15 May 2005, The Wachovia Center

"My name's Paul, but I call myself Bono."

The Ticket

This was the show that was sold out before it even went on sale. I didn't have tickets. All I had been able to get were two disjointed tickets for the 22nd. I had come to accept that I wasn't going to go. There's no point in being bothered about something you can't change, so I'd been through all stages of grief and was prepared to just accept it, even if I had no idea how I'd actually handle the night of a show in my city and not be there.

I was at work the Wednesday before (11 May) and it was one of those rare days wherein I could actually get to the computer. Since the days were leading up the Weekend, us local U2ers had been e-mailing each other a lot of stuff, plus it was common knowledge I among others didn't have a ticket to the show. A friend had forwarded me a post she'd gotten off an e-mail list about a guy selling an extra May 14th ticket. I e-mailed him back quickly. Not even an hour later, there was another e-mail from the same awesome friend about a guy also selling an extra ticket. I e-mailed him back as well. Then, I got busy at work and had to get off the computer. The day ended and I got home and immediately checked my e-mail. There were answers back from both guys. One said I wasn't the first one to write him so I thanked him and went on. The other guy (who had 3 tickets for sale, a broker floor, a second level, and a 100 level) said he still had his 100 level available. Joy. But I try not to count chicks before they hatch, so I asked him if he was going at all so we could exchange cash and ticket in Philadelphia. I would have been willing to go into New York to buy the ticket if necessary, though.

Thursday was a long day, so was Friday. When Saturday morning dawned, my nerves were fever pitch. I had refused all invitations for the night before so I at least could get some rest and peace before The Day, especially with all the ticket shenanigans. My benefactor said he'd call when he got to Philly. I was insanely up at 7AM and prowled my apartment for hours. Finally, close to 11AM, I cracked and called him. He said he'd just got in and we arranged to meet at 2PM for the swap. Now free to leave the apartment, I called and screamed at friends and family, received my brand new computer and hauled it upstairs, had a freak out session, ran out to buy victuals, was lured into a clothing store, and returned home in a nervous sweat. I called more people and probably freaked them out as well.

2PM rolled around. I called the ticket man to see if he was finding the spot okay, since he'd said he didn't know the city. I was just checking. Turned out he was just around the corner from it. I flipped out, ran out of my apartment and completed the 15 minute jaunt in 10 flat. There he was. I couldn't believe I was holding a 14 May U2 ticket. I was going to see Bono after all. I couldn't wait to get home and scream at more people. I stopped by another liquor store and bought more stuff even if I didn't need to. I called people and screamed. I unpacked my new Mac and set it up (it takes minutes). I even did the use the old computer as a slave FireWire disk thing. This baby rocks, but anyway, I digress. More phone calls ensued in which another shut out friend obtained a ticket and had a conniption at a bus stop in West Philly. Life rocks, people. A lot of the time it seems like it sucks, but in reality, it rocks. Really.

Finally, 4PM was coming up and I called my parent (who had been out all day... she has no idea how lucky she is) and screamed that I was going to the U2 concert!!! I think I was congratulated or something. The new owner of a floor ticket came by and we were in a daze all the way to South Philly. Bedazzled and befuddled, we ended up in the wrong parking lot but not like it mattered. We weren't killed on a very busy Pattison. There was a baseball game going on the same night. People were out for that, too. Suckers.

Phone calls united us with the rest of the insane crowd and then the celebratory drinking began. I had a ticket. I didn't care if the earth opened up and swallowed me for the things I said about Bono that day. As long as it happened after the show, I didn't care.

Pre Show

We hung out in the parking lot drinking and watching the people across the aisle get totally tanked. They'd had a hard time getting tickets, too. No one was sitting together. Apparently, a large part of teh U2PhillyFan contingent was there though not many came and talked to us! Just kidding, nothing better was organized. If it's my fault, I'm sorry. I was dealing with grief at the time.

The Songs

City of Blinding Lights
The Electric Co.
An Cat Dubh - Into the Heart
Beautiful Day
Miracle Drug
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
Love and Peace or Else
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet the Blue Sky - When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Running to Stand Still
Where the Streets Have No Name

Zoo Station
The Fly
Mysterious Ways
All Because of You

The Show

I hate to speak in the language of bests and better thans. But I don't know what it was about this show. Maybe because it was supposed to be the show I wasn't going to go to. But it was incredibly one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Slane notwithstanding. I was just sooooo happy with the world when it was on and even now. I think I would have even hugged W. if he'd been at the show. I don't cry, but if I were the crying sort, I so would have gone through 50 handkerchiefs.

I sat behind the stage in section 119 row 20 seat 7 and I felt as if I'd won the lottery. The lights came down between us and the band sometimes but it didn't matter because you could almost see through them.

They started late. It was about 2110 before the real cue music began. There as a false start about 15 minutes previous. But when they came out, everything was right with the world. As I said it may have had something to do with the supposed impossibility of this show but it was simply stupendous. I'm not sappy or tear-happy. I was loved out, though. I was in love with him, I could have hugged everyone in that arena. Just gimme an excuse. Strangely the sound sounded a bit clangy to me but then it could have been my seats and/ or my ears. But his voice sounded on.They have confidence and know-how to spare. The Edge is insane, I've decided. He hears things in his head only he can interpret. He was here and there and switching guitars and wringing the life out of them and creating and painting and essentially going crazy. The guys next to me were playing air guiat the whole time and someone ahead of me shouted "LEGEND!!!" as Edge waved at one of the breaks.

Larry showed facial and wrist movement. I was so shocked, I forgot to capture a quick little movie of him doing it. His manly singing during "Love and Peace or Else" was awesome and his drum solo to close the show proved to everyone that he is the Man and the Man is a good thing.

Adam was very mobile and genial. He almost spent as much time on the ramp as Bono it seemed like.

Bono. I don't know what to say. I'm in love with the man (I have problems so back off!). He puts you into his hand whether he's sighing through a ballad or screaming out a speech or telling you what he thinks or being so cute I want to rappel down from the ceiling, grab him and run. His voice sounded beautiful from what I could hear (my ears were weird) and I hate anyone who has ever said anything less than flattering about him.

The songs. I have never liked "All Because of You" half as much as I did last night. Why did I doubt them? I should be pilloried and others executed. U2 knows what they're doing. They've been doing this longer than I've been alive. They KNOW what they're doing by now. They moved from song to song like studied acrobats. No one left, hardly anyone moved, no on I could see sat down for any significant amount of time. The guys next to me were in love. The lights were awesome and they never blocked us sitting in the back.

He nailed "Sometimes.." and "Running to Stand Still" closed in like a vise in its silence with the Hallelujah chorus which a friend of mine had been missing. "Yahweh" played by all four at the end of the ring of the b-stage reached its reason for being. I loved it. 40 was stupendous with the Man to close out. Those were the slow songs. The rest were high after high after high. I loved "Miracle Drug" with the Edge singing that part of it. They brought it. They brought the rock. Who even does that anymore? Is there even a second best? Is it even fair to rank them?

I hate that overly-busy jacket he wears for the "Love and Peace.."/ "Bullet.." section but only Bono can pull something like that off. I may be a superficial wench, but he transcends it every time. The words flashed during "Zoo Station" and "The Fly" made me so happy you have no idea. It made up a little for my having missed the ZooTV era in all its black leather and shades glory.

The friend who got the general admission ticket last minute ended up getting beeped into the pit. Sweet justice. She's awesome! It's all awesome. Everyone and everything's awesome. But Bono and U2 made that day happen and I have renewed my vows to always and forever be completely grateful to them for all they have ever done.

The Pictures

I put them in the U2Literary Picturebook section though I may transfer a few here at some later point. Photo editing is so much work and I've spent the better part of my day doing this.

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Created and maintained by R. Lorenz, 2005