I had the distinct pleasure of attending my first U2 concert, or should I say experience last night. It was not a concert per se, it was more like a religious experience.
I have not seen so many people packed to the gills for such an event since Pat Robertson was on channel 7 on Sunday morning. It was a spectacle just to see the people that attended. The crowd was a very deverse group of people ranging from the old baby boomers four rows behind me and the High School students two rows in front of me.
This week I have been a bit in awe of the fact that I was going to another concert this year. Chalk that up as the third one in the last three months. J went with Nichole and I to Garbage, which cannot be described by any word other than awesome and even then, that word does not capture the feeling one had after leaving the venue. Not even a month later, I attended the travesty of the Oasis concert. I think Obi Wan said it best “Mos Eisley spaceport: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.” All you need to do is search and replace Mos Eisley spaceport with Oasis concert and you’ll understand my feelings.
After considering the fact that U2 doesn’t suck like some “artists,” I was eager to attend. Nature, however, felt it necessary to drop liquid sunshine on us (I swear to you, a bum said this to me in Hawaii). Mind you, it was not a little, it was a lot. The thunder and lightning was a bit dramatic as well. Watching the lightning dance across the sky while going across a bridge that stretches 13 miles across the bay was rather fun.
I left at about 5:45 in the hopes I would make it to the Arena by 7:00 as my brother-in-law and I agreed upon. The Bay Area is known for the dreaded 880 traffic. Yet another hive of scum, but this time, with automobiles. Not just every day drivers either. One might describe it as drivers with a death wish. I just like to think that they’re driving blindfolded and they might as well be. They manage to cut in at the worst possible moment when traffic backs up the second they get in front of you. In these types of traffic situations I do what I normally do one of two things, a) lose it and start screaming or b) turn on the music and go to my cave.
Have you ever been on the freeway, tune the radio to your favorite station and every song they play is just right? Well, this experience was to the nth degree yesterday. They were playing some serious classics. As the rain started to come down harder, I turned up the radio louder. I’m sure I looked absolutely ridiculous screaming the lyrics to cracker’s low. I didn’t care and I’m sure everyone else on the freeway was doing the same. The song is just that good.
Anyways, I got to the arena in record time. My brother-in-law was stuck in traffic in Marin and was very much delayed. I decided to call up J and see what he was up to.
Our last conversation did not go over well. I believe we had a quarrel about who’s blog looked ugly. I still think that I must defend my blog’s honor by tournament jousting but I have a feeling finding a horse and a joust will be an issue. Maybe hand to hand combat would work but I wouldn’t want to hurt him. Maybe just give him a wet willy, or atomic wedgie.
We talked about his state of hard drive space. He was even deleting some “movies.” The sounds of 13 year olds screaming could be heard from a distance. My calculated hard drive space spaning several drives, external or otherwise is 1148. However, I have not begun to touch the amount of digital crap that he has amassed. I know better at least I think I do. As we were talking, we were interrupted by a call from Dana, said brother-in-law. He had arrived.
We met at the south entrance and proceeded up the eternal stairs that seemed to never end. I guess patdowns are no longer the rage at events. We walked in with minimal noise and hassle. I knew I should have brought a camera with me.
We got settled in fairly quickly, even when people were sitting in our seats and took a glance at our surroundings. We sat directly behind the stage which was a huge circle. Inside this circular stage was a crowd of people who decided standing throughout the entire show within spitting/sweating distance of Bono was a cool thing. The first thing we noticed was the awesome lighting they had in place. Not only did they have the standard overhead lighting and spot lights but they had fiber optics running on the outer and inner part of the circular stage. They also had these “curtains” (lack of a better word) of light “bulbs,” which were the size of softballs that would illuminate to make patterns, I’ll elaborate later on this. Overall, the stage was impressive.
The opener came on fairly quickly, Damian Marley. I guess he was Bob Marley’s second cousin’s , twice removed, nephew, or something. He was definitely not a spinning image of the true Marley. You couldn’t understand anything he said or sang. I’m glad Dana handed me a pair of earplugs, it was mildly successful in droning out his lame ass music. Not to mention, the weird flag twirler guy that was on stage twirling a flag for the entire act. Dana, and I agreed we’d do it for no less than 50 thousand a year. That guy probably has some serious sore muscles at the end of the day. And I thought my job was tough. *Snort*
I went to grab a beer and Dana wanted water. When I got back Marley boy was fairly done, and rightly so. Dana and I had a chance to talk for awhile as the roadies were getting the stage configured. In 20 minutes, the music started and everyone was on their feet. Almost instantly, I smelled that familiar herb smell that everyone gets a whiff of at any concert. Though, usually it’s the younger crowd. Apparently, some baby boomers wanted to remember what the 60s were like. One reminded me of Goldie Hawn, from the Banger Sisters. Ich. What a sight.
As the show progressed, it just got better. And better. And better. The songs were sung with enthusiasm and emotion. Everyone was singing along and getting down. I remember Dana apologizing before the music started about his behavior that he’d exhibit during the concert. I told him I didn’t care. As long as he didn’t take off his shirt and scream “I’ll have your children Bono!” I was going to be fine. He got down and so did I. It was an intense show.
As I mentioned earlier, they had these curtain lightbulb things that for some songs would unroll from the ceiling. They were spectacular. They would not just light up randomly or just solid colors. It would make faces, people, and objects. I’m not sure what program they were running but for one song they had a girl on talking on a monitor and this curtain was able to reproduce her face perfectly, in terms of shape and sync with the monitor. It was really sophisticated. Made me wonder if a friend of mine who works on stuff like had anything to do with it. Probably not.
All in all, I had a great time at that concert. One of the best ones I’ve been to in a very long time. I do have to mention that Bono is very political and sometimes I wished he wouldn’t be that way. I guess it would make him a different person if he wasn’t. Eh, I still think he needs to tone it down a bit. The bandana with the star of david, cross and islam printed on it, didn’t need to happen. Ah well. They came back for 3 encores which was great, their entire setlist can be found here. Thanks again to my sister, Hillary and her husband Dana for hooking me up with the birthday tickets. It was a great time.
After we finished, we had to fight to get out of there. Why can’t stadiums adopt the Roman design of a Colloseum? It took 10 minutes to empty that thing. It takes at least 40 minutes to empty a Stadium. Trying to get out of the parking lot was like swimming with the sharks. Eat or be eaten. I had to zip by a lot of people that did not remember how to operate their cars after the concert. The drive home was unbearable because I had missed Lost. When I got home, I sat down and watched it even though I was very tired. Good episode, but why the hot chick? : /