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Old 05-01-2005, 04:07 AM   #1
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Vancouver U2 Trilogy of Awesome Comes to an End

Day 1

It all started so unexpectedly...

Wednesday, just an ordinary, regular day, I was ready to go to the passport office to drop off a passport application and then go jam with my band a bit. Decided I'd check my e-mail one last time before I left, although it'd probably all be just junk mail, I thought to myself.

then something interesting popped up... [atu2] *@U2: U2 fans wanted for video shoot in Vancouver today reaction: followed by then quickly followed by

quickly messaged my buddies with something along the lines of "screw jamming, we're going to a video shoot" quickly ditched my passport app, no time for that... and hopped on the skytrain. We ended up at GM place, about 200th or so in line. Originally they said doors at 3pm, which turned to 5pm, which ended up being about 7pm. But, whatever, all in good fun. Made some trips down for some slurpees and stuff, and it was good.

Got our tickets, 4th row right beside the stage, awesome, awesome seats. Went in, and Rocko, who I'm not wure exactly wat he does, seemed like the head roadie or something, but he came out and told us the shoot, and that we were going to be moved around to fit shots and stuff. He then said, and I quote: "You'll always see a good U2 show, often, you'll see a great U2 show, and tonight, we want to make it look magical"

and it was.

U2 finally hit the stage, my first time ever seeing them live in person. Emotion was pretty overwhelming. The curtains lit up, it went dark, the COBL intro came on, and the band hit the stage. Bono was nowhere to be seen, however. People started pointing to the tip of the ellipse, and sure enough, Bono was there emerging out of nowhere, in that confident, almost cocky stance. With the intro still blaring, he made his way over slowly through our half of the ellipse to the main stage, flashing some peace directly our way. My first view of the B. man up close, it was damn cool.

The singing started, the first performance was alright, then Bono asked if we wanted another one right away, and the crowd of 3500 or so cheered wildly. So they went right into take 2. This was was already better, and the crowd was into it just as much as the first time. After the second take, Bono said they're going to go back and take a look at the footage and be right back out. 20 or so minutes went by, and boom, lights went back down, and COBL started anew. Once again, Bono at the top of the ellipse and making his way down our way to the front. This third take was excellent. Afterwards, Bono did a bit of band introductions it a mocking sort of pop idol way. He asked what he wanted for his birthday, to which Larry replied "world peace" which resulted in some "awww"'s and cheers from the crowd. just replied with some really shy and quiet "yes's" ... as for , I couldn't really hear what he said. The crowd then chanted for 's answer, to which he spontaneously busted into the Hokey Pokey, after which he expressed some surprise that we were all singing along because he though it was more of an "Irish thing." After the Hokey Pokey, came another great COBL, with the crowd into it more than ever. Afterwards, Bono said that they'll look over the new footage, come back out and play one or two more times, and then play something new, which excited everyone.

Sure enough, they came in for another COBL, just one this time, and promptly went to the back. At this point, Rocko came back out to 'move us around'. Which meant coming down onto the floor. During and before the show up to this point, staff were handing out yellow wristbands to some lucky people in the crowd to get into the ellipse. They went down first. Then it was our turn, and I ended up about 2 people back of the tip of the ellipse. At this point, Rocko said the Band's about to come out, and there's going to be rain, but we won't get wet. COBL finished up, but at this point I was too ecstatic to remember any exact details.

After that, however, shooting was wrapping up, and the familiar palm muting and drum beat came on.... VERTIGO! ... UNO! DOS! TRES! CATORCE! ... not once, but the infamous opening line, bono did twice! The crowd went NUTS! The floor was bouncing like crazy, so much energy for that song! That was then followed by a great rendition of All Because of You, but IMO, it was the weakest of the songs performed that night. Then came a really quick encore break, and Bono came back, thanked us all for helping out with the video, and mentioned his father, which meant Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own. This song always has so much power and emotion. But it appeared pretty evident the band was a bit worn out after a long day of shooting the video.

An excellent first experience of seeing the band live, and it was only going to get better.
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Old 05-01-2005, 04:09 AM   #2
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Day 2

Well, after ditching my passport application the day before, I had to go to drop it off. I left at about 9am, but got stuck in the passport office for about an hour or so. So I didn't get to the GA line until about 12pm. Got my hand numbered, it was 251, I believe. On my way back up the stairs, out of nowhere came trevster2k who recognized my from my pic in the picture post. I also met Theresa and Thassoula from the @U2 blog, as well as isabelleguns, who had quite an elaborate MacPhisto costume done up. I figured since my friend wasn't going to show up for a while, I'd hang out with them, despite being out of numerical order.

The GA line wasn't nearly as boring as I thought it'd be. Also the scalpers were going at it in full force. It was impossible to go down to the front of the arena without being hounded by a pack of the vultures. To make things worse, and just sickening, at the box office, scalpers occupied basically half of the lineup, buying tickets, selling them off to other scalpers, then lining up again to buy more tickets with their new cash, repeating the process. Sickening, just sickening. Although, to be fair, some true fans scored some pretty awesome seats for the next day of the show, including some sweet second row side stage seats.

At about 4pm, they finally decided to split up the U2.com and General Sale lines. Which turned into a HUGE mess. The U2.com line ended up being MUCH bigger, and the 200's in the General Line were at about the same point as the 100's in the U2.com line. To add to the confusion, numbers ended up being all mixed up because of all the people there by then, and everyone became bunched, leaving no room to sit. To top it all off, GM Place didn't make any effort to communicate with the fans to honour the number system, go bureaucracy!

At about that time, my friend finally showed up, and we went back to our spot in the line, at least there was some room to sit down back there. I ended up reading the paper and before I knew it, it was time to go in.

Slowly, we made our way to our gate, and to the laptops. Reaching the laptops, I quietly chanted "come on baby!" a few times, but alas, the blue screen of death "PROCEED TO FLOOR" my friends ticket got scanned, same thing. Oh well, we still had a good spot, and it was bound to be a great show. We set up shop about 3 people away from the very tip of the Ellipse, where Bono came out during the COBL entrances the night before. I ran to the can for a quick pee-break, and luckily when I got back, I could still squeeze back into my old spot.

Before long, the Kings of Leon came on. Personally, I like the band, especially the Bucket, which is such a hilarious song. Caleb has such a hilarious and unique way of singing, plus the drummer looks like John Lennon.

After KOL, it was about 45 minutes until U2 was supposed to come out. However, 9pm hit, and nothing. Out comes Rocko again, who informs us all that they're continuing COBL filming, which got a mass of cheers. He also said that there was a bit of a delay, with one of the projectors going out, and it had to be fixed. After a few minutes, it was, and The Arcade Fire's Wake Up came on!

This made me start to get all excited in anticipation. Near the end of the song.... "EVERYONE... everyone... everyONE... EVERYone... EVERYONE!" I swear it was Macphisto saying those everyone's too ... then the lights go out... and the familiar COBL opening comes on. The confetti drifts down, and Bono climbs out, right in front of us! Despite how amazing this song was in the shoot the day before, it was twice as good with the whole crowd being so into it! So much energy suddenly lit up the building.

Again, it was just so exciting, and I just wanted to take everything in and enjoy the moment, but so many things were going on, remembering is just tough. So i'll focus on some of the better moments.

Beautiful Day was fantastic, during the breakdown, Bono gave Vancouver some love with "See Vancouver, right in front of you"

Vertigo, again, with the energy of the whole arena, was that much better this night. Including a great french count-in before the familiar spanish. Although I do think he actually said 1, 2, 3, 4 in french, and not 14, although I might have heard wrong, he did it rather quietly. Near the end of the song, during stories for boys, Bono stepped into and reached for the crowd just a little to the side of me, but I he was just out of my reach. But it's crazy how excited people get whever he walked by our part of the ellipse, Adam too, for that matter.

Elevation While it's not my favourite song of their catalogue, far from it, actually. This song is just so electric live. The chorus, with Bono gesturing for the crowd to sing the "E-LE-VA-TION" line was a great moment. It's a very fun song. Then of course the whoo-ooo... whoo-oo-hoo's ... yet another reason why this song is actually quite great live.

Gloria/The Ocean Right from the opening "2,3,4!" I was so into this song, and I'm ecstatic to see it back in the setlists. How could anyone not like this song performed, so magical and spiritual, and powerful. Although, I must say, I was a little disappointed that Adam picked his bass solo instead of slapping it. The Ocean was great. A lot of ad-libbing by Bono about how great Vancouver is.

The War and Peace Trilogy This continued the incredicle energy buildup of the show. Love and Peace, phenomenal. So much raw, muddy power in that song, and was one of my highlights of the show. Larry was drumming directly in front of me, and he gets so fired up and focused during his drumming, while still managing to exude just this great amount of joy. Near the end, Samurai Bono made his appearance with his headband and took over for Larry, banging that tom like there's no tommorow. That was incredibly cool to see up close. Bono had so much energy and shomanship banging that thing, almost like those crazy japanese taiko drummers. Sunday continued that great energy, with the crowd singing "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" on the top of their lungs.

It also featured something I've wanted to experience more than anything during Sunday, Bloody Sunday, and was incredibly excited when it happened. "NO MORE!, sing, No MORE!" "NO MORE!" "NO MORE!" "I'M SO SICK OF IT!" That's always been my favourite part of SBS live, and was so overjoyed to be a part of it.

The transition into Bullet was also excellent, with that great chord strike while Larry's still drumming SBS, then instanteanously switching to the Bullet beat. Such a phenomenal song live, and it's so neat how it's re-invented for every tour. Vertigo is no exception. With the amazing breakdown. Bono blindfolding himself with the headband. (Although the blindfold was a little crooked, so his pointing didn't match up with the location of the symbols on his head ) ... but it was powerful nonetheless "Jesus, Jew, Muhammad, It's true... Jesus, Jew, Muhammad, it's true" followed by some chanting of "Abraham, father Abraham" or something to that effect. Such a great and powerful message.

After Bullet, Bono went right into Running To Stand Still. I didn't like, however, how he played his guitar during the song. He really played only like 3 or 4 notes, since The Edge was playing the keyboard for the whole song. It's still phenomenal though, with the hallelujas, followed by the smoke, leading up to the Decleration of Human Rights.

After Human Rights, came the biggest surprise of the show for me, which elevated the show to a completely different level.

Bad: The second that backing track intro started playing, I was already starting to scream at the top of my lungs from excitement. The very next thing I thought of, was George Strombolopulous, who metioned on The Hour last week that he would love to be at the show, and for his viewers to shed a tear for him if they play Bad, which is his favourite U2 song. The performance was outstanding. It lasted something like 10 minutes+ with bono bringing up people on stage and everything, it was magical.

Pride was similarly magical, with Bono quoting Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. I never really liked this song live, because it always seemed so, ordinary. Well, not that night, it really was magical, with the "oh oh oh-oh oh's" leading right into yet another goosebump-inducing transition into Streets, with Bono dedicating the song to Africa in such a poetic way, it was great: "From the shores of the river Nile, to the peaks of Mt. Kilamanjaro, AFRICA! AFRICA! AFRICA" there was more, but that's all I can really remember. Such a great song. When the lights all flash on, that's such a definitive moment, amazing.

Right after Streets, One was THE most amazing moment of the show. The song lasted forever, and Bono was so emotional. Starting with flashing Paul Martin's phone number on the screens, and calling him out on Canada's foreign aid. He did also say that he was a good man, and the right man to lead the country. He also pleaded to Canadians and Martin, saying that if we tell him what we we want, and what the world needs, he will listen. Then the song started, and really turned into something else when Bono noticed the sea of ONE/makepoveryhistory T-Shirts in the ellipse. He grabbed one, put one on himself, and brought up to the stage 5 or 6 10-15 year old kids from the crowd also wearing the shirts. Bono just seemed so alive at that moment, again claiming how great and passionate we Canadians are. One of the greatest moments I've ever heard of or witnessed at a U2 concert.

After a great encore, and a great Mysterious Ways, with Bono dancing with a couple of girls, the show closed with 40, which was an amazing end to the whole thing, and everyone singing "HOW LONG, TO SING THIS SONG" well into after the band already left the stage.

Such an amazing show, such an experience, such an amazing band. So powerful. Such a humbling experience.

With all the greatness of night 1, little did I know that night 2, despite not being as powerful and emotional of a show as night 1, would end up just being one of the single most absurdly amazing experiences of my life, and one I could only dream of from watching all of the DVD's from Elevation.
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Old 05-01-2005, 04:09 AM   #3
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Day 3

Here I'll try to focus more on the personal experience as opposed to the song performances, which I did during day 2.

Arrived at the GA lineup at about 9:30am or so, and was 101st in line. This time around, the lineup was so much smoother. GM Place staff split the lines a LOT earlier, and the numbering system worked a lot better. We were also nicely spread out, and there was a lot of room for everyone. Again, read the paper, and I got some Quiznos and bubble tea for lunch, boy did that taste good!

At about 5pm, there was buzz that someone from the band might show up near the GA line near the entrance to the GM place garage. security set up a perimiter and everything, but unfortunatley, nobody showed.

Soon enough, came the moment where we were going in through the doors. I went through... again, with my "come on baby" chants... but nothing, blue screen of death. I went with amarks86, who was right behind me, but something screwed up with the scanner, so I had to patiently wait a minute or so for them to fix it, when he finally got through, he went up to the laptop, scanned, it lagged... for the LONGEST 5 SECONDS EVER! ... but then..

VERTIGO! VERTIGO VERTIGO!

Ellipse baby!!!!!!!!!!

That was just, wow, so excited, quickly rushed down to the ellipse entrance, like 3 staffers told us to calm down and slow down...

in the ellipse, we got a spot RIGHT in front of where Adam would be, right on the railing.

We also ran into some of the people we met in in the GA lineup who also made the ellipse and we all congratulated each other, good times, good times. The anticipation for the show now was incredible. Watching the Boston and Slane DVD's and the inside of the ellipse, I just dreamed of being able to be inside it, let alone RIGHT ON THE RAILING!

My mom was also at the show, I originally had a second row side stage balcony seat that upon scoring another GA, I gave to my mom for her birthday, which afterwards she told me it was by far the best birthday present she's gotten. She recently really fell in love with the band too, after I started listening to them and watching DVD's a lot in the recent months.

She also said my face was on one of the fan-cam's the whole time during the setting up of U2's stage, which seems kind of... weird...

We were alse right by the stage camera on the rail and snuck a peek at last night's setlist which was still taped on that showed four songs being filmed.

I was so excited the WHOLE time. When Kings of Leon hit the stage, I was cheering them on like crazy. I think I even remember hearing myself yell "YOU ROCK BASS PLAYER!" As well as singing along mimicing Caleb's crazy singing style during the Bucket, which I'm sure made me look like a complete fool.

When U2 hit the stage, it wasn't even an arena show anymore. It turned into something so personal, and so special. It was just incredible. It was just me and the band, nothing around me was there anymore. I felt the freedom to scream at the top of my lungs, sing whenever I felt like it, be attentive and just watch in awe and wonder, as well as just go nuts. It was incredible.

When the band hit the stage, seeing Adam up close was the coolest thing ever. All of them though, there are so many neat little things that you can only notice when you're co close. Adam and Edge making faces at eachother sometimes. Edge just starting blankly into outer space, then noticing something and making a quirky face.

Back to Adam though. Bass players rock, and it was awesome being on Adam's side, because I too am a Bass player, and it was so damn cool to see such a pro up close.

During one of the early songs, I forget which one, possibly Beautiful Day or Vertigo, Bono was out on the Ellipse singing, and everyone around was watching him. I turned around to Adam and started bobbing my head to the bassline, while I was doing it, he looked at me, smiled, then I smiled, then he made an even bigger smile for a few seconds and nodded before finally turning around again.

Some songs, the ones that knew how to play on bass, I would air-bass to over the edge of railing, such as New Year's Day, Bullet the Blue Sky, and Sunday Bloody Sunday, a couple of times Adam noticed and just started to chuckle, which then made me laugh too. I wonder how many times he actually noticed, because some songs, like Bullet, I'd be doing the air-bass, but watching Bono the whole time, especially during the whole blindfold "Jesus, Jew, Muhammad, It's true" bit. I'm sure he noticed on more than one occasion though

There were also these two girls that pushed their way beside me, and were really annoying. What was hilarious though, is how they kept flirting with Adam, and then he winked at them a few times. The annoying part, however, is that 1) On more than one occasion, they said "Come on, when are they gonna play something we know!" during the first half of the show. and 2) During the intro to Miracle Drug, when Bono was giving the story about it's inspiration and who it's about, they WOULDN'T SHUT UP! they kept yammering about stupid shit, I really wanted to smack them or at least yell at them, but I resisted, for one reason or another. They were really annoying though.

Another great moment came during An Cat Dubh, which is such a great live song. Near the end, after Bono did his cat crawling around the ellipse, he came back onto the main stage, and did some of his cat growls. I was really enjoying myself, and then Bono did the final big growl right at me, which I returned right back to him as strongly as I could That was a really great moment that's forever stored in a flash memory in my mind, clear as day

The rest of the show was just so magical, it was very very magical.

Haha, speaking of magic, during into the heart, which Bono pretty much sang all of lying down, and playfully interacting with the crowd off to the side of the ellipse, he did some little hand tricks that parents often do to their kids. Those ones where you'd hit your fists together, and opening and closing one or more fingers with each hit... that was a nice moment.

Some more awesomeness happened during electric co. On Edge's side of the ellipse, these girls had a "Miami <3's U2" sign. Bono noticed it, and busted into a few lines of Miami, I heard Miami, My Mammy... and a few more lines which weren't really audible, but rhythmically sounded a lot like Miami. Then he went right into Send in the Clowns, and he asked those same girls to toss him some lipstick to put on.... he was gesturing around his lips, but the girls had no idea what he wanted, until eventually they realized it and started going through their bags, and Bono smiled and started nodding, like 5 lipsticks went flying at him, but he got the one from the sign girl and put some on for send in the clowns, and then wiped it off with his towel.

But it was all so incredible, seeing everything so up close, it was literally like living in a dream. Such an incredible and personal experience. It was like having the band in my own living room. Something that I don't know I'll ever ever experience again, but having experienced it once, I'll always have that incredible memory.

It was probably the most fun I have ever had, in anything I've done before. I might have even been having too much fun, as pointed out by trevster2k who saw me from his seat on the back of the stage It was incredible though, I couldn't stop moving, I couldn't blink. There's so much that goes on. So much energy, so much everything. Amazing, just amazing.

For those of you that say seats are better than GA because of all the fuss and pushing and everything. If you do manage to get into the ellipse, and right against the railing, it'll be the most amazing thing you could possibly experience, making everything worth it. Unforgettable, simply unforgettable.

Too bad I didn't see more of Edge tough, although it was awesome during 40 when he was on our side, btu even Adam went to the other side of the stage on some songs, and during 40, Edge was just in some sort of trance-like state.

I didn't have a camera, but amarks, who was two people (the annoying girls) to the right of me, took some with his camera phone and posted in a few in another thread.

All in all, I had the most amazing three days of concerts possible. I experienced the best of everything there was to experience at a U2 show. The best seats for the COBL shoot. Then the tip of the Ellipse with Samurai Bono and the rest of the ellipse antics, during one of the most powerful and magical shows the band ever put on. To the third day, and simply the most special and unforgettable experience being right there, right by the band, sharing laughs with Adam and growls with Bono. Writing that just brings the biggest smile to my face, it was just, so magical, all of it.

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Old 05-01-2005, 06:59 AM   #4
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Big Grin

thank you so much for your EXCELLENT review- i actually felt your excitement while i was reading it! i am so happy that you had such a wonderful experience while seeing the band for the first time... congratulations!
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Old 05-01-2005, 08:04 AM   #5
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what a great story--you did such a great job conveying your excitement, and I love all the details. Glad it was such an awesome experience for you
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Old 05-01-2005, 08:19 AM   #6
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Thanks for sharing your story. Great details!!!!
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Old 05-01-2005, 09:01 AM   #7
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Its very good reviews like we love
thank you very very much.
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Old 05-01-2005, 10:43 AM   #8
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Awesome Review. I don't have the patience to do a review like that but mine was pretty similar on Days 1 and 3 as yours. Day 2 was lousy compared to them though with the only real highlight being Bad being in the Balcony compared to Day 3.
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Old 05-01-2005, 03:01 PM   #9
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any pics from april 28? vancouver #1? thanks.
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Old 05-01-2005, 03:42 PM   #10
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Brilliant review - loved it!!!
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by korczykp Day 3

Another great moment came during An Cat Dubh, which is such a great live song. Near the end, after Bono did his cat crawling around the ellipse, he came back onto the main stage, and did some of his cat growls. I was really enjoying myself, and then Bono did the final big growl right at me, which I returned right back to him as strongly as I could That was a really great moment that's forever stored in a flash memory in my mind, clear as day
Haha, I remember that, I saw you at the show; every time I looked that way you were getting so into it. I thought it was really cool during that growling part it looked like he was answering your growl with the big final one.

I was to your left, right in front of centre stage.
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:40 PM   #12
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Excellent review!
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by VanIsle
Haha, I remember that, I saw you at the show; every time I looked that way you were getting so into it. I thought it was really cool during that growling part it looked like he was answering your growl with the big final one.

I was to your left, right in front of centre stage.
yeah! great moment!

ooh, hmm, were you the guy wearing the navy blue shirt with white writing on it?
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Old 05-01-2005, 06:06 PM   #14
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No, not really, but you may have been thinking of me. I was right in front of centre stage, not on the railing, but behind one guy. I was wearing a light blue shirt with black patterns overtop of a navy one, and I was wearing glasses. By the end of the show though I had been pushed and elbowed back behind 4 other people.
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Old 05-01-2005, 06:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by VanIsle
No, not really, but you may have been thinking of me. I was right in front of centre stage, not on the railing, but behind one guy. I was wearing a light blue shirt with black patterns overtop of a navy one, and I was wearing glasses. By the end of the show though I had been pushed and elbowed back behind 4 other people.
ah, yeah, I think I remember you

regardless, great place to be for a U2 show, eh?

great show
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Old 05-01-2005, 10:10 PM   #16
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Those were an amazing 3 days....
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:39 PM   #17
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4/29... when the house lights came up right in the middle of streets... i just wanted to congratulate whoever it was who threw the confetti in the air... it was beautiful, in every way...
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:17 PM   #18
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4/29=amazing
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:19 PM   #19
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April 29th was amazing, with all members of the band helping to create the spirit of Namastay. I only recently learned what the word means, but it was explained by a lady online this way:

Einstein wrote to his curious friend Gandhi to learn the definition of NAMASTAY. Gandhi replied that Namastay was a traditional greeting, and that while he performed it, his mind was saying “ I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of light, love, truth peace, and wisdom. I honor the place in you where, when you are in that place, and I am in that place, there's only one of us."

U2 is one of the few bands that is brutally honest.

During the 04/29 show, there were moments when 20000 people were sharing one space, or one mind, or one dream or one something. It was like Bono invited us into his head, and we fit! When I heard the explanation of the Miracle Drug lyrics, I developed a deeper level of respect for the song and its message. It makes me wonder what truths I've been missing out on in the other songs.

Remember to live, love and laugh and, and I look forward to seeing you again at the next show. In the meantime, thanks for letting me post my philosophical rant.

- Alex -
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Old 05-04-2005, 12:10 AM   #20
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Awesome review!
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