Monday, April 25, 2005

The big event

After the endurance event that was yesterday's wait in the general admission line for the U2 concert (sum total of waiting: 9 hours in line + 1.5 hours from the opening of doors to the start of the opening band + .75 hours of trying not to throw up at the nauseating opening band + .5 hours of waiting for my beloved boys to come sing to me = 11.75 hours), I was amply rewarded with the pleasure of having every band member pass within 6 feet of me.

For those of you familiar with the layout of this tour's concert set up, I was on the outside of the ellipse-shaped catwalk, at the point closest to The Edge's side of the stage. I didn't make it to a rail spot, but I was right behind the people at the rail, with a clear view of the stage. And at many points during the concert, one or more of the boys would walk the catwalk, often pausing right in front of us. Edge especially (yay!). And during "Zoo Station," Bono even handed a small Irish flag to the guy directly in front of me!

The concert rocked. Really, really rocked. And it was incredibly moving. After playing "Bullet the Blue Sky," using it as an obvious reference to the war in Iraq, Bono dedicated "Running to Stand Still" to the soldiers in that war. After that, a list of basic human rights principles (I need to find out exactly what the source was), started scrolling on the huge video screens...stark white on black. Then the words were joined by footage of a young boy reciting these principles. When he got to the part about the right to not be enslaved, I couldn't help it, I started to cry. Why is it so easy to forget how so many people, and so many children, around the world have hideous lives devoid of decency and respect.

Well, after that interlude, the band launched into "Pride (In the Name of Love)," dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr., as always. God, more tears. And then "Where the Streets Have No Name." Again, tearfest. And then "One." As the band began to softly play the intro, Bono talked about how during the Zoo TV tour, he used to call the White House, but they would never take his calls. Now, they do take his calls, "but the problem is, they're used to me now. They're bored with me," he said. He asked us to take it upon ourselves to call the White House, to use our voices to help make a change. That's the basis of his One campaign. Each one of us has one voice, but together we can make a difference. He asked everyone to open there cell phones and hold them up. Then he had the arena lights turned off. It was so beautiful, all of these cell phones like stars. You guessed it...more waterworks. I was hopeless!

Fortunately, after "One" came an intermission, so I was able to pull it together. And then the rest of the show was rockin'. So rockin' that we got tickets for tonight's show. But no GA tickets. Seats this time, even though they are more than three times the cost of GA. GA was a complete experience that I'm glad I...experienced. Where else would I spend hours chatting with a mohawk-sporting fan half my age who missed his senior prom in central Washington so he could attend the concert, even though none of his friends would come with him. I was a fan for four years before he was even BORN! Now that is a concept.

Oh, almost forgot. We had a Bill Gates sighting. But not in GA. He had great seats about 20 feet from us. Bono thanked Bill and Melinda during the concert for all the money they had given for causes in Africa and other places, and for demanding that their money actually be put to good use. Cool.

No comments: