Posted by: capitalgirl | October 1, 2009

So I saw U2 in concert …

… which, as some might know, has basically been my dream since the age of 14. Literally the day before the concert, I found out there were tickets left. So I called my lovely friend S., bought a pair of tickets, and headed down to the stadium after work. (Btw, apparently the FedEx Field stadium is the second-biggest sports stadium in the US. I’d believe it; it’s huge.)

Amnesty International and the ONE Campaign

Amnesty International and the ONE Campaign

As soon as I arrived, I saw Amnesty International and ONE Campaign tents; I signed three different petitions while I was waiting for S. to show up. It’s easy to love a band that has groupies like that. XD

Once S. arrived, we headed in, paid way too much for mediocre chicken fingers and fries, and then paid way too much again for t-shirts. (Lets be honest, though, considering the fact that I’d have sold a kidney for U2 tickets in the first place, the t-shirt was really not so bad.)

Muse opened; they were pretty good, though I have to admit to only being superficially familiar with their music. It was pretty cold, and neither S. nor I were brilliant enough to bring a sweater, so by the time intermission hit we were both pretty freezing. Luckily, S. is a lovely person who also came straight from work, so he let me borrow his dress shirt which at least cut the wind down. Thanks S.!! 😀

So then U2 came on. It’s kind of hard for me to describe how absolutely incredible that moment was. Larry walked out first and started whaling on the drums; then Adam; then the Edge; and finally Bono came out. And it was spectacular. I mean, I’d been looking forward to that moment for like 7 years. I’d been on an adrenaline high all day because I was so damn excited. I was sitting in a ridiculous seat, so far from the band that they looked about an inch tall, on the top level of the stadium. By any reasonable measure, I should have been disappointed.  But it was still amazing.

Bono & The Edge

Bono & The Edge

They played new songs, they played old songs, they played obscure songs and they played some of their many, many hits. (They even managed to play a song I didn’t recognize, which I’m fairly sure was from their Passengers album that I still haven’t managed to get a hold of.) Practically every time they started a new song I jumped up and down, screeched, and went “OMG I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH OMG.” There were, I am not afraid to admit, a few times I nearly cried, but didn’t, because I was so damn happy to be at a U2 concert.

As I said to S., “U2 is my Beatles.”

So the music was amazing. But so was the band. According to Bono, U2 is now it’s own country? He decided to ramblingly introduce the band members according to their “government roles”. Apparently Larry is the founding father, writer of the constitution (a.k.a. the notice asking for band members posted at school), and leader of the opposition. Adam is … a diplomat? I think? There was some excessive Bono-type-rambling going on at that point, so it was a little obscure. The Edge is the President of U2-land, and Bono gets to be Speaker of the House. Because he is elegant and well-spoken like Nancy Pelosi. Or something.

Of course there was the requisite running around the loop that had been constructed around the stage, and Bono pulled people up out of the audience to hang out with him. He pulled a kid out of the crowd, ran around the loop with him, and then gave the kid his sunglasses, which was super cute. And then a stage tech came out with an immense selection of glasses and Bono just grabbed another pair, which was hilarious.

Amnesty International Volunteers

Amnesty International Volunteers

“Walk On” was played; a huge number of Amnesty International volunteers walked out onto the loop carrying Aung San Suu Kyi masks to protest her incarceration in Burma. But I think my favorite moment of the night, which sadly I don’t have any photos of, was when they played “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. They lit the whole stadium up in green and showed images of Iranian protesters after the election. Then Bono reached into the crowd and pulled up a guy with a big old American flag. A guy with a turban, actually, since he was Sikh. The symbolism of having him up on that stage hoisting the American flag and singing “Sunday Bloody Sunday” right alongside Bono was. Well. I was rendered speechless at the time, and still don’t really have words for it. It was an absolutely incredible, spectacular moment.

Actually, that’s a lie. My favorite moment of the night was when the band came out and played “Ultraviolet” for their second encore. Zooropa is far and away my favorite U2 album, and Ultraviolet is an incredible song. Incredible, and underappreciated, so hearing them play that was really just wonderful. But honestly, there were so many fantastic moments. Hearing 90,000+ people singing all together – and singing so many songs all together – is an unreal experience. It truly made me feel better about humanity.

Anyways. I need to head off to bed. But before I do that: kudos to S. for taking such fabulous photos!!! He gets credit for everything here (except for the photo of the tents up top – that was all me). And just because it is an absolutely fantastic photo, and also because Adam, I am madly in love with you, here is one more lovely photo from S.

Good night!

S. takes excellent photos, hooray!

S. takes excellent photos, hooray!


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