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Bruce Springsteen high-fives the crowd in Salt Lake City
Bruce high-fives the crowd in Salt Lake City during the E-Street Band reunion tour
The three photos on this page were taken (on film!) by a friend I made while on the floor of the arena

Bruce Springsteen and the Time Value of Money (2000-2022)
The E Street Band Reunion Tour
Delta Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
29 May 2000

#Scalping  •  #FirstWorldProblems  •  #ThoughtLeadership  •  #CustomerExperience (CX)  •  #UserExperience (UX)  •  #VerifiedFan  •  #Ticketmaster

Back during the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band reunion tour in 2000, I completed my masters degree in international business and — as a graduation present to me — I managed to get a ticket to see the band in Salt Lake City.

In the third row. On the floor.

I paid face value, $67.50 plus $8.00 in fees.

Ticket confirmation: third row! $75.50! (Fees included!)

I then bought a Greyhound bus ticket with the intention of making it a relatively cheap adventure. That made for a 10-13 hour road trek covering 592 miles on a not entirely comfortable bus.

The crazy bus schedule

The effort paid off.

On the floor of the Delta Center, I was sitting next to a guy who was a huge Springsteen fan. As I recall, he said he had seen Bruce 50+ times.

Okay. Bruce was a well-established rock star and he toured a lot, so 50 shows seemed reasonable for a really big fan up to that time.

But no. Silly me.

This guy had seen Bruce 50+ times on the reunion tour alone.

That evening, as my official biographers will note, was the catalyst for what would become my own personal odyssey with U2. The Elevation tour — so aptly named — in 2001 would take my soul to a whole new level. Higher and higher.

Beyond that change in world view, it was around this time I pivoted from shopping for a sleek new word processor and instead purchased my first laptop so I could learn how to build web sites. In July 2000, was born (inspired by Maximus in Gladiator since, at the time, was under the ownership of the Matthew Good Band).

A whole lotta ground’s been covered since then. And to think there were people — particularly colleagues at the time — who pooh-poohed the idea of my making a web site. “What are you going to put on a web site?” They’d say it so dismissively. They never bothered to really get to know me.

The Show

Anyway, back at the show, at one point, Little Stevie Van Zandt was at the front of the stage, pointing down at the empty space and wondering why nobody was dancing around in the open area. It was an invitation.

A security guard tried to hold me back — it was for the first two rows only, he was trying to tell me.


I danced around him and saddled right up to the stage. I was right there, reveling in the atmosphere, my hands pounding on the stage to the beat of the band. Then, there was Bruce. Sweaty (more precisely, drenched in the water Bruce poured over himself) and — after looking a little dazed — Bruce looked down at me, put his hands out in front of me, I high-fived him and he ran across the stage high-fiving everybody who could get their hands in his path.

The awesomeness of that moment will never be forgotten. There was electricity that transferred from Bruce to me. It’s still in my veins.

I doubt I’ll ever take a bus trip on that scale again; never mind the night bus I took from Zagreb to Porec in Croatia during U2’s magnificent 360 tour. That’s a different story altogether.

The Boss’ Business

Now, in light of Springsteen’s ludicrous ticket pricing on Broadway and his upcoming 2023 tour, I doubt I’ll ever see him perform live again. He’s priced me — and so many other fans — right out of the concert market.

It at least felt like Bruce was looking out for us back then. And, sure, this show was 20 years ago. Inflation plays a factor and I’m more than happy to give the Boss a raise from the $65.50 I paid him for his services back then.

Let’s take a look at the time value of money and do this fair and square. I’ll give the Boss a 3% cost of living increase, compounded annually for 22 years.

65.5*(1+(0.03/ 1))^(1*22)=125.50

That’s how the typical employer does it. A 3% raise each year. If you’re lucky. I know plenty of folks for whom even that little bump is not the case.

In that light, I “should” pay Bruce $125.50 for that third row seat during his upcoming tour.

But, I’m a nice guy. I’m a benevolent people manager and I want to reward Bruce for the inspiration he’s provided me over the years. So I’ll give him a big, fat, generous 10% raise each year to cover the cost of living increases and a nice bit more.

65.5*(1+(0.1/ 1))^(1*22)=533.19

Okay. That’s interesting and helps put things in some perspective. But $533.19 is still a far cry from the $2,000-$5,000 floor prices Bruce is charging for his upcoming 2023 tour.

And there’s a really big problem. I have not enjoyed a 10% increase in my own salary each and every year since that legendary experience.

So it’s a case of a rock star having gone out of touch with what the day-to-day reality is for the “typical” worker.

$2,000 for a single general admission ticket goes beyond the pale of any known economic scale.

The one word that comes to mind is “greed.”

I consider myself as above “typical” in terms of my professional growth, but I still can’t keep up with Bruce’s egregious ticket inflation. In my own personal work/life balance calculations, this Boss is asking me to sacrifice too much of what is a really good life to enjoy his work.

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Transfer of Electricity

I’ve had the stunning good fortune to shake hands with three of my all-time favorite rock stars.

Bruce Springsteen: a high-five during the concert (29 May 2000, Salt Lake City)

Bono: a handshake at Toronto International Film Festival’s premiere of From the Sky Down (8 September 2011, Toronto)

Ryan Tedder: a handshake — a thumb lock — during the concert (12 August 2022, Denver)

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