04/27/2012 08:24 am ET Updated Jun 27, 2012

Love And Death On The Springsteen Tour

Everyone knows that Bruce Springsteen's "Wrecking Ball" tour is on one level a months-long traveling memorial service for saxophone player and Springsteen muse Clarence Clemons, who died last June, and organist Danny Federici, who succumbed to melanoma in 2008. Springsteen has said that he hopes the tour lets the E Street Nation mourn together. It wasn't until I saw the show a second time - and from the legendary "pit," where the blessed few gather and commune, literally at Springsteen's feet right below the stage -- that I understood what a thoroughgoing, transcendent exercise in communal grief and joy it has become.