Bruce Springsteen @ Giants Stadium, Oct 3

It's now automatic to hear one of my Springsteen brethren midway through a set say, "best Springsteen show ever." Of the three friends I went with last night, two said this before the encore, and trust me, these fellas are far less prone to hyperbole than well, me.

Amazingly, I haven't seen Springsteen with the E Street Band since The Rising tour. I caught him on the Seeger Sessions tour, but it's now three E Street records since I've caught the full band. A few YouTube clips and a somewhat comical Super Bowl performance led me to believe that Bruce and the band had finally moved past their prime.

Dead wrong.

Last evening's show, which featured a complete performance of Born in the USA was as good as I've seen the band since they've reunited. Springsteen has barely lost a step and he sang every note with the same passion that he did at the Bottom Line in '75 or MSG in '78. "Out in the Street," normally a bit of a middle-of-the-road tune, had the stadium hopping and from that song on, I was taken. See, this is what a Springsteen show does for the fan. It not only takes you away from everything, but simultaneously brings you in. Every song has meaning, every song is a story and every line allows us to dream and wonder. The encore, highlighted by Tom Waits' "Jersey Girl" (stunning), "Kitty's Back" and "Detroit Medley" was pure euphoria. As they closed the show with "Thunder Road," I looked around and saw hundreds upon hundreds of smiling faces. This is the magic of Bruce Springsteen. And this has always been his magic. It's more than just a performance. It's a world he's created and a world that exists in cars, factories, boardwalks and the roads the lead us somewhere. It's a world that's Bruce Springsteen's as much as it's ours. And for three hours on a Saturday night, we shared in it all.