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Old 12-29-2005, 02:03 PM   #1
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The article that got me free, and great seats to Portland.

Well, I told you all earlier that my girlfriends mom got me to see U2 because she was a journalist, on terms that she writes an article. Here it is

http://www.redding.com/redd/date_art...347606,00.html

or if that doesnt load up...

Ardent fans as fun as U2's performance
By Betty Lease, Record Searchlight
December 29, 2005


The young man running ahead of me regularly turned his head to make sure I was still mobile on the wet, slick streets of Portland, Ore. We were on our way to the U2 concert at the Rose Garden -- where the famed Irish band was scheduled to play the last show of the Vertigo Tour's third leg.

To say the least, 16-year-old Alex Barnett was excited. U2 is his all-time favorite band, a group he tuned into about three years ago because of their guitarist.

"The Edge's sound is incredibly unique and distinct," Alex says. "His playing relies on perfect timing and hundreds of effects. He can go from creating an outlandish and untamable grunge, to a timeless and epic chime.

"Each song," Alex adds, "has a theme, a message -- ones that range from the troubles of Northern Ireland and apartheid to Bono's personal mental struggles regarding his late father and the darker side of American politics. And in some cases, the places that rock and roll can take you."

As he runs, Alex calls back jokingly, "Do you have good hips?" I can tell, though, that he's kind of worried. "If you fall, do you think you'll break one?"

I envision myself journeying alone to the emergency ward as he joyfully watches U2.

I'm practically ancient compared to Alex, but not so compared to the many others who filled Portland's Rose Garden on Dec. 19, one night after a rare snowstorm hit the city, snarling its well-oiled transportation system and leaving slippery slush in its wake.

Two last-minute tickets made the trip to Portland possible, which meant the third member of our ensemble, my 16-year-old daughter, wouldn't be going to the concert. But Alex, an Enterprise High School junior and a musician himself, was the main reason we went. He's the serious fan.

We slipped into our seats shortly after the doors opened at 6 p.m., right after we ran (again) to the T-shirt vendors and picked one to buy. In our seats, Alex took a power nap (it had been a long drive) and I read my book as we waited for the 7:30 p.m. concert to begin.

Alex had talked about this concert for months. If he had the chance, he would gladly spend the night in the rain and cold to be one of the first ones on the floor near the elliptical stage.

Our seats are good, but Alex looks longingly toward the floor, where those with general admission tickets stand close to Bono, Edge, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton. That's where the wonder is the most intense, where the heat and rhythm of the music swells and completely overtakes. I know that's where Alex will be when he sees U2 again.

After a short stint by hip-hop artist Kanye West, Alex watches intently as the guitar techs ready the instruments for the headliners. I'm amazed as Alex predicts what songs U2 will play based on the set-up. He knows which guitars are used for each song, and he even knows the guitar tech's name.

"Stand up," Alex finally says to me, predicting the show will start in three minutes. Obediently, I stand, and he's right.

Alex remains standing through the entire show, even though I occasionally take my seat. Almost all in the arena stay on their feet, too.

For me, the fans are almost as fun to watch as the musicians. The guy in front of us is practically gonzo, going into ecstasy as he recognizes the beginning notes of each song. Everyone in the audience -- except me, of course -- sings along with each song. Thank-you signs are held by hundreds, an act that prompts Bono to say, "No, thank you." Opened cell phones create a charming glow during "One," and walls of tight vertical lights pump the crowd.

The band makes its way through "City of Blinding Lights," "Vertigo," "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," "Beautiful Day," "Miss Sarajevo," "Original of the Species," "Mysterious Ways" "40" and many more. They sing a tribute to John Lennon with "Instant Karma!" and plug Bono's effort to end world hunger. In "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own," Bono honors his late father and in another, "Love and Peace or Else," he ferociously bangs on drums.

Alex has made a large sign that we diligently hold through several numbers with the help of the exuberant fan in front of us. It suggests that Alex should join U2 on stage, but apparently they don't see it.

Tremendous energy is put out by the band, which was amplified back by the fans. Some of these people have been to 20, 30, even 40 concerts. They are young; they are old -- just like Alex and me.

In the end, we are both happy. Alex has seen his musical idols. I have watched thousands of joyous people and have become acquainted with the music of U2.

I have been to my first U2 concert. For Alex, this is probably only the beginning.
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Old 12-29-2005, 02:24 PM   #2
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very cool article! glad that you were able to go to the concert...
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Old 12-29-2005, 03:52 PM   #3
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Old 12-29-2005, 10:55 PM   #4
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sweet!
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Old 12-30-2005, 01:27 AM   #5
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This is awesome!!

Congrats, and yes, she's awesome
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Old 12-30-2005, 03:13 AM   #6
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Old 01-03-2006, 02:04 AM   #7
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Alex, holy crap! I don't know how I didn't notice your location, but its a small freakin world. I live in Redding. I live on the West side of town up towards Whiskeytown. But I use to live on the street right behind Enterprise.

And damn am I so jealous that you got to go!!!! I still think the whole story is so awesome and thanks for sharing the article. I was tempted to drive up the day of the show, but since we had a warning that it might snow my husband didn't think it was a good idea for me to go and possibly not be able to get back home over the mountains. Glad you made it safe and sound and had a good time.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Russty Cat
Alex, holy crap! I don't know how I didn't notice your location, but its a small freakin world. I live in Redding. I live on the West side of town up towards Whiskeytown. But I use to live on the street right behind Enterprise.

And damn am I so jealous that you got to go!!!! I still think the whole story is so awesome and thanks for sharing the article. I was tempted to drive up the day of the show, but since we had a warning that it might snow my husband didn't think it was a good idea for me to go and possibly not be able to get back home over the mountains. Glad you made it safe and sound and had a good time.
My girlfriend lives up there, near Swasey street. And just so you know, road conditions were perfect . Not one icy or questionable road.... Go figure.

Yes... Small world though... Thats 2 people I found from Redding in here .

I didn't think this town existed outside of Ford F350 sales...



And now, House is on.



The episode with the U2 reference
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:41 AM   #9
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Originally posted by Zooropa1310


My girlfriend lives up there, near Swasey street. And just so you know, road conditions were perfect . Not one icy or questionable road.... Go figure.

Yes... Small world though... Thats 2 people I found from Redding in here .

I didn't think this town existed outside of Ford F350 sales...



And now, House is on.



The episode with the U2 reference
@ Ford F350 sales! That is so damn true. My husband is a mechanic and hates working on all the trucks!

Its really scary that our small town has 3 people on here. I guess we know where all the people with good music taste in California live.

And dammit I missed House! Stupid work meeting! Hope it was good.
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Old 01-04-2006, 05:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Russty Cat


@ Ford F350 sales! That is so damn true. My husband is a mechanic and hates working on all the trucks!

Its really scary that our small town has 3 people on here. I guess we know where all the people with good music taste in California live.

And dammit I missed House! Stupid work meeting! Hope it was good.
Do you think your husband could help me with a car repair???

I'm looking at a totalled vehicle unless "I know someone."


Basically... I have a possible blown head gasket and/or bent piston rod, or something that has to do with a crankshaft...
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Old 01-04-2006, 09:07 PM   #11
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total warm fuzzies on reading that article

I'm so glad you got to have the experience
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Old 01-06-2006, 12:40 AM   #12
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That was such a fun read.

You should frame that article. It will be so cool years down the road to be able to look back on the experience.
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Old 01-06-2006, 03:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Russty Cat
Alex, holy crap! I don't know how I didn't notice your location, but its a small freakin world. I live in Redding. I live on the West side of town up towards Whiskeytown. But I use to live on the street right behind Enterprise.

And damn am I so jealous that you got to go!!!! I still think the whole story is so awesome and thanks for sharing the article. I was tempted to drive up the day of the show, but since we had a warning that it might snow my husband didn't think it was a good idea for me to go and possibly not be able to get back home over the mountains. Glad you made it safe and sound and had a good time.
I live on the west side too and have a sailboat on Whiskeytown Lake... our own little piece of heaven!
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Old 01-15-2006, 12:45 AM   #14
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Faith that is so cool! This is a great place to live. But sadly we are moving. We put our house up here for sale today, since we have purchased another one in Oregon last week.

Alex sorry I didn't see this sooner. I can't PM you cuz I'm not premium. But if you still need help with the car you can email me and see if he could help ya out. He might be able to at least look at it and try to figure out if its able to be fixed or worth the trouble for you. brazils@earthlink.net
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