I remember this well. Just getting over the Who, I was looking for someone or something to fill the void.
In rides U2 on horses singing New Years Day. I was in love. The guys on the horses weren’t bad either, but in the beginning I was more enamored with the horses. Yes, of course. Then, I slowly began to look at the riders and really listen to the song.
The sound was unique. The band name was easy to remember and rhymed with my former musical crush.
They wouldn’t be going away anytime soon.
There was something about these guys. They looked like they had already been somewhere and knew what they were singing about. The charismatic frontman unassumingly drew me in.
As the years went by they remained as other bands fell by the wayside and I stayed a fan. Sometimes I would stray over to other bands, but I always returned and faithfully bought every new CD.
Fast forward many moons.
I decided to start buying tickets to their concerts. A little slow there, I have to admit, but I am not a concert goer. The crowd and noise makes me nervous.
My first attempt bombed. I was sick in bed with bronchitis and could not go. But I had that golden ticket, and somehow, that was enough. Oh well, they’ll be back. They were. At this point, I still hadn’t found what I was looking for, someone to go with to their next concert. Never mind. I would go anyway. Or so I thought. I made the effort, but the heat, noise and drunken fools around me at their 360 tour ultimately proved too much and I had to walk away. No one followed. I left, drenched in beer, dizzy from the heat, I clung to my damp ticket as I left and never looked back. My idiot boyfriend at the time had just bailed on me, and under a blood red sky, I sadly made my way home. Only the cat greeted me as I returned several hours early from what should have been a fantastic night.
Filled with guilt over having left their concert early, I decided to go look for them the next day. I found them.
A black SUV pulled up at just the right moment in the right place and Bono and The Edge jumped out. I was immediately trampled by the media and shoved to the back. Frustrated, I remember saying out loud, I’m too short to see you Bono, but I know you here somewhere’. I’m pretty sure he heard me…(fingers crossed).
Suddenly, two of the more aggressive media hounds began fighting for the best spot. I mean a drag em down knock em out free for all which quickly escalated. Bono and the Edge quickly disappeared. The police came over and lectured us over our bad behaviour telling us they were willing to spend as much time as possible with the fans because they had no other engagements for a couple of hours. Shame on our behaviour. Oh yes indeed.
The next day they were leaving and I somehow knew which hotel it was, so there I went, wide awake and moved by a mysterious force in mysterious ways. It was alright.
Bono came out with security this time, and lots of it. The crowd was silent as he moved around signing autographs. Once again, I was shoved to the back and could not get near him. I decided to go back to the other side of the street, away from the maddening crowd.
I stood alone. I was one. An unforgettable fire was burning inside.
Bono was in the car by now, his driver waved at me, he remembered me from the day before, and suddenly Bono rolled down his window and gave me a peace sign.
Pause here for a moment of silence.
Just a bit longer.
I’m not a screamer and I didn’t faint, but that one single gesture in my direction from someone as worldly as he is meant everything. Time stood still. I was stuck in a moment. The crowd looked at me, but kept their distance. The car took off. I was thinking of all I could leave behind. And some things I couldn’t. And I was wishing I had taken a pic but, of course, it all happened too fast. Yes. It did. You’ll just have to believe me. Or ask Bono…
This brings me to this week and the IE Tour which I also bought a ticket for. Determined to go, I wore my sweatpants, because as you know, I have since given up on life, took a selfie outside the venue and made my way in.
My seat wasn’t the best, but I sure had a great view. They started a bit late but their high energy and fantastic sound was certainly worth the wait. And it seemed, I had been waiting for years for this.
I yelled softly ‘I love you Bono’ to no one in particular and no one heard me at all. Not even the chair the gentleman to my right was sitting in. I doubt Bono knew I was there which is why I wore my sweat pants, I wouldn’t be called up on the stage that evening to be sure. Despite my desire…
There was no peace sign in my direction, no mention of my name but he did mention something about being Irish which was in keeping to a previous tweet of mine…’everything seems a bit more Irish when U2 comes to town’…could it, is it possible…no, don’t go there. We are not psychically connected, I am sure, well, think what you want, anyway…
Best 21/2 hour concert I have ever seen, and one of the few…
What is it about them?
Well, how ’bout this.
They’ve never forgotten their humble roots which began on a bulletin board in a school. They have remained true to their fans through all their various hair styles, world conflicts and human up-rises.
Their language is honest and upright and in your face. They really want to make the world a better place, not only through their music, but through all the charitable work. They have a solid message but are pleasant enough. You could bring your toddler or your grandparents to their concert, they speak to everyone. Everyone. They’ve matured and I have too, right along with them. We are all a little more grey and a bit more tired of worldly affairs and the folly of human nature.
It’s been a long journey to here, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.