Simon Vozick-Levinson
May 22, 2009 AT 07:30 PM EDT

The Newark Star-Ledger has revealed that although upwards of 38,000 seats were available for Bruce Springsteen’s two shows at East Rutherford, N.J.’s Izod Center this week, only a paltry 6,000 fans actually succeeded in buying tickets from Ticketmaster. The rest seem to have gone to sponsors, label people, and various other cronies. According to the New York Times‘ sophisticated mathematical analysis, this means that “you may have a better chance of becoming a member of Mr. Springsteen’s E Street Band than buying tickets to one of his shows.” It so happens that I was lucky enough to attend the first of Springsteen’s Izod shows last night, so… lemme just crunch a few numbers here… carry the 38,000… does this mean that I am the newest member of the E Street Band? Aww-right!

All kidding aside, Ticketmaster makes it insanely difficult to see the Boss. In order to get my tickets for last night, I had to take part in a coordinated three-pronged plan of attack involving myself, my girlfriend, and my girlfriend’s dad all logging onto Ticketmaster at the same instant back in February — and we still almost got shut out because of some computer glitch. It’s a shame, because seeing the E Street Band is one of the most reliably awesome live music experiences in the world. They were in fantastic form last night, from the unstoppable opening one-two punch of “Badlands” into “Adam Raised a Cain” on out. Extra kudos are in order for someone who actually is the newest member of the E Street Band: 18-year-old Jay Weinberg, son of Max, who’s filling in on this tour while his old man is busy preparing for Conan O’Brien’s new gig. The kid can really play. (Is it sacrilege for me to hope he becomes a semi-permanent E Street member going forward?)

No fan should have to miss out on seeing that, and I can’t help but think that Bruce himself would be unhappy to realize how many regular folks are getting shut out. Anybody have any Springsteen ticket-buying horror stories you’d like to share? Or have you been among the lucky few who manage to snag a ticket for this tour?

addCredit(“Springsteen: Pierre Ducharme/Reuters/Landov”)

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