Brian Davis, 35, of Brick, one of the first to arrive.

Bon Jovi ran into a few opening day problems. A planned military fly over never happened. The stadium’s sound system also cut out for nearly a minute during "Runaway." The group kept playing as if nothing happened as one fan yelled "Sound check!" and the rest of the crowd attempted to make up for the missing music with their own voices.

The band ended its set with an elaborate fireworks display around 11 p.m., then returned to the stage for a series of encores. Around 11:30 p.m. the closed the show with "Wanted Dead or Alive" and "Livin' on a Prayer."

As they sang the final song, the band took advantage of the stadium's much-touted visual technology and played homemade videos of fans singing along to the song.

It was a long day for many fans who began rolling into the parking lots at 1:45 p.m. —six hours before the opening took the stage — to tailgate in the heat and humidity and say their last goodbyes to the old stadium.
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band closed down 33-year-old Giants Stadium in October, ending their show with an encore performance of "Jersey Girl." Bon Jovi, which had previously opened the Prudential Center in Newark in 2007, was chosen to give a repeat performance at the new football stadium.

Nicole Clements and her husband paid $175 each for their tickets to see Bon Jovi.

"A hometown boy opens the first show at the new stadium, how appropriate," said Clements, 38, of Cranbury.

Many ticket holders arrived early to check out every inch of the new stadium before Train, the opening act, took the stage shortly before 8 p.m. The gleaming new building includes 22 luxury suites, four giant video screens and 20 video pylons with high-definition screens. Fans were also happy to hear the new building has 40 percent more bathrooms than the old stadium.

John Stewart, who attended dozens of concerts and games at Giants Stadium, said he noticed fewer lines outside the rest rooms.

"In the old one, you had to race to these two rows of porta johns during the intermission," said Stewart, 47, of Miami. "Here it’s been easy."

But fans also found the new stadium is still a work in progress. Many features, including a 350,000-square-foot entertainment plaza outside the stadium, won’t open until football season begins. There were other opening day problems including ticket scanners that malfunctioned at the gates and food kiosks that delayed opening so workers could master the new equipment.

Many ticket holders also griped that their first memory of the new stadium will be the $25 parking fee they were charged as they pulled into the parking lot. Inside, they paid $4.75 for bottled water, $8.75 for beer and $15 for sandwiches.

"It’s a couple bucks more than I’m used to, but my beer was nice and cold," said David Arnett, 23, who flew in from Minnesota to be part of the stadium’s concert debut.

Bon Jovi performs Blood on Blood at New Meadowlands Stadium







Bon Jovi performs We Weren’t Born to Follow at New Meadowlands Stadium







Bon Jovi performs You Give Love a Bad Name at New Meadowlands Stadium





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I am and always have been a Bon Jovi fan. This blog is just my obsession taken a step further, my imagination in high gear if you will. I love to read and decided to see what would happen when I took that love of the written word and ramped it up a bit.

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