Bono said of Bruce Springsteen in his Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction: “It takes guys to be romantic.” Equal parts preacher, poet, and provocateur, The Boss testified tonight at the fifth of ten sold out homecoming shows at New Jersey’s Meadowlands Arena. I was there.

It’s good for us corporate Music Television types to get out amongst the great unwashed and take in an honest to goodness 50,000-seat Big Rock stadium show. And everyone should see Springsteen perform at least once before being toted off in that big, black Cadillac in the sky. Which my VH1 buddy (and author of ‘Summer’s Gone Remix’ liner notes) Brian Ives knew. A huge fan, and native New Jersian, he kindly invited to the show. And wow, what a show.

Springsteen, Brian pointed out, has some sort of superpower. He alternates between ballads and bar room rockers effortlessly. He embraces joy like Fred Durst or Fabrizio Moretti could only dream of doing. And he can make 50,000 regular old working Joes forget everything for a minute, and levitate.

I did, despite my post-VMA announcement, pre-recording exhaustion. I loved his acoustic version of “Into The Fire,” as jets descended on Newark Airport, just a few miles west of the World Trade Center. One of my favorites, “No Surrender,” followed: raucous, defiant, and celebratory.

In this age of hipster apathy and undirected alt.rock rage, it takes courage to be raucous, defiant, romantic and celebratory. I believe, Bruce. I believe.

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