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by Cavan

This was my 9th U2 concert (Sunday's was my first of this tour and 8th overall) and BY FAR the best!!

Warning: This review will be very long. I have so much ground to cover, and I want to cover as much as I can.

So I saw Sunday night's show with my friend Mike in the lower level. It was a very professional show by the band, and the crowd was extremely loud and enthusiastic. Mike had been to 2 New York shows and 2 Vegas shows this tour, and said the crowd was much more intense than the Vegas crowds, and was on a level par with the New York crowds. And that is saying a lot. The only difference was that the NY crowd sang '40' for a while afterwards, while the Miami crowd was on the whole pretty clueless about the song. I guess many of the NYers there attended shows back in the 80s, while many in Florida were too young (if alive at all) or were too busy in the 80s with surviving to be able to attend a U2 show.

But while the crowd was great, I felt the band was almost too perfect. That sounds crazy of course, but what I mean is that they may as well have been programmed robots for most of the show. Every song seemed much more technically brilliant than emotionally brilliant. I almost wanted Bono's voice to crack and deteriorate like during many concerts during Popmart and Elevation (he must have given up smoking...to sing like he is now...hitting the high notes like he hasn't been able to, for the most part, since the Zoo days...and pulling off the "Big Man"'s part during Miss Sarajevo...would be nearly impossible if he were still puffing up) or a band member to hit a bad note. Because imperfection is hardly a bad thing. In U2's case, it's much better than perfection.

I think part of this was the fact that it was Bob Hewson's birthday. I think Bono felt that if he got emotional in the slightest over the significance of it being November 13th, he just might lose it. And then it would be a very long and painful night. So almost by necessity he stayed rather distant (for him) during the show.

Anyway, so Mike and I had GA floor seats for Monday's show. We arrived in the early afternoon, and waited like everyone else. Of course we met a lot of people (many, many people from foreign countries...mainly Latin countries...and we met a guy who was interviewed at the begginning of the 'U2 show' on Conan...I seriously almost asked for his autograph...I've watched that episode over and over...to be talking to him face to face was really cool) and had a great time in line in general.

But I was on a mission all day. My step-dad passed away on Father's Day of this year. He was a watercolor painter and teacher. Like many U2 fans, I wanted to make a sign that would get Bono's attention. Last week I realized that I had plenty of signs that would do the trick. My step-dad had tons of paintings that he kept all over my Mom's West Palm condo. My Mom is up in NY, but I'm staying at her snowbird place (I'm moving to Seattle in a matter of days for a writing job) and Ken (my s-d) left many of his paintings there. Most are unsigned, but there are a good amount that are signed.

So I went through the signed ones, and found my favorite. I wouldn't dare get rid of it if I knew my Mom would notice it's disappearance. People are begging to buy his art work, but she refuses to sell any of it now. She always talks of making copies, but I'm pretty sure she hasn't even done that.

Anyway, I wrote a note to Bono on the back of the painting (an ocean view in Florida, with lots of palm trees) and prepared to try to give it to him during the concert. I knew this would be very, very difficult, and that I might have to beg a staff member to give it to him, but I'd do my best.

Only when we were waiting in line, Mike found out from a friend who was on the other side of the arena, that Bono was interacting with the crowd. When he told me this, I immediately started running for life (really almost literally) towards the other side. People figured out something with the band was the reason for my sudden sprint, and I had a long line of people running (and soon walking...being in good shape has its advantages I found out) behind me.

Bono was filming us as we all climbed on a fence a few feet away from him to get as close as possible to arguably the biggest rock star on the planet. His holding a camera was a great move I thought. No having to sign endless autographs and still offending a few who were bound to not get one. Instead, filming everyone made everyone happy. So I stood with the painting and tried to get Bono's attention. But instead I got the attention of the bald young security guard who was following the B-Man around.

He took the painting and promised me that he'd make sure his boss got it. So that was a huge relief, and everything after that was gravy.

I'm currently on a computer in the lobby of the Days Inn in South Beach, where I'm currently staying. There are some very angry people waiting, so there will have to be a Part II (maybe even III) to this.

Hope you're tolerating this (I guess you are, if you read this far), and if you're not, just stop reading it, and get another hobby.

Stay Beautiful (until Part II),


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