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by Watts

It was one year ago today that my wife & I went to see U2 in Miami for the second concert of the Elevation Tour. The first show had been incredible, except for the fact that we narrowly missed getting inside the heart that night. We would not be denied on night two.

We arrived at the line for general admission at about 4PM, we were in luck, writing our names on the list we were number 180 or so. I felt pretty good about this as maybe 300 people were getting in there. A girl in line in front of us was alone, reading a book. I noticed it was in Italian, and sure enough, she had made the trip from Italy solo to catch U2. Behind us were a couple from Miami, and the girl had on some cool mirrored Fly shades. The wait was really not so bad, and there was a feeling like “we’re all in this together”. At about 6PM the line started moving. A couple we had not seen all afternoon slinked up beside us with their freshly poured beers and tried to “merge” into line, so I had to speak up loud enough for our neighbors to hear “Did y’all sign the list?” They played dumb and I explained that we had all been there for hours and they moved on back…

Finally we made it to the security check and in through the doors where we were wrist-banded. From there, we ran/walked to the floor, around to the left and lo and behold, we made it into the heart! I felt like we had made it to the Promised Land and the now-familiar faces in there with us were all-aglow with the light that comes from knowing a truly special experience is soon to follow. In the midst of this emotional euphoria, there they were. That couple that “slinked” into line. Those bastards had made it to the Promised Land. Hmpf!

We moved into our position for the night, near the heart’s entrance, at Edge’s feet. Dallas was warming up the guitars and it was not long before the Corrs came out to open the show. They were even better looking up close, and we all appreciated the many bows they took with loosely cropped tops.

The house lights were on and the sounds of “Elevation” filled the air, anticipation was tense and then, there they were, striding onto stage and taking up their instruments, and them “Bam!” woo hoo, woo hoo, woo hoo, the show was on! We were SO CLOSE! For example, we could see the individual hairs on Edge’s arms (not what I had been looking forward to, but it is odd what stands out a year later). About 10-20 people streamed into the heart as the show opened... people who had been backstage before the show.

The atmosphere inside the heart was much better than the previous night when we were on the outside near the rail. People in the heart treated one another with respect and like I said before, it felt like we were all in this together and it was uplifting. Even the event staff seemed to treat us like VIPs, and our $45 tickets were the best in the house. A couple of guys involved in the show (Clear Channel guys?) were beside us, and they …were cool.

It was just amazing watching the Edge up close, working the pedals and switches as much as the strings on the guitar. There were many euphoric moments in the show, but I must join the chorus and admit that “Streets” was the showstopper. Arms raised, fists pumping, jumping up in down in unison, our heart was beating with adrenalin. The guy in front of/beside me caught eyes with me and it was just one of those things…we shared a bond with each other and the other fans and the band and it was good. It was one of those musical moments plus something more that is intangible and special, like you expect at a U2 concert, right?

Bono spent a lot of time away from us, circling the heart, and we watched the band. I thought to myself, “Here I am, in between Bono and the Edge”. Sweet! The heart was a fantastic idea, and I feel fortunate to have been in there on this tour, a tour that will be looked back on one day as maybe the greatest tour by any band, ever.

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