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April 27th, 2005

Insanely long review of Seattle #1 @ 10:37 am

corianderstem:


(First off, I owe unorthodox_muse a milkshake for pretty much making me change my mind about hanging out in the GA line.!)

A Tale of Two Concerts

A Religious Experience Full of Great Joy, Emotional Highs, and One Very Happy, Sweaty Woman

Part One: In Which the First Concert is Attended

Sunday, April 24th. Seattle, Washington
(Waiting, and Standing, Rocking Out and Seeing God)

I’d been planning on showing up at Key Arena pretty late in the afternoon, maybe even when the doors opened at 6. Yeah, I’d be at the end of the line, but maybe I’d get into the Ellipse (inner sanctum for a couple hundred lucky GA ticket holders; the area enclosed within the oval-shaped secondary stage) – I had heard that while the process was random, people who went late seemed to have a better chance of getting in. Or else I’d be fine standing in the back of the floor, where there would be more room. I’m short. It’s not like I’d be able to see anyway, unless I’d gotten there at 6 a.m. and was in the front of the line.

It was a gorgeous day. I had breakfast, went for a jog, and realized I should go. U2 fans are pretty great – surely I’d at least get to hang out with some cool people. So I got there at one o’clock, a bag of snacks and magazines in hand.

There are two lines, one for U2.com members, the other for non-members (no real benefit of having two lines – the U2.com member line might be shorter, but it doesn’t increase your chances of anything). The lines are winding in a surprisingly small area, not unlike the line for a roller coaster (“Your wait from this point is 5 hours.”) I get into the non-member line just as a helpful fan is taking names and writing numbers on the backs of our hands. I’m number 189.

I think that was just a “just-in-case” tactic, in case some jerks tried to cut in line or something. It never really came up. It’s just something U2 fans have done since the last tour, another way of looking out for one another.

I’m right behind a group of about 5 guys, most of whom are good-looking, but alas, they keep pretty much to themselves. People are sitting on blankets, sitting on lawn chairs, playing cards, eating lunch, chattering, sharing U2 stories. I strike up a conversation with the couple behind me, who have just flown in from Boise, Idaho. They were very nice, and we talked on and off throughout the day.

People could come and go from the line as they pleased, as long as you didn’t disappear for 5 hours or something. I leave the line and wander to the front of the line to see if I can find my two new friends that I met last night at dinner.

A lovely guy named Jesse organized a dinner at Buca di Bepo for people on the Interference.com forums who would be in town for the concerts. Included among the group were a woman from LA, a young guy from Oregon, a woman from London, and two women from the Bay Area. One of these women was pulled up onstage by Bono at BOTH San Jose shows. Jealousy reigned at dinner. Jesse was from Arizona, but his parents live near Seattle. As he has a disability of some sort (cerebral palsy, maybe?), his parents came with us to dinner. I’m sorry I didn’t get to talk to them after the concert, to see what they thought.

Anyway.

So I found Tanya (from London) and Miranda (Bay Area) at their place in line (numbers 50 and 51, having gotten there at 6:00). I also wave hello to the @u2.com people I had met last fall at the listening party. They remembered my name, and I was pleased. (“Alicia K! From Starbucks, right?” My Bono-photo fame has taken me far.)

Tanya and Miranda suggest we go get a drink. So, at 1:30 or so in the afternoon, we hop the line and go across the street to have a drink at Floyd’s Place. There are only a few other people in the bar, and the bartenders are amused by our singing along loudly to U2 on the jukebox. It’s the earliest in the day I’ve ever had a beer, and it was lovely.

Wait, wait, wait, sit until your ass is sore, stand until your back hurts. Luckily for me, since I’d forgotten sun screen, I was sitting in the shade. We really lucked out with the weather; you never know what you’re going to get in Seattle. Took my stuff back to the car and shoved everything I would need into my pockets. Grabbed a sandwich from Subway at about 4:30. Got back in line. The scalpers are coming out around the Seattle Center, and a merchandise booth has been set up. Am starting to feel the butterflies.

From about 2:30 – 4:00 we can hear the sound check inside. It mostly sounds like a big bass rumbling, but we can tell what songs they’re practicing (but really, it was most likely the roadies running through the songs). “Ooh! It’s ‘City of Blinding Lights’!”

Five o’clock comes around. The crowd management staff (who have been nothing but delightful all day) have us get up and start packing together. The doors don’t open until 6, but they’re ready to start our cattle call.

Everyone starts getting a little giddy, or slap-happy, and are joking and anxiously peering toward the front of the line, where staff are setting up what they need to do. Finally, at 5:05, the first fans get through, and we all cheer.

I’m a little nervous at this point. I had bought an electronic GA ticket from a woman on Craigslist.org, and wasn’t quite sure she hadn’t scammed me (selling multiple copies of e-tickets … only the first person to have their ticket scanned gets in). She seemed nice enough in person, and if she were scamming me, she wouldn’t have me come to her house, right? But just in case, I have my real nosebleed ticket in my back pocket. Plus, I got there pretty early, so hopefully if other people have the same ticket, I’ll be in first.

They do bag checks, and we go into Key Arena. We’re all crammed into this little space, feeling a lot like cattle. I do the obligatory “moo” joke. As we near the area where they’re scanning tickets, I hear random cheers and screams as lucky fans are beeped into the Ellipse.

Tanya and Miranda have promised me that if they both get into the Ellipse, they will somehow find me and bring me in (you can bring one person with you into the Ellipse). The Boise couple and I promise to try and get all three of us in if any one of us gets in. “We’re super good friends from college” is our story.

I get up to the table, and am told by the wristband lady that my wrist is very skinny as she puts the wristband around my wrist. I reassure her that I will eat more. I’m watching anxiously as the 5 people in front of me have their tickets scanned. Each beep comes with a screen on a laptop says “Proceed to Floor” (I’m waiting for the magic words: Proceed to Bomb Shelter – the official name of the Ellipse).

My ticket is scanned, and I’m told to Proceed to Floor. I’m momentarily disappointed, and then realize that I’m in. My ticket was good! Whoot!

Fellow fans have told me to try and hang around the ticket area, to see if I can find another single ticket-holder lucky enough to get in, and then ask if I can go with them. But they’re shepherding us out of there pretty fast, so I don’t hang around.

I get into the arena, and up to the stage. I end up just to the right of the tip of the Ellipse, three heads back. “Alicia!” It’s Tanya and Miranda, right at the edge of the rail! Yay! We’re excited to be there, they’re pleased I got such a good spot.

Then we wait. And wait. It’s 6:30 by this point, and we have an hour before Kings of Leon (the opening band) even hit the stage. My feet are hurting, so I try and sit with a few other people, but as the area fills up, it becomes increasingly difficult.

I manage to make it out and back to my spot for a bathroom break. I risk getting some $3.75 water, because my throat is parched. At this point, the crowd on the floor is only about 10 people deep, so it’s easy to get back to my spot. People recognize you and know you belong up there, but heaven help you if you try to shove your way up front when you haven’t waited in line with everyone else.

For some reason at the Key Arena (which is smaller than I’d expected), you can drink beer in the stands at basketball games, but not concerts. This is the cause of much discussion over both nights. Are rock fans rowdier than sports fans? Is it because it’s dark at a rock concert and we might get confused? Don’t get me wrong – I’m happy not to worry about someone dumping a beer on me. But it’s just strange.

Once again, I’m very near my friends from Boise, and behind me are a nice couple who are very pleased that I’m so short. The guy in front of me is from Calgary, and very enthusiastic about everything. Pay attention to this guy – he plays a giant role later in this story. He tells some of the people around that Kings of Leon are southern rock, kind of like Lynyrd Skynyrd. We talk about what shows we’ve seen, what shows we’re going to after this one.

My feet are killing me. I know once the concert starts I’ll be jumping around and won’t notice it, but until then, I’m whining inside. I squat down again and talk to the girls sitting on the floor, who have come up from Oregon and California, and who have been to several of the previous shows in California. Oh, and for the record, I’m dressed cute but comfortably in jeans, sneakers, a black tank top and a mauve shrug sweater, which I’ve already tied around my waist because I’m already hot in the crowd.

Dang, this is really long. Okay. Kings of Leon come on. Now, I don’t think they’re that bad. They do that song in the Volkswagon commercial with the husband and wife jumping around in their apartment and annoying their downstairs neighbors. Good song. The singer’s voice is really annoying. The drummer has a pink drum kit and is blowing bubble gum.

The male half of the couple behind me is laughing, because “that guy from Calgary told me two lies – they aren’t good, and they don’t sound like Lynyrd Skynyrd.”

Their set is 40 minutes or so, and after they’re done, I realize I should pee again. I make my way out, joking as I say “excuse me” 500 times that they should remember me, because I’m coming back through in a few minutes.

At the back of the floor I spot Jesse and his parents, and talk to them for a few minutes. He tells me to tell Miranda and Tanya that he’s there, and I do, but don’t blame them for not budging from their primo spot. I think they try and ask the crowd management staff about bringing up their disabled friend to a good spot, but understandably, they really can’t in a GA type situation – no one’s going to give up a good spot.

I somehow manage to make my way back up front, only having to shove past one big guy who was ignoring me. Dude, don’t mess with me. I’m small, but I’m coming through.

There’s a surge of activity and cheers to the right side of the arena, and we all turn to see Bill Gates arriving at his seat. He has a friend with him, no bodyguards, and takes time to shake the hands of people around him. (For those who don’t know, Bill and Melinda Gates have been huge supporters of Bono’s campaigns for Africa, debt relief, etc. He apparently stayed at their house last night. Slumber party at the Gates’!)

It’s about 20 minutes before U2 is due to take the stage. Road members and guitar techs are doing the final jobs. The Edge’s guitar tech, Dallas Schoo, is adored by U2 fans, and gets a big cheer as he takes a test walk around the Ellipse with a guitar. He’s completely hot, and smiles at the fans.

A single drum (a tom, I think?) and a cymbal are brought around to the space between the Ellipse and the rail, and we know this means their opening song is “Love and Peace or Else.”

Good tunes play over the PA (“American Idiot” by Green Day, “Mr Brightside” by the Killers, “Rock and Roll” by the Velvet Underground), and then, “Wake Up” by the Arcade Fire starts.

I’ve been following the setlists and reading some of the concert reviews online, and know this is the final song to play before U2 takes the stage. Everyone else who knows this starts cheering, and we all throw our hands up and wave them back and forth as we sing along to the “Whoah-oh-oh” parts.

The guy from Calgary turns to me and asks if I know this band, as they’re from Canada and he’s proud of that. We chat for another minute, both of us grinning like complete idiots because it’s time for the show to start.

The lights go down, the crowd screams. (Always an awesome part of any concert.) I was worried that there would be a big surge up to the stage, but there’s not. I’m pleasantly relieved that I won’t be crushed up against anyone during the concert.

The opening thundering bass line of “Love and Peace or Else” starts, everyone screams louder. Over the repeating bass line is the sound of fighter jets – it’s really cool. Four small spotlights emerge on the stage, and start around the Ellipse – it’s the band, each carrying a spotlight and shining it on the crowd.

We go appropriately apeshit. Larry takes a surprising place at the tip of the Ellipse, in front of the drum and cymbal.

Now we arrive at the song-by-song recap of the evening:

“Love and Peace Or Else”

Bono is out on the Ellipse, Larry on the Ellipse with his drum. It’s awesome. For the chorus, Bono leans in to Larry, and they sing together. It’s awesome. Adam’s bass line is huge and awesome.

I can see things pretty well, but have to do a lot of bobbing and weaving to see around the heads in front of me, since we’re all jumping up and down and all our hands are in the air.

Near the end of the song, Bono takes a white headband from a crew member in the walkway (whenever any band member strolls along the Ellipse, security is right there; other times, it’s just a few crowd management staff hanging around, making sure some loony girl doesn’t try to scramble onto the stage), and Larry returns to the main stage.

Bono replaces Larry at the drum and cymbal, and starts wailing away on it, stomping his feet, clad in his ever-present cool shoes with the “give me three more inches” soles. It’s awesome. The rest of the band stops, and Bono wails on another minute.

“Vertigo”

Starts out with a solid drum beat, slightly different than the recording. If you haven’t heard the live version yet, you might not recognize it until Bono yells out: “Unos! Dos! Tres! Catorce!!!”

The crowd screams along with him, and immediately starts pogo-ing up and down. The crowd response to the chorus is so fun – our response of “HOLA!” is gigantic and a hell of a lot of fun.

I’m able to jump up and down fairly well and keep my balance, but quickly realize that if I jump and pump my fist at the same time, I tend to knock into other people. The guy behind me keeps knocking my head with his elbows – he keeps apologizing, and I keep telling him not to worry about it. By the end of the night, he knocks into my head, then grabs my head in apology, and we laugh every time.

I’m already hugely sweaty.

“Elevation”

Starts with a fuzzy, dirty riff from The Edge, and Bono singing the first verse over that alone. Over the stage are 4 video screens, usually showing the band members. It’s fun to watch Larry on this one, as he gets a rare turn at the mike.

After the first chorus, I was expecting the song to really kick in, but surprise! It doesn’t. Bono says, “Take it, Larry Mullen Jr!” And cue Larry singing his bit: “A MOLE! Digging in a HOLE!” Awesome. Oh, and it looks like Larry is finally starting to show signs of aging. Somewhat.

And then it kicks in, and again, we’re pogo-ing our asses off. Bono holds the mike out to the crowd for every chorus-ending cry of “EL-E-VA-TION!” And the crowd doesn’t need encouragement to sing the “Whoo-hoos” at the top of our lungs.

“Electric Co”

Now we’re digging into the oldies part of the set. Not much to say about this one, but surprise! It rocked.

“An Cat Dubh / Into the Heart”

It’s so hard to hear these two without it kicking immediately into “Out of Control” like on the “Boy” album. Apparently this combo got a fairly lukewarm reception in other cities, but Seattle seems to be pretty into it.

During “An Cat Dubh” (Gaelic for “The Black Cat”), Bono gets down onto all fours and starts crawling around the Ellipse.

Yes, you read that right. Crawling around the Ellipse. See icon. Guh. He stops and plays with some of the fans inside the Ellipse, hissing at them like a big cat.

At the end of “Into the Heart,” he pulls out a girl and hugs her.

And hugs her. They stand there motionless for a good, long minute, and then begins the opening guitar notes of

“City of Blinding Lights”

Oh, I was waiting for this one. Above us, glittery confetti starts to fall from the ceiling, and I think I might cry. Behind the band, giant beaded curtains come down. The curtains are made up of little balls. They’re lights, giant light curtains, and they’re somehow used like giant projection screens. It’s incredibly cool (and they probably came down during another song, but there’s a lot to remember – bear with me!).

The crowd sings along with the chorus, following Bono’s lead of punching a fist after every word. “Oh! (punch) You! (punch) Look! (punch) So Beautiful!”

Repeat after me: it’s awesome. This is my favorite song on the new album, and it was inspired by the first show U2 played in New York City after 9/11.

“Beautiful Day”

Not one of my favorites, really. Good song, but falls just short of greatness for me.

At this point, I have a strange realization. It’s incredible, I’m having a great time, I’m into it, but … I feel a strange disconnect. It’s a little like I’m watching it on DVD. Like I’m not really there, you know? This is disappointing.

Also, somewhere in here, I notice that my nice Canadian friend keeps half-turning to look at me. No, not like that. Like he’s checking to make sure he’s not in my way. He’s not that tall, but I think he’s just honestly worried that he’s blocking my view. He’s not, really, but hey, whatever. It’s nice.

“Miracle Drug”

Bono dedicates this to a mystery woman named Jennifer who’s battling an illness. Great song.

“Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”

A little back story for those who are unfamiliar with the song. Bono’s father was a postal clerk in Ireland, but had an amazing tenor voice. Like a lot of hard-headed fathers and sons, they didn’t get along that well for most of their lives. But in 2000-2001, Bono’s father was dying of cancer, and they reconciled somewhat. The Slane concerts in late summer 2001, just after Bob Hewson died, are really something to listen to.

Anyway, Bono, being the grandiose artiste he is, claimed that when his father died, Bono got his voice. In the late 80s, early 90s, Bono had a lot of problems with his voice, often losing his voice while on tour, and having surgery a few years ago to remove nodules from his vocal cords.

I don’t know about his father’s voice coming to Bono, but boy – his voice sure has been incredible since his father’s death. It’s an older voice, rougher and wisened, but those big notes are back.

So it’s a sad song, moving all that. Bono sings it on the Ellipse, taking off his ubiquitous sunglasses. The climax of the song is the midsection, where the tempo picks up, and the notes rise with “I know we don’t talk / but can you … hear … me … when … I …. Sing!”

And the note is big, and full of so much emotion, and it’s just so …. ON. And I’m there. I get it, and I connect, and I actually get choked up as he goes on to sing “You’re the reason I sing / You’re the reason why the opera is in me.”

I loved the song before, but now it’s more, because it became a moment for me, a moment where everything clicked, and I was there, two heads away from Bono, RIGHT THERE.

And everything after that? Was my religious experience. I tend to exaggerate, but I tell you, I was so full of joy and excitement and passion, that I think I almost popped.

“New Year’s Day”

How can you not dig this one? An oldie I don’t mind that they keep on every tour.

“Sunday Bloody Sunday”

This one, however, I feel has lost its oomph. On the last tour, it was almost a casual stroll at times, no longer the angry song about the ongoing violence in Northern Ireland.

But tonight, as soon as Bono said, “We no longer sing this for Ireland. We sing this for your country,” I was right there. It took back all its power and anger, especially with what followed this song.

“Bullet the Blue Sky”

Red light on the stage, Edge’s angry wail of guitar. Midway through the song, Edge starts the as-always blistering solo, and Bono turns away for a minute. He turns back around, and his headband (which he put on during the last song, pointing out the religious symbols that, when viewed as one, spell out “coexist”) is now a blindfold.

Slowly, he sinks to his knees, his arms raising over his head to a pose meant to remind us of the prisoners from Abu Grahib (sorry if that’s spelled wrong). He flinches as if beaten, shudders as if kicked, and it’s both horrifying and really, really, inappropriately cool.

Instead of his usual rap at this point, he sings slowly “And these are the hands that built America” and … well, see above. Horrifying. Cool. He also throws in snippets of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."

“Running to Stand Still”

Edge is at the piano, and the song is as done during the Joshua Tree tour, sparse and quiet. Bono has his gorgeous green guitar, plays his harmonica, the crowd sings along with every word.

The “hallelujahs” that were added on the “Zoo TV” version of the song are there, but quieter, gentler, really lovely.

Above the stage, on the screen, as Bono plays his harmonica again, words appear. It’s the Declaration of Human Rights, and once again I’m hit by how moved I am. Dang, I’m just about crying at this point. (I went to the UN home page, and realized they paraphrased a bit, but it was succinct and just perfect.) The music faded away after the first few articles, and the words were accompanied by a young girl reading them aloud.

The crowd loves it, cheering and raising their hands at the parts they most identify with or believe in.

“Pride (In the Name of Love)”

This is one of those songs that, for me, needs to go away. It never will, though. U2 not playing “Pride” in concert would be like … oh, Oreos without cookies.

But tonight? It’s perfect after the Human Rights Declaration. The crowd is screaming it along with Bono, hands raised in the air, and it’s huge and triumphant.

As the crowd sings the “oh oh oh” bits at the end, without the band, Bono leading us to keep singing, the opening pre-recorded sounds of …

“Where the Streets Have No Name”

This is where Alicia goes kablooey. This is my all-time favorite song, particularly when performed live. It’s gigantic and inspiring, and fills me with such a huge amount of joy, and makes me feel I can do anything.

On the beaded curtains of light, African flags shine, one after the other. Bono gives a rallying cry about Africa … which sounds cheesy, but if I could recreate it, you’d see that it really, really wasn’t.

As the band kicks in, Bono sings wordlessly in an African-type melody that’s the perfect fit for the song. The only change is that the house lights don’t go up with the big crash of music, but I’m okay with it.

I’m ecstatic. I’m jumping higher than I’ve ever jumped, my fist pumping in the air … and, my friends, I’m not a fist pumper. I’m just not. But honest to pete, I was pumping that fist for all I was worth.

I don’t know what else to say about it. It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced.

“One”

Bono talks about his One campaign. They don’t want your money. They want your voice. They want your voice to spread the word about the extreme poverty in the world, how history will look back on this generation and judge us by how we react to letting an entire country “burst into flames.” (He didn’t say exactly that, but he’s used that analogy before. Anyway. Go here to check it out: http://www.one.org/index.aspx)

He tells us to hold up our cell phones (and something about texting, but all I know is that it has something to do with the One Campaign).

Folks, cell phones are the new lighters. I thought it would be cheesy, but when Bono told the crew to turn down all the house and stage lights, all you saw where the blue lights of thousands of cell phones, and it was really beautiful.

But the song, possibly one of the best songs ever written, was what it was, you know? It’s “One,” and it’s beautiful and moving, and the best lyrics Bono’s ever written. He seemed to have some technical problems about midway through, but it didn’t affect the song too much.

Encore break

Now. Remember my Canadian friend? As soon as the band leaves the stage, he turns to me, takes my shoulders, and says, “You stand here.” And put me in front of him. The only thing separating me from the rail is a very, very short girl. I can see everything. I thank the guy profusely, and am thrilled. So thrilled I could pee my pants.

I tap Miranda on the shoulder, and she’s thrilled to see me there. She tells Tanya, and the three of us jump up and down and squeal a bit.

“Zoo Station”

Oh, “Zoo Station,” how much do I love you? Very much. Even more so now that I can see everything incredibly clearly. No one is in my way, and I’m jumping up and down for all I’m worth. Thank god for good support garments.

The Edge is riffing away on the stage, and here comes Bono, goose-stepping out onto the Ellipse (like he did on the Zoo TV tour), wearing a goofy little conductor’s hat. He’s adorable. Edge and Bono meet in the middle of the Ellipse and Bono dances very silly.

The song is amazing. Shocking, I know.

“The Fly”

Oh man, do I love this song! Bono and the Edge return to the main stage, and the curtain of lights behind them becomes the Zoo TV tour effects, flashing the random phrases that peppered the screen at migraine-inducing speed during the Zoo TV tour. It completely rocks.

“Mysterious Ways”

Now this is the point of the show where Bono usually pulls a girl out of the crowd to dance with him. I’m ready for him. Come and get me!

It’s very helpful to know at this point that I’m so hot and sweaty, I’ve stopped yanking my tank top down, and have just let it ride up around my rib cage, because really – who cares?

Miranda and I are dancing for all we’re worth, practically twins, both in black tank tops. Bono starts making his way around the Ellipse, and here he comes, and he stops right in front of us, and I SWEAR TO GOD, looks right at us and smiles. I’m shooting mental vibes at him with my big smile: “Pick me! Hell, pick both of us! We’re like twins in black tank tops!”

But, dagnabbit, he goes back the other way and picks this totally lame girl who doesn’t even dance when she gets onstage. Then Bono picks her up onto his back and gives her a piggy back ride.

I die of jealousy.

He deposits her on the side of the stage, where she sits until they finish the song. It’s so rocking, and so awesome, despite my insane jealousy. When the song is done, the girl skitters back over the stage to her spot, and Bono ends up running after her, so he could kiss her hand in farewell. It was cute.

At this point, apparently the band usually leaves again, but they quickly confer and say they’re going to skip the part where they leave and make us scream and holler for more. So out they stay, and ram right into

“All Because of You”

It’s much, much more rocking than the album version, which falls just short of being great for me. Bono’s rocking the tambourine, and it’s just really great.

“Yahweh”

The Edge makes his way to the tip of the Ellipse with an acoustic guitar. Bono does the same, and it’s “Yahweh,” a song that has really grown on me. The first few verses are just Bono and the Edge, and even though Bono is right in front of me, I’m mesmerized by The Edge, who closes his eyes as he sings the soft background vocals.

And then, a crew member puts a tiny keyboard up on the Ellipse, and here come Larry and Adam. Adam’s playing his bass, Larry plays a little thing on the keyboard.

For all intents and purposes (not counting the wee girl in front of me), I’m right smack dab in front of all four band members. It’s … well, awesome. And incredible. And the song is beautiful, the lyrics are really touching me, and I think I may have cried a little.

Oh, and I can count the beads of sweat on Bono’s throat. That’s how close I am.

“40”

I’m so glad they started closing the shows with this song again. On the one hand, I love a good rocking song to end a concert (see tomorrow’s show), but there’s something so very satisfying, so … so … U2 about ending the show with the endless refrain of “How long to sing this song.”

It was just like they’ve always done it. They do the song, we sing along with the chorus, Bono gets us to start singing the chorus over and over. Bono is the first to leave the stage, and then the Edge (who has switched instruments with Adam for this song), then Adam, and then it’s just Larry. We’re singing over only Larry’s drum, and then he’s done, waves to the crowd, and leaves.

We keep singing. And keep singing. And keep singing. The lights come up, and we stop singing, but you can tell everyone doesn’t want to stop.

It’s over. I’m spent. And ecstatic. And tired. And so incredibly happy.

The first thing I do is turn around, grab my Canadian friend's hand, and tell him that he's made my entire year. He squeezes my hand and tells me he'll see me at the Vancouver show. Heck, I should have just grabbed him and kissed him.

I walk out with Miranda and Tanya, and as they herd some of us out a back door, I spy a little crew schedule on the wall, which I take. It just has the times that the doors open, when Kings of Leon go on, when U2 goes on … it’s just a nice souvenir.

I parted ways with my new friends, who have to find a cab to take them back to the ferry (they’re staying with Miranda’s sister on Vashon Island), and run through the rain to find my car. I get in my car and let out a gigantic scream.

Could it get any better the second night?

Stay tuned to find out!
 
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