Ah. The anti-climatic glow of “After a U2 Show.” My voice is still a little scratchy, but at least my body doesn’t feel like it was trampled by a thousand water buffalo like it did on Wednesday. Let me just tell you about the love, devotion and dedication I have for my favorite rock band on the planet: U2.
We woke up at the crack of dawn; we being my fellow U2 fan, Tracy, and I. We drove 20 minutes to the Coliseum in The Ghetto, err, I mean, Oakland. Once we arrived, we thought we would grab a cup of joe somewhere. Somewhere close turned into a thirty minute desperate search for a freaking Starbucks! You know those 40 Starbucks you pass on your way to work? Yeah, you don’t work in Oakland, because you CAN FIND coffee when you need it. It’s like a third-world country over there. Maybe Bono should focus his philanthropist movements to getting those people some COFFEE. But I digress.
Once we found said coffee, or mana from heaven, we went back to the stadium to wait. Now. I was fully prepared to wait for a good eight hours in line before they let us into the stadium. I had lawn chairs, a beach blanket, a cooler full of sodas and snacks, sunscreen, books, a deck of cards, and Scrabble. I knew what I was in for. We settled in around 7:45 am. There were only a few hundred people in line in front of us. And eventually, a few THOUSAND behind us. Heh. Suckers!
At 2 pm, the Nazis, I mean the security guards at the Coliseum, made us put our chairs and coolers in our cars so we can “bunch up together” to make it easier for them to distribute wrist bands. Ugh. I knew what that meant: three hours of standing outside only to be let in to stand for another two hours inside, waiting. With nothing to eat or drink. Or DO. Except listen to other U2 fans brag about how many times they have gone to see U2, or other bands that may or may not impress the ladies. Needless to say, Tracy and I were VERY eager to get inside and see what kind of seats we were going to get.
Finally, they let us in. There was a bunch of talk about no running, so we tried to power walk our way around, but then we had to pretty much ignore that to beat all the other people crowding in. That is when the light shined down from Heaven and a voice said: “And yea, ye shall have your seats in front of The Edge once again.” (Last time Tracy and I saw U2 together in Vegas, we got front row seats right in front of Edge and I told him I loved him and he blushed. Tracy got Bono’s guitar pick and I got his water bottle. It was a good day.)
In the pit, we were surrounded by fellow U2 fans: A father and his son from Sacramento to my right; a couple of kids from The City to Tracy’s left; and behind us a family of five from Modesto, I think. I did a text blast to everyone, and the refrain I got back was: ELBOWS OUT! That was from my sister, who at the last U2 show we were at, was pregnant, so we didn’t need to use our elbows, only her pregnant belly, to get what space we needed. It was awesome.
The opening act was, simply put, awful. It was a friend of Bono’s band. Everyone around us had many, many horrible comments about them. The main refrain was: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Tracy said it sounded like we were on a bad cruise, to which I replied: “I feel like I need to put on my swimsuit and go to the Lido deck.” Then our ears were grateful to hear Lenny Kravitz come out. I do love it when the main stars get angry at their roadies. It makes for good entertainment.
Finally. U2 comes out. By now, we have been standing for 7 hours and 20 minutes, but to us, it felt like 5670 days, 302346 hours and 2 minutes. Then for the next three hours, I jumped, hopped, fist pumped, screamed, and sang my little heart out. I was tired before the show was even over. But we made it!!! And then it was over. They were gone, and time passed. I was upset because my camera was running out of batteries, so the flash was touchy, and I was shaking so bad that I couldn’t get a really good picture, but Tracy did, thank goodness. I just decided to try to focus on the music and energy of the thousands of people in the crowd instead of getting too upset.
Here are a couple of pictures that didn’t turn out so bad: