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Old 05-26-2005, 01:41 PM   #1
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A U2 diary - Pretty Long

A diary of a day: SPOILERS FOR THE SHOW BUT I THINK YOU KNOW BY NOW!!!!
All events take place on Tuesday, May 24th.
1:00pm - I have contacted multiple sellers on Craigslist who are
trying to sell single tickets to tonight's show. Most repsond with
"Sorry, already gone" or "$200 for sect 312." Damn you all.
1:25pm - A break. Some guy has two tickets. Row 2 of Sect 320 for $225 for the pair. I contact him. He says they're still available as of 1:28pm. I scour a little more to see if I can get closer, finally, at 1:55pm I give up and tell the guy I'll take them. Sweet.
1:58pm - "Sorry, you didn't repsond fast enough, I sold them to someone else." Damn you all.
1:58pm - A desperate attempt. An email goes to three tapers I know to see if anyone can help me out. One guy has a ticket but I need to go to Hartford to pay him. No dice. The other two are out of tickets but will keep their eye out.
2:12pm - Constantly checking Ticketmaster for the impending ticket drop. U2 holds out 50-75 tickets a show and releases them day of to curb scalping (it doesn't work). No one knows when this will happen, but through internet sites and past history, the concensus is usually around 2:30pm day of show. It is close to then.
2:20pm - Many ticket swaps being offered on Craigslist. "Will give
Oct/ Dec GA tickets for any May show." This is bad news. The Oct/Dec tickets were easier to get. The May show is in high demand, scalper prices will be outrageous at the Fleet. I prepare to withdraw $250 for a single seat. Damn you all.
2:25pm - A Miracle! The ticket drop happens at 2:25pm and I just
happen to stumble onto one. It is Loge 107, Row 1, Seat 5. Sweet tits, that's a great seat. Face value is $165, with fees it's $189. That's a potential savings of $61 for me. Awesome. I grab it.
2:45pm - An email comes from a taper I know. "I have an extra Club Seat, $100." Damn you all.
3:30pm - Practice use of Sony TCD-D10 DAT ("DAT"). Check one, check two. Awesome. This thing is dope.
4:30pm - Leave work. Go to car. Get equipped.
5:30pm - Arrive at Government Center. It is raining and cold out. It is May 24th. Damn you all.
5:45pm - Walk around Fleet Center. There is a plethora of scalpers out tonight. "Tickets, need tickets, selling tickets, got tickets." Out of curiosity, I ask a couple guys what they have and how much. These people are so shady, they pull me into the Bank of America ATM kiosk and open their coats, pull out about 30 tickets and lay them out. They are selling GA for $300 each (face is $45), Loge $350 (face $165) and Balcony at $150 ($45). IDamn you all.
6:00pm - I walk into the Harp for a pre-show Sammy Summer. Mmmmm, delicious. The Joshua Tree is playing (U2 cover band). The lead singer looks like a cross between Jimmy Kimmel and Chad Martin (he's a friend of mine). They're awesome. WZLX is broadcasting live from their. They prove once agina how cheesy radio DJs can be. I hate radio.
6:45pm - Make way to Fleet Center to get in. I never "snuck"
recording equipment into anywhere before, but from past experiences with line searches, they're looking for guns and ammo and things, not DATs. I put the DAT and mics and bass roll-off filter and batteries and tape into my coat pocket, zip up the pocket and carry the jacket. If they do even frisk me, they likely won't check the jacket. This is my fool-proof plan. By the way, the bass roll-off filter box is a black, rectangular box, about 3 inches long by 1" square with a huge toggle switch at one end. It looks like a detonator. I swear to you it does. This is my only concern. If they find this, I could be answering questions.
6:48pm - The time nears. I am in the Fleet Center and head up the North entrance escalator to the loge section. There is a big crowd already. I get upstairs and reach the turnstyles. I have my ticket in one hand, my coat and hat in the other (they were asking people to remove their hats for some reason.) My ticket gets scanned and I hold up my arms. Nerves. Nerves. The security guy pats me down. Good. He then reaches for my coat. Bad. He pokes around and grabs the DAT through the pocket. Very bad. "What's this?" He say. "A walkman." Calm. Calm. "Alright." and he waves me through.
6:49pm - Clean shorts of fecal stains. And thank God he didn't feel the detonator.
6:50pm - Buy cool program.
6:53pm - Sign up for the "One" campaign upstairs. Cool bracelet for $1. Easily the cheapest thing here. T-shirts are $35 and "classic" T's are $90. Ninety f'ing dollars. Christo.
7:00pm - I go to find my seat. WOW it is a tasty seat. I walk ALL
the way to row 1. I am just behind the soundboard and mixing/
lighting station. It's cool back here. Joe O'Herlihey is the only
guy I recognize (short with Rip Van Winkle beard.) bu the other people look familiar. While waiting for the Kings of Leon to come out, I notice that one of the guys is screwing around with a camera that is mounted on a rack. I can see his computer screen as he moves the camera around. Their is some guy three seats to my right, just sitting there and the camera zooms right in on his eye. It's creepy. Then the camera pans to me. And zooms right up to my eye. And I can see it on the guys monitor. I put the One campaign bracelet to my face and position it right where the camera is pointing. The guy turns to me with a smile. Don't zoom in on my eye. And especially not the one with the dropping iris. It's creepy. He keeps doing it though. Me, the guy next to me, some girl three rows behind me. What the fuck?
7:30pm - Kings of Leon take the stage. Pretty good. Very loud. No one is there yet so there is a lot of echo.
8:15pm - Kings are done and now I need to go set up my crap. The fact that I am so close to the sound/ lighting crew kind of sketches me out. I was going to mount the mics on my hat, but it would be pretty obvious with the wires (at least that's what I thought at the time). I decide to go with a lapel mount on my jacket. The mics are pretty omni-directional, so as long as they're facing foward I should be OK. Since I was elevated above the crowd and no one was in front of me, I didn't need to worry about muffled sound of some drunk girl screaming directly into them. I though this was the best setup.
8:22pm - Head to bathroom to unravel everything. There is a line to the men's room. Fizzle. I needed to get into a stall to take all the crap out and get it hooked up. I get in line. If there is no stall
available, I'll let people cut until one is. When I get to the front,
the stall door opens and in I walk. That's good. The guy who just
used it puked and shit all over the place. That's bad.
8:23pm - Considered bailing from stall due to nastiness. Decided
against it. I need to get this crap done. I plug the mics to the
detonator and the detonator to the DAT. I'm ready. I unravel the mic cords and just clip them to my coat pocket for now. Now I have the DAT, detonator, mics all in the same pocket (they were seperated before), My jacket hangs low on my left side from the weight.
8:35pm - Back at the seat. Two people on my left and two on my right. The poeple on my right just got there after buying their tickets off Ebay 10 minutes ago. They got the tickets for $50 a piece from some broker in California who was selling off whatever he could last minute. Great advice, but you could easily get screwed, ticketfast style.
8:45pm - EVERYONE... EVERYONE....
8:46pm - Opening chords of "City of Blinding Lights" The house lights go down fast. Shit. I fumble in my pocket for the rec/ play buttons. The LCD light doesn't come on right away. I fumble more. There, it's on. I hit Rec. The timer starts and I can see levels being registered on the DAT. I have hot signal coming into the board. Sweet. We are rolling.
8:50pm - Great opening. The stage and lighting is rediculous. Bono talks about Irish people and then sings one, two, three, fourteen in Gaelic and they launch into Vertigo. The crowd is crazy.
8:54pm - Hooo oooohh. Wooo hooo. El-E-VA-TION.
9:00pm - The familiar opeing intro to Electric Co. Many people around me wonder what song this is. I would tell them, but I'm trying to tape and I don't want to hear my voice. Electric Co. is one of my favorite songs from before 1989. It doesn't sound as energetic as it did back in 1983, but it's still fun to remember when U2 were young and stupid instead of cold and calculating. Tacked onto Electric Co. is The Ocean, another Boy song. This is a standard 1st night setlist from what I know.
9:04pm - The crowd goes nuts agains for Beautiful Day. Good times. I like Elevation Tour version better, but this is now a live standard.
9:10pm - Miracle Drug is preceeded by a somewhat lengthy speech by Bono who mentions JFK being a leader and medical science being able to work within the framework of God to come up with cures to cancer and crap. Good version of Miracle Drug.
9:16pm - Sometimes You Can't Make It.... Why does U2 have such long song titles. Kids on the message boards like to shorten the titles to single letters, like SYCMIOYO and ISHFWILF and TTTYAATW. This is a show highlight. Again, the visuals are really cool. They have a drop down light screen which shows graphics. You can see through the screen but also see what's on the screen. It's neato. The screen shows a walking Bob Hewson (Bono's dad) about whow this song was written.
9:22pm - Love and Peace. Rocking. Not much else to say about it.
9:28pm - Sunday Bloody Sunday. Ackkk. this gets everyone to stand and clap and yell. I hate this song now. The kids at the message boards always call for the dropping of this song from the set (enough is enough). I'd agree, but, apparently from the reception, I am in the monority. It's a solid if not spectacular version.
9:35pm - Sunday ends and we go straight to Bullet the Blue Sky. Holy crap. This is more a Zoo TV version than the Elevation version. Loud and angry as it should be. The screens drop down again and the graphic is a cool jet plain. One strand of lights go out and being where I am, I see the tech crew feverishly trying to fix it. *** Side note* from where I was, I could watch the crew as well. They really looked like they were enjoying themselves which is a good thing. They would sing the songs and bang on the equipment in time. Good stuff. I liked seeing that. A portion of When Johnny Comes Marching Home and Hands That Built
America are included in Bullet. Typical.
9:45pm - Bullet ends and the lights go red. Bono talksa little and
Edge starts playing the opening to Running to Stand Still. Another
favorite of mine from pre-1989. For some wierd reason, Bono dedicates this to the brave men and women of our armed forces. The crowd cheer. Do they realize that Running to Stand Still is about Herione addiction? What the hell am I missing here? Either way, this is the first time I have ever heard this song live, as in, in the arena. I love it more now.
10:00pm - A longer version of Running ends and the lights go down. The intermission is the reading of the Human Rights act. Pretty neat, with the smoke and faces.
10:03pm - Ack. The opening guitar of Pride breaks through the Human Rights act. The crowd goes sick. This is another Sunday Bloody Sunday. Most people love this song, but I hate it. Enough. 7 straight tours with it is too much (Unforgettable Fire tour, Joshua Tree, Lovetown, ZooTV, Zoorpoa, Popmart, Elevation and now Vertigo...)
10:15pm - The place goes bananas when the opening of WTSHNN (Streets comes on. This is a song that I love live. Tonight is no exception. Bono praises Africa and says "the journey to equality begins here." In Boston? I doubt it. Another great performance and reminds me why I love this stupid band.
10:23pm - Remember that stupid camera zooming in on my eye? Well, now I find out why. One is next, and after a long intro by Bono about joining the "One" campaign, the picture on the screen above the stage (not the drop downs, but the large overhead screen) shows a "mosaic" Bono singing. The screen zooms in on the mosiac. Its a bunch of faces in from the crowd, including, featured prominently, yours truly. Sweet. The lady next to me recognizes me and shakes me excitedly. I'm pissed, that could've ruined the recording, but I smile at her and
her stupid $50 a ticket getting husband. I'm pissed. One is homerun as well. Streets and One back to back. And I know what's coming after the break... so this is a great run of songs.
10:35pm - Another short intermission and then the encore begins. The sweet spot for me. The screen above the stage shows four symbols and begins spinning like a slot machine. They stop with a picture of bin Laden, Hussein and two Achtung Babies. The babies stay and they spin again. One more baby and Bush, then a forth baby. The baby starts saying "Mama" over and over again. And then the moment I've waited 13
years for. The opeing sequence of the greatest show of all time is
Zoo Station and the Fly from the Zoo TV tour. I was in high school
when it came out and didn't go. But the first bootleg I ever bought was ZooTV from Houston and these two songs opening have made me a fan ever since. Zoo Station is loud and awesome.
10:40pm - The Fly is... well awesome. I need a thesaurus. During The Fly, the drop down screeens show a bunch of words and crap, just like ZooTV, but the overhead shows a bunch of eyeballs, including, you guessed it, mine. How could i know that it's my eyeball? Look at me left eye next time yo see me.
10:46pm - Woooooaaah.. Mysterious Ways as well. This could be the best 5 song rung I've ever witnessed. Maybe they'll play EBTTRT next and just do the whole freaking album. Oh please, please.
10:55pm - Nope. After a short break, Al Because of You. It's nice.
11:00pm - Yahweh acoustically. Sounds good.
11:04pm - Classic show closer from the mid 80s (not 83 Bono baby.) "40" ends the night and at 11:10pm the house lights come up. What a great show. Worth the $185, but I am wiped.
11:11pm - I stop the tape and pack back up. Just get outside and
worry about it later. It is raining and 40 degrees. Damn you all.
11:16pm - Find way onto train. It's suprisingly not busy right now.
11:30pm - I'm back at my car in South Boston. I pull the DAT out and plug in the headphones. REWIND! No action. Huh. REWIND. Nothing. Hmmmm. Press play. Nothing. What the hell. FASTFOWARD! The tape is blank. Ummmm.... what? I think back to my setup. The counter was going, the tape was in, I know there was signal coming in. I hit play again. The first 30 seconds are crowd noise and then nothing. FUCK! Recounting what happened, I believe it was when I stood up. I pressed against the rail in front of me. That must've stopeed the
tape. DAMN YOU ALL.

Oh well. It was a great show, well worth the price. The taping was an unmitigated disaster, but I'll try it again.
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Old 05-26-2005, 01:48 PM   #2
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great review... sorry that the taping didn't work out. and very creepy that you caught Willie taping you! i was wondering exactly when he filmed those crowd shots...
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Old 05-26-2005, 01:48 PM   #3
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ahhh, I thought this was going to be about some U2 cow or something. or at least some sort of U2 ice cream sandwich
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Old 05-26-2005, 01:51 PM   #4
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Woops. Dairy = Diary.
Actually funny you say that. There was some guy dressed like a cow at the Harp.
DJ Cowwy Cow or something.
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Old 05-26-2005, 03:05 PM   #5
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i wish i could have read that but im lactose intolerant
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Old 05-26-2005, 03:23 PM   #6
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Few people are funnier than Chip. Lactose intolerant jokes are ALWAYS funny.

Thanks for that diary, it made me laugh, and cry. I like the Orwellian angle to your concert experience.

Don't go back to Rockville.
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Old 05-29-2005, 06:07 PM   #7
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Sounds like the concert was a mooving experience for you

(sorry...I just couldn't resist a cow joke)
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Old 05-30-2005, 05:34 AM   #8
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Old 05-30-2005, 01:21 PM   #9
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Great details Mofo. Very funny. I taped a Joshua tree show in New Jersey 1987 using a primitive micro tape recorder. I still have it. However, it was only intended for me and i hear myself singing over every song and whoa whoaing after each tune. Its a great keepsake. Wish yours worked out.
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Old 06-03-2005, 06:02 PM   #10
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I haven't been able to sit through many reviews lately, but the thread title was eyecatching and your story well worth it Sorry you didn't get your recording, but isn't the story you have worth it!?!
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Old 06-03-2005, 10:21 PM   #11
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Very entertaining read . Sorry that your recording didn't work.
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