Dancing With The Devil ch.5 - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-07-2011, 08:26 PM   #1
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Dancing With The Devil ch.5

Here. Have a chapter.
I doubt one person could be so lucky for this all to be true...

Once Pride finishes and the band leaves the stage amidst much applause, I turn to Lina and ask, “What now?”
Her eyes zero in on me. “Here we’ll wait. The band will be back for the encores. Just watch.” She leans back in her seat and closes her eyes.
I watch. The screens suddenly show images. I relax, waiting. And soon enough, the men start to walk back onto the stage. Larry behind the drums, Adam at his bass, The Edge holding his guitar…
And then they begin a song without Bono. As the riff for Desire zooms through my ears, I wonder what sort of an entrance he’ll have.
Lina’s eyes are open again, and she grabs my arm, startling me. “Marieke, you have to be ready for this-“ she whispers.
But it’s too late. Before Lina can say a word of warning to me, an unfamiliar man has taken the stage.
From my clear view of the show, I can take in every single detail of this man. He’s like no one I’ve ever seen before. He is decked out in a gold jacket and a ruffled red shirt beneath, and his face is pale, as white as snow. His red lips are curved upward into a knowing smile, seeming to say I know something you don’t know. And as I watch him come up to the front of the stage, to a spot just a few meters away from me, I spot the red pair of horns on his head.
He’s waving his arms, seeming to collect all the applause. Then with a showy flourish he raises the microphone in his hand to his lips and says in an unusual British accent, “Lover, I’m off the streets. Gonna go where the bright lights and the big city meet, with a red guitar on fire…”
We sing along, “DESIIIIRE!”
I’m fascinated. The voice is familiar. This is the man who called me on the phone. It must be Mr. MacPhisto.
He walks all along the front of the stage, and when he passes so close to me I tremble, suddenly afraid. I’ve got no reason to be frightened, but somehow being in this man’s presence is setting me on edge. He’s so beautiful, and yet so bizarre, so unknown.
“Desire…” Now the song is drawing to a close, and he whips out a harmonica. I’m thinking, Can this man really play? And he surprises me. He presses the instrument to his lips and, standing right there, plays a little solo for us to finish off the song.
I immediately have to sit down. My head spins, and, clutching Lina’s hand, I can only think of one thing. That was sexy…
Then the man shouts at the top of his voice, and I jump. “I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down! I have a vision! I have a vision! What a night, what a show, what a life, what a job! I have a vision…”
He pauses.
“Eurovision.”
The song ends.
We leap our feet screaming and applauding. He smiles out into the crowd, simply drinking in the feedback. And I can’t help but notice that this MacPhisto character is looking more luscious than any other man I’ve ever seen.
“Eurovision!” he exclaims, delighted. “How are we all tonight, then?”
Lina takes one look at my face and busts up laughing. Her voice mingles with the cheer from the rest of the audience.
He grins and takes a step back. “I think you’re just about the most intelligent rock and roll audience, perhaps in the world. That’s because you like me! Off with the horns, on with the show.” He reaches up and plucks the red horns off his head.
I cheer at that. He looks so beautiful. I want to touch him. He continues to speak in that interesting accent, and I continue to hang onto every word- never mind that the language difference is affecting my ability to understand him perfectly!
“Well, what a thing rock and roll turned out to be, then. What do you think of it, young lady? Do you think I’m exciting?” I gasp because I could swear he is asking this question to me. His piercing blue eyes zero in on my face, and no one else’s!
“Yes!” I try to say, but the crowd drowns me out.
He sighs and smiles up into the sky. “I was there when it started, you know. Way back in the 50’s, I had a great idea- African rhythm and European sense of melody. Put the two together and- shmooks! -we had a very exciting movement. And we’ve come a long way, haven’t we?”
We scream, “YEAH!” even though his meaning is getting lost on me again. I just like to hear him speak in that voice…
“Everybody’s into it now. Lady Diana’s into it…” MacPhisto pauses and seems to see us again. “Do you think Queen Bea would be into it? Shall we give her a call and find out?”
The name Queen Bea is something I understand. I know who that is. And calling… I know what that is too. We all cheer. Mr. MacPhisto looks pleased with our response. He heads over to a part of the stage I haven’t noticed before, where there’s a telephone.
“Now you’ll have to be a little patient .Sometimes she’s quite hard to get through. She’s a busy girl, you know- so am I.” I’m not sure if I’ve mistaken it, or if MacPhisto just called himself a girl. I like it anyway. There’s the unmistakable sound of a dial tone as he punches in the numbers.
“Oh-seven-oh, three-five-six, four-zero-zero,” he murmurs, and looks back at the crowd. “And who says I don’t give out my famous friend’s phone numbers? We’re all kind of family here, aren’t we?”
Family- I like that! As we cheer for him, the phone line suddenly picks up and a man’s voice is heard.
“Hello?” MacPhisto says back.
“Yes?” the man answers gruffly, in Dutch.
“Hello, I wish to speak with Queen Beatrix… Hello?” MacPhisto is so intent on the phone. I’ve never seen Bono look like that.
“Yeah, I’ve said hello.” Obviously the man is annoyed. I pity him for not being a U2 fan who would understand.
“Do you speak any English?” MacPhisto inquires.
“Little bit,” is the response.
Is it just me, or does MacPhisto’s voice sound a tad bit desperate? “If- if you could just be patient with me, I’m- I’m- um, I’m here with a few friends, and we’re just trying to find out… we’re just trying to find out if Queen Beatrix is a fan of rock and roll. Do you think she’d like rock and roll music, or would it be, perhaps, too loud for her…” My heart goes out to this lost soul. “Hello?” he finishes weakly.
The click tells us all that the man has hung up. We boo at the phone. How dare anyone hang up on this man?
But he doesn’t seem all that disappointed. “Well now! The last time a royal hung up on me I set the House of Windsor into flames!”
My face must betray my shock. And Ultraviolet begins.
“Sometimes I feel like I don’t know, sometimes I feel like checking out…”
I’ve never seen Bono or MacPhisto or anyone performing this song. I’ve only ever heard it on my CD. But now, as he sings down the telephone line, a lump begins to rise in my throat. He looks suddenly sobered, and his voice is amazing.
As Edge goes into the riff, MacPhisto hangs up the phone and begins walking back on the stage. He lifts the microphone and sings, slowly walking past, “Oh, sugar, don’t you cry. Oh, child, wipe the tears from your eyes. You know I need you to be strong, and the day is dark as the night is long…”
Desire was fun and games. Now, in the course of a few minutes, everything has changed. With Ultraviolet, the realization appears to have come that something is terribly wrong here. MacPhisto’s expression speaks for itself as he sings to us, “Baby, baby, baby, light my way.”
It’s a bit of a wonder that I make it through the song without crying. The beauty is unreal. But just as I’m applauding myself inwardly for that, a new song begins and all my hope is gone.
With Or Without You…
Now, if Ultraviolet looked more serious, With Or Without You surely takes the cake for most. It’s as if by now MacPhisto has not only realized something is wrong, but there’s nothing he can do about it either. I tremble as he sings.
“See the stone set in your eyes; see the thorn twist in your side. I wait for you…”
We’re all cheering but he doesn’t even seem to care. He’s hugging himself, singing.
“Sleight of hand and twist of fate, on a bed of nails she makes me wait. And I’m waiting for you…”
Lina squeezes me this time
“With or without you… with or without you.” He repeats the phrase in an almost melancholy manner and walks down, out towards the B-stage.
“Through the storm we reach the shore, you give it all but I want more. And I’ll wait… without you.” My heart is breaking.
He looks up and focuses into the distance. “With or without you… with or without, my love.” My trembles turn to shakes as he says that. “I can’t live… with or without you. With or without you…”
Suddenly he gathers strength and almost seems to spit the next words. “Yeah, you.”
I watch with near silence, comparable to the noise of the crowd around me, as he crosses around the B-stage and all across the sides. I turn so I can keep my eyes on his face. Tears are welling up again but I blink them back.
“And you give yourself away, and you give yourself away… and you give…” He looks down, leaning forward, and then suddenly pulls back. “And you give… and you give yourself away!”
Lina and I and everyone else around us are singing. My voice is getting choked again. I know my face must be twisting into all sorts of shapes.
“My hands are tied.” Suddenly he swings his face back towards us, and I let out a nearly audible gasp. I can see it- MacPhisto is in pain. He is singing this song to the lot of us, telling the fans that he can’t live with or without them.
“And you give yourself away, and you give yourself away! And you give, and you give, and you…give…yourself…away…” It appears to be causing him some stress to sing this. “With or without you, with or without you, oh… I can’t live with or without you!”
And I realize that his desperation has given way to despair. He clutches the microphone as if it’s a life preserver and howls, “OOOOHH OH OH OH… OOOH OOH OH OH… OOOOH OOH OH OOOOH… oh, oh…”
When that’s over, I’m left breathless and teary. No song has ever brought out such strong emotions in me before. The song’s meaning has come to new levels in my mind.
I think it can’t get any more devastating than that. But then an organ begins to play… and I begin to cry. Leaning on Lina, I let the sobs shake me quietly as the next song begins.
MacPhisto has first gone through realizing something is wrong, and then realizing he can’t do anything about it. Now I see that he’s resigned himself to that fate. He’s going to let himself go. It doesn’t even matter anymore.
“Love is blindness, I don’t wanna see. Won’t you wrap the night around me? Take my heart… it’s blindness.”
The song that ends Achtung Baby sweeps us all away. I have a feeling I’m not the only one crying. Wiping my eyes, I turn again to watch MacPhisto slowly return to the main stage.
Lina only has eyes for The Edge- she adores the guitar work on this song, not to mention the fact that she thinks he’s hot. But I keep my gaze on MacPhisto, and though he’s farther away from me I think I can read his expression. His eyes are two crystal clear pools of absolute pain. Once again, I am struck by the fact that Bono would never look like that.
“Squeeze the handle…” He shapes his hand like a gun and hoists it up. “Blow out the candle…” he murmurs, mock-firing into the crowd. The invisible force of the trigger throws him back a little.
“Love is blindness,” he finishes.
I don’t understand every word of this song, but I do know those ones. And suddenly he’s back on the main stage, and The Edge is playing a stunning solo that kills me every time I hear it. MacPhisto gives the audience one glance and then bends over, reaching into the crowd. I let out a squeak because he is so close.
And then- it happens. MacPhisto’s hands close over no one else’s but mine. I stare up at him with shock, and he pulls me forward. Lina sees what is happening and gives me a boost, and all at once I am on the Zoo TV stage in MacPhisto’s arms.
I need air. My breath seems to have been stolen by this devil. I nestle against him, aware that I’ll never get this close to him again. Might as well make the most of it… I raise my arms, trying to move them so I can slip my hands under his jacket, maybe even under his shirt…
But just as I’m preparing to do that very thing, MacPhisto squeezes my arms into place. I can’t move them around now. I struggle, and he whispers in a very different voice, “Calm down, just listen to the music…” That’s not MacPhisto’s voice. No, this accent is Irish. It’s Bono speaking.
I pull back so I can see his face. And instead of seeing the bleak, hopeless expression in his eyes from before, I notice that he looks kind of tense. He’s watching me closely, on edge, ready to stop me if I get out of control.
For a slim second, I remember that MacPhisto isn’t a different person from Bono. Bono’s just wearing a new outfit.
I lay my head back down on his shoulder and he gently spins me around. It’s slow, but building. This close to his body, I can see the sweat on his neck. I bite down to restrain my tongue from going places it shouldn’t.
Then I remember the phone call.
I reach my lips up to MacPhisto’s ear, unlock my teeth, and whisper, “You telephoning me yesterday night.” I use English so he’ll understand, though it’s not my best try.
“Hm?” he whispers back.
“Me… at the airport,” I tell him. I peer in at his face to see what he thinks, if he remembers.
The Edge finishes his solo. MacPhisto and I are standing together, alone on the stage. His hands clasp mine, pull me into him. A little kiss is lightly planted on my cheek. And then, suddenly, he releases me. I stumble back and he dips his head, acknowledging that I should go. I do and am pulled back into the audience by Lina, who is screaming something in my ear- can’t make out her words.
MacPhisto raises the microphone back to his lips and sings for us all. “Love is blindness, I don’t wanna see. Won’t you wrap the night around me? Oh, my love…”
He leans in, mouth quite close to the mic.
“Blindness,” he finishes, in a voice nearly a murmur.
The response is deafening.
I think my voice is gone. Yet I scream along all the more. MacPhisto stares at us, and begins to sing one last song.
“Wise men say, only fools rush in. But I can’t help falling in love… with…you.”
He walks backward, and I automatically reach out, searching for his soul.
“Shall I stay?” he muses. “Would it be a sin? If I can’t help… falling in love… with you.”
The storm has passed. MacPhisto has realized what he’s resigned himself too isn’t all that bad… as long as he walks the line between too much and not enough, he can keep this pleasure.
“Like a river flows to the sea, so it goes: some things were meant to be.” He suddenly stops walking and bends over, clutching the microphone tightly.
“Take my hand, take my whole life too! But I can’t help… falling in love… with… you.” His voice simply soars up into the falsetto to gently caress those high-up notes. I don’t think even I could sing that range.
“But I can’t help… falling in love with you.” He’s begun his walk again, singing at the same slow pace.
“But I can’t help…” A whim overtakes him and he points the microphone out to us.
We join in. “Falling in love with you!”
“But I can’t help…” His face brightens as he hears us singing. “Falling in love with you!” we finish. And this radiant smiles lights up his entire face. I understand what this is. It’s a peaceful smile, a delighted smile, a sign that MacPhisto is glad we love him. He’s twisted his own words on us.
He ducks his head as he softly murmurs, “Elvis is still in the building.” With a final wave to us, the showy pop star is gone from the Zoo TV stage. Slowly but surely, the band follows suit.
We wait a while, beginning to quiet just a smidgen. Then one final message runs across the screens.
THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AT ZOO TV.
Cue the endless applause.
Side note- MacPhisto is my man.
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:04 AM   #2
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Is there a DVD that you got this from? I didn't see Zooropa, but it's like a script of ZooTV Sidney almost. Very nice. I like.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:21 AM   #3
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No, it's not Zoo TV Sydney... that was the last chapter. Hehe. I got the description of the phone call from this website, actually... Canadanne.co.uk -- Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea But the songs were my own observations, mostly.
PS- The band is in the next chapter. (!) Forgot to mention it.
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Old 01-08-2011, 02:43 PM   #4
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Hmm... Exciting!
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:09 PM   #5
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Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:32 AM   #6
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LOL! I love that she has to restrain herself not to lick his neck. Such a Bonogirl!
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