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U2 Tours (formerly part of AtU2): A Comprehensive Guide To U2’s Live Performance History
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by Jesse Cadd

Ok...here we go...

We arrived Sunday at 7am, and there were about 10 or 20 people in line
already, but we were confident we'd be in the heart. So we sat down, and
waited...

Throughout the day, we got to know some interesting characters in line. A
punk/gay couple who were primarily there to see PJHarvey, and Kevin, a
christian guy who I think I'll be keeping in touch with.

Rumours were constantly flying all day about how the line was going to
work. First, it was our line only that was going to be GA and allowed
into the heart. Then, both lines (another entrance on the other
side) were going to be let in simultaneously, and both bracelets would be
handed out at the door. This pissed off some of the people who had been
waiting since 5am, and a few who had waited all night, to be certain of
the best spot *inside* the heart, but now they had to compete with the
other line, even though they didn't arrive until much later. Plus, the
entrance to the floor was right next to the other line, while our line was
about half way around the building from the GA entrance. Then the
official word finally came around, and it was worse. GA bracelets were
handed out at the door, both lines simultaneously let in, and then when we
got in the heart, we'd get another bracelet that let us come and go as we
please. Well...that (IMHO) was a stupid idea, since now there was this
desperate rush to get from the entrance to the heart as fast as possible.

Anyway...about 5pm, my cousin and my aunt showed up out of the blue. They
got crazy and decided to come and see if they could get GA tickets. They
did. So they joined us in line. They were appropriately grateful to us.

Turns out we had no worries of being in the heart. I heard some people
arrived at 3pm and still got in. *But* the wait was worth it since we got
a primo view. We didn't want to be right up front of the stage, so we
took the middle stage right rail. This was an awesome choice, since Bono
spent a lot of time there, and we had a fabulous view of the whole stage
and stadium. Plus, we got to lean back on the rail, which helped with our
stamina, which was being strained from a day of sitting on concrete, and
now a concert of standing up.

PJHarvey was the first act and started promptly at 7:30. Kerri (my
wife) thought she had seen you when she was going to the bathroom, but
when I tried to find you, I couldn't. Big place... Anyway, as soon as Pj
started, my aunt broke out the tissue paper and we plugged out ears. The
sound was painfully loud, and PJ was painfully bad. Most of the people in
the heart (esp. around the edge of the rail) just sat down and waited it
out. Oh she was horrible. Bad music, bad words. I don't know what U2
was thinking, inviting her along...oh well...

I went out and braved the crowds to hunt down some real earplugs which
several ushers were kind enough to give me. Thus prepared I went back to
the heart, again through the crush of people, who weren't too happy to let
me through...I totally understood.

Back in the heart, after PJ finished, our punk/gay friends came up to us
and said they were leaving in disgust since PJ played so few songs and
didn't even play an encore. They thought it was a travesty, and they were
leaving in protest. Oh well...their loss...

Before U2 came on stage, there was a commotion at the entrance to the
heart. Woody Harrelson apparently rated access to the heart, and he was
there with other friends, some of whom looked familiar, but we couldn't
place them. We were convinced one of them was Eno, but after looking up
some pictures, the eyes just didn't match (though the body type, facial
type did). I'm still sure if I had heard his name, I would have made the
connection. Anyway, the pot was passed around, and we got whiffs of it
throughout the concert. Towards the end, Woody was directly in front of
me and Kerri, rocking away, and blocking Kerri's view (she's
short). After the concert, my cousin went up to Woody and offered to
trade hats. Woody did! So my cousin now has Woody's hat...kinda cool.

Anyway, Woody was incidental to the real reason for being there! U2 came
on stage and totally blew us away. I managed to get through without the
ear plugs, but it was still amazingly loud. We were so close to them
sometimes...I just kind of leaned back and was amazed...the sounds that
that band can produce are amazing, and it sounded perfect, so tight, so
right on, just like an album recording, but it was being played live!

Highlights:

Sunday Bloody Sunday. Everyone's heard of the Sunday Easter Sunday sign
that some people had brought, but what no one has mentioned was something
I saw...at the very end of the song, he turned directly towards the banner
and bowed...

Get up stand up...stand up *for what's right* was a bit of a change in the
lyrics to Stand up for your rights. I really liked that.

Early on, after u2 began, I noticed behind me in the space between the
rail and the catwalk (where only guards and press are allowed), a line of
4 or 5 young girls, between 8 and 15 years old passed by. I was very
curious as to who they were, since they were being escorted by
guards. They went past up to the point of the heart. A few songs later,
Bono pulled up a very young girl (anywhere between 10 and 15) and danced
with her during "in a little while." I couldn't tell for sure, but it
looked like she was one of the girls who passed by earlier. My theory is
that she was either one of Bono's daughters or Edge's, as I had heard they
were at the Tacoma show, and after all, it was easter sunday, so the
families might still be around. There was something about the interaction
between Bono and the girl that didn't seem at all "fan-like." A
familiarity was between them, and she seemed to be making "Oh...dad! do I
*have* to?" type of motions to him at one point. She sang a little and
then got embarressed and Bono gently let her back down and kissed her hand
and cheek (again, in a very familiar way) and then gave a slight
wave. She wasn't freaking out or even breathing heavy... But I can't
find *any* reference to who she was, or confirmation of my theory. And
*no one* has mentioned anything about who that line of girls passing by
might have been. A few songs later, the line of girls passed by again,
leaving the heart, and they never came back. Doesn't appear they were
really fans, as I can't imagine fans coming in part way and leaving part
way. Unless the girls he dances with are specially picked before hand and
escorted to the spot, then taken away...but I really don't think so...

Anyway...another really cool highlight for me was at the end of Walk On
when he thanked us, then several times said "To the Almighty!" and then
segued into singing Hallelujah, which got the whole stadium singing
it. That moment of worshipping God, along with most of u2, and some of
the stadium (I'm sure not everyone was...) was probably the most spiritual
moment of the concert. The rest...eh...not really. It was awesome, and
amazing, but not the quality of worship that those last few hallelujahs
had. But that's fine...I listen to U2 because of their fabulous music
*and* because I'm convinced most of them are true christians, even if we
don't agree on everything.

We were sooooo tired after the concert, and went home and went to bed. A
very long day, and I had to get up at 6 the next day to teach. But worth
it, absolutely. We probably won't ever do the waiting in line all day
again. I think we are satisfied. A seat will be just fine next time!

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