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by Marie

U2 brought their magical musical journey to New Jerseys Continental Arena Thursday, June 21st. Every note was played perfectly and there was a lot of electrical energy radiating from the stage. I attended the concert with several of my co-workers and informed them during PJ Harveys opening that their lives would be different by the end of the night. Little did I know what would happen to me before the concert ended

I have attended over 15 U2 concerts over the past 20 years. I was lucky enough to attend 3 out of the 4 shows during their recent Elevation Tour. I intentionally missed the 4th show at CAA due to a bad experience I had Thursday night.

After viewing 85% of the concert from section 101, I left to see if I could take a few pictures from a closer location with a small Cannon Elph camera that I received this past Christmas as a present.

I approached a security guard posted between sections 110 & 111 and asked him if I could go in to take a few pictures. He said it would be all right. I passed through the curtain and went down several stairs when I realized that I had to change the film in my camera to a higher speed. As I was changing the film, the security guard came down and asked me to leave. I told him that I hadnt taken any pictures and asked him to give me 2 more minutes. He told me I couldnt stand in the aisle. When I looked to my immediate right, I noticed that there was an entire row of seats empty except for one person. I stepped in the row to clear the aisle. The single occupant of that row took my arm as a sign to the guard that it was all right for me to stand there. The guard insisted that I leave. U2 had just finished Pride when the guard started yelling very loudly and took my arm to guide me out of the row into the aisle and proceeded to chase me up the stairs. As I was climbing the stairs quickly (because I was extremely embarrassed to be treated in that manner), I dropped my camera.

My new camera is no longer working because of that security guard. My experience at that concert is ruined because of that security guard. I missed the last night of the Elevation tour in the US because (and threw away the $325 I spent on e-bay to purchase those GC tickets) because of that security guard.

I am a mature and responsible fan that was looking to take a few amateur photos of my favorite band. I asked the guard for permission and he gave his approval. Then his ego took over.

As I was exiting the area, I noticed that people in section 110 were smoking pot. The smell was so strong and overpowering that there was absolutely no way it could be missed. I continue to ask myself why smoking an illegal drug was allowed, but I couldnt be spared 5 minutes to take a few pictures.

I understand that there are worst things going on in the world, but I felt obligated to share my experience with my fellow U2 fans. I hope U2 returns to the area to continue their Elevation tour in the fall, but I hope they do not play at an arena that is associated with NJSEA.

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