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by James

My U2 Story

***If anyone reading this has pictures of this show, please let me know. Ill pay you for copies of your pictures. E-mail me at jedeaton@angelfire.com. Thanks!!***

Before diving into my review of the concert, I must give a few Thank Yous. First of all, I must give a deeply heartfelt Thank You to the greatest rock band in the world!!! Bono, The Edge, Larry, and AdamXyou are my heroes! Your music has changed my life. Thank You, true U2 fans who stood up to those trying to cut in front of us, dedicated fans who had stood in the GA line for hours in the hot sun. Where is the respect for people these days? Where is the justice? Finally, a big Thank You to the United Center security guards who helped me and my friend Jill get a heart wristband five minutes before the show!! Justice was served.

The fourth Chicago show was my fourth and last U2 show during the Elevation tour. Since this was my very first U2 tour, all four shows were simply indescribable. Each show was a little different (Lexington, Milwaukee, first Chicago show), but this show was by far the most amazingKK..for several reasons.

Well, for one thing, my friend Jill and I got into the heart (for the first time for both of us). The energy was so unbelievable. It was like I was in a dream for two hours. I just couldnt believe that I was so close to U2. Heres our storyK..

Jill and I had arrived at the United Center around 1:00pm to get in the GA line. We were bound and determined to get in the heart. We took off work for this, for goodness sakes! Well, we talked to several people standing in line and we were relieved to find out that we were approximately #200 in line. Phew!!! One of the security guards had given us a colored half-sheet of paper outlining the rules for the GA line. According to the script, they would only allow 350 people inside the heartXthe Promised Land. Well, we thought we were home free.

That was until 4:30pm. The United Center security guards came by and told us to pack up our stuff and take it to our cars. At this time, we all started getting ready to go inside. I took my stuff to the car while Jill went to save our place in line. As I was walking back to my car, I noticed several people who were behind us in line running ahead to get in front of the line. I was so mad!! When I got back in line, Jill told me that people were cutting in line. As time went on, we even noticed several others cutting in line (and we knew that they had not been in line for hours V they were clean and nicely dressed). Those of us who were hot, smelly, sweaty, and tired from the long wait outside were very upset (put nicely) at these line cutters!!!! What are they doing??!! This isnt fair!! As it got closer to 6:00, a couple of fans who were standing close to us (I think one guys name was MattXbless you, man!!!) began to get a rough count of people in line. Somehow, 50+ people had snuck in in front of us!! We were outraged!!

When the doors opened around 6:00, we began to move inside. We were so nervous. We didnt know if we were going to get in the heart or not. As we went inside, we darted for the left-hand side of the heart, only to find out that they had closed the heart. They had only allowed 110 (or so) people in from the two sides of the heart (220 total). What??!! I thought that they were letting 350 people in the heart??!! Well, we talked to a security guard and she said that they had to save the rest for VIPs who would show up later. Why didnt they tell us all this before??!! I asked the security guard if they would possibly open up the heart for any more right before the concert started. She said an emphatic, No. Oh, stink!!!! After that, we secured a place right up against the outer barricade on the left-hand side of the heart. So, that was a plus, right? I try to be positive, but we were still bummed out about the whole thing. We had waited so long to be in the heart.

About five minutes before U2 was scheduled to come on stage, I noticed a guy standing in front of us in the barricade gutter peeling off black and white checkered wrist bands! These were the heart wrist bands. I didnt know what was going on at first. But before I knew it, Jill had one on her right arm and was leaving for the heart!! The two guys next to me were next to get one. All of a sudden I felt a sick feeling in my stomach. Was I going to get one or not??!! People around me began to push and shove, sticking their wrists beside of mine and trying to get the security guards attention. The whole time this was going on I was begging and praying and pleading for the heart wrist band. My heart was up in my throat. As soon as I finally made eye contact with him, he smiled and proceeded to place one around my wrist. The security guard then spoke, this is the last one on this side. I was relieved and overjoyed at the same time. I worked my way out of the crowd of people surrounding me and ran over to give Jill a big two-hand high five!!! We made it!!!!! I couldnt believe it. What a miracle!!!

We ran into the heart and quickly prepared for one of the most exhilarating experiences that Ive ever had in my life. After a couple of minutes, we heard the crowd groan in anticipation as the intro to Elevation played over the speakers. With the house lights on, Adam, Larry, The Edge, and Bono walked on the stage. I was in total awe!! I couldnt believe how close I was to them!!! I was in amazement. It just didnt seem real. It felt like a dream. A surreal fantasy. What a helluva fantasy though!!! Id do it over and over againXin a heartbeat.

Here are a few of my favorite moments:
h Even Better Than The Real Thing V one of my favorite songs; The Edge was amazing on this song; first time hearing this one live
h The Fly V What an amazing version of this song!!! This song contains some of the most amazing lyrics!!
h Wake Up Dead Man V Such a powerful song.
h Kite/New York V These songs from the new album are growing on me more and more; even more after hearing them live; the shadow behind your eyes V WOW!
h I Will Follow V What a great crowd pleaser!
h Sweetest Thing V nice to finally hear this one live
h Angel of Harlem V ditto
h I Still Havent Found What Im Looking For V great acoustic version of this song
h All I Want Is You V Ive been praying to hear this one live; such an emotional song; just close your eyes and feel it; groan with Bono
h Where The Streets Have No Name V This was the fourth time for this song, but it never ever gets old; such a spiritual high for me!!!
h Walk On V such a great closer! Hallelujah!! To The AlmightyXThank YOU!!!

There was one minor disappointment. I would have loved to hear Discotheque/Staring At The Sun (or at least something from POP), but thats OK. Hopefully next time.

FINAL NOTE V Jill and I were so disappointed in the crowd of people in the heart. Here we areXsweaty, smelly, and tired, but full of energy, jumping up and down, hollering, and singing along with every song. Right beside of us you had these clean, nicely dressed, rich folk standing around, most of them not even knowing the songs! Whats up with that??!! The most dedicated fans should be in the heartXthose who stood in the hot sun to get in there. It was an odd mixture of people. Why didnt those people just stay up in their air-conditioned, posh, sky boxes? It just didnt seem fair to me. Yes, Jill and I got into the heart (by pure luck), but there were so many fans who deserved to be in there with us (especially the two girls who were standing beside of us along the outside barricade before the show!!). Wheres the justice? Enough about that, I guess.

Again, the concert was breathtaking. Amazing. Fabulous. Unbelievable. Indescribable. An emotional and spiritual high. Unforgettable. U2 is my favorite band. The music is absolutely mind-blowing. I want to be up where they are. Wherever that is. And, Im sorry, but Im not coming down. Carry on, boys!! Dont back down for anyone!!

If you havent seen them yet, make sure you go! You wont regret it!!!!

Thanks, U2!!! Come back soon!!! Chicago loves you!!!

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