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Philadelphia... GA Style

It was April in Philly. News from across America was making it onto the Internet. The Elevation tour was in full swing and America had gone up in flames. Delirious journalists were writing up a storm of superlative reviews for every show. It seemed that once again, U2 could do no wrong. Their tickets were sold out just about everywhere in spite of the cruelly high prices. Everyone who came out of the arenas after a show, whether die-hard fan or critic, came out raving. This band was *hot* and the music was electrifying. What else could you ask for?


I had tickets-- seated tickets-- to the second Philly show. The seats were expensive but in the upper bowl of the First Union Center. After reading all the rave reviews, two things became apparent. The floor was the place to be, no matter how packed. And I needed to get there. But how? Both Philly shows were sold out. Seated tickets were hard to come by... let alone the cheapest, most sought-after General Admission tickets. I needed those, but how???

Ads would come up on the online mailing lists. People regretting they couldn't make the show and selling their GA tickets for face value. I answered more than one of those ads and every time, someone else had gotten there first. It was frustrating. All I needed was one, but with the popularity of the show, one was too many.

I had checked Zoonation a ways back and they had had a link saying "Get your U2 tickets here!". The link went to a place called Tickets Plus, an online ticket broker. I had checked the place out looking for Madison Square Garden tickets but the astronomical prices and the absence of GA tickets for that venue led the link to just sit there listless in my Favorites menu. I hadn't even thought of looking for Philly tickets there. Maybe because I thought I wouldn't be able to afford them. Maybe because I actually believed the online mailing lists would help me out in finding face value GA tickets (I was naive,okay).

Well, one night, after reading another amazing story of U2 up close and personal on the floor, I went to the Tickets Plus link again and this time checked out what they had for June 11th. 4 GA tickets for sale. $95 each. All I needed was one... But how did I know this place was credible? Would they send me the ticket? Or would they take my hard-earned cash and run? At this point, I really was getting desperate. How could I NOT go see U2 from a perch on the floor??? I needed to and Philly was my best chance to get close. Some people suggested I wait cuz Ticketmaster releases really good tickets the day of the show. But was that a risk I was actually willing to take??? After reports that the band had taken to performing the heart-rending "Kite" in concert, I decided that I had to be there in the very worst way.


Taking a chance on a ticket broker seemed like a better deal than taking a chance on fate. I ordered the single GA ticket for the 11th and the next three days were the longest in my life, my fate hinging on the integrity of strangers. Did they really have the tickets they said they did? Would they ship anything at all? Would it be phoney? What would happen to my poor Discover card number in the hands of people with a dubious background???

But they shipped through Federal Express and just a couple of days later, I got an envelope. Tearing it open was terribly exciting. It was totally fulfilling. Almost like being there in a way. It was a ticket from Ticketmaster. The real thing. GA. Floor. No seats. Just the way I wanted it. Oh, YES!!!

I was happy for a little while, but then I started thinking of something else. Why only one night GA??? The other concerts would all be from the stands. Why settle for just one GA show when I could have TWO? I checked the same site, this time for the 12th of June. 30 floor tickets available. By this time, all the GAs for the 11th had been sold. I had acted just in time. Now I wondered if I should buy another one. A GA for the show to which I already had two very expensive seats. But my sister would be flying herself in for the show and her friend had decided to tag along. But I didn't have a ticket for the other girl. Just for my sister and me. If I bought the other GA, the friend could take the other seat and she and my little sister could go together. But that would mean that I'd have to take the hit of the cost of the first two tickets. Neither kid was a real U2 fan. They were going cuz it was cool. Okay, whatever.

And was I ready to stand out there in the sun for almost two days straight to get in??? Wouldn't just one GA show be nice and then go back the second night after getting some sleep the previous night since I wouldn't be standing outside all day? With seats, we could show up late and still have our perches waiting for us. The band wouldn't hit the stage until around 9PM. Wouldn't that be nice? But that was the rational side of me that likes the nice life. The other side said that if I didn't do it, man would I REGRET it!

I gave in and bought the other GA. Now, the friend had a U2 ticket and she and my little sister would go together. I'd be in the GA line all day. Work was definitely OUT. I scheduled myself off for the 11th and 12th. It would cost me dearly in lost wages but what did it matter. It was U2 and the wave that was flooding America in music that believed in itself and all those faulted little humans that wrote and performed it.

I'd be there. Be there to see them up close. Be there to see the Edge's guitar *sing* sing sing. To see and hear Larry pound his militaristic beat with a determination worthy of the Marines. Be there to see Adam strum out those thudding bass lines. But most of all, be there to see our Bono channel the sprit of music... up close and personal. Just the way it should be.



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