How I didn't get to play with story....

The friendliest place on the web for anyone that follows U2.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Jun 22, 2000
Boston, MA, USA
This is a story about ambition...

NOTE: This is a fairly long story, so only read if you have extra time. I know that some of you will relate to the way I felt. I also suspect that some may want to call me all kinds of names, which is fine with me too
If you're not sure if you want to read this or not, here's a brief table of contents:

- How I tried to get picked to play guitar
- Bono's reaction
- Edge's reaction
- What Dallas Schoo said to me before the show on Oct 31.
- And finally how I understood what a U2 show is about

Okay, here goes, this is my story. After seeing three shows in the summer, and being in the heart at the show when a fan named Glen got pulled up to play People Get Ready (Boston #2), and reading the stories of Arun V and the other guy (can't recall the name) who played the song on this leg, I was DETERMINED to get up on stage with U2, the band that inspired me to buy a guitar and take lessons back when I was in high school.

On my way to the 1st Providence show, I stopped at K-Mart to buy poster board and markers. In the parking lot before the show, I hastily wrote:

C Am F C


Providence, R.I. October 30, 2001:

I was able to get a spot within two people of the rail on the outside of the heart (left side). Before the show everyone around asked me what the sign said, and when they read it they all wished me luck and some guys even offered to lift me up if necessary. I was very grateful for the all the kind wishes - it was amazing to see how selfless and kind U2 fans really are.

When the show started I only flashed my sign a bunch of times (not to block anyone's view ) not sure whether or not Bono saw it. After Angel of Harlem (right before the acoustic set), however, I was screaming "Bono" and thrusting my sign high in the air over my head. Bono turned to look at me, read the sign, and started chuckling. All I could do was to repeatedly scream "Bono, Bono, Bono...." I could feel that Bono saw my insane determination to be up on that stage. Grinning without restraint, he pointed two fingers at me (a Captain Picard-like "engage" if anyone's a star trek fan) as if to say "Gotcha" or maybe more like "Look at that guy, Holy Shit!" :) Then the Edge came up and they went into Please, and the intro to Bad started playing right afterwards.

I have to admit I was a bit disappointed, but I knew that if they had decided to play People Get Ready, it would have been me and no one else. That realization lifted me up, and I drove away that night in high spirits, knowing that there will be tomorrow's show (my last on this tour).


October 31, 2001:

This was my last show on the tour, and I was even more determined to fullfill my dream of playing with U2. I got a spot close to where I was the night before except this time I was only one person away from the railing, and a bit closer to the tip of the heart. Before the show I wrote

C Am F C

on the other side of my sign.

After the Stereophonics left the stage and the crew was changing sets, I saw Dallas (Edge's guitar tech) starting to make a lap around the heart testing that plain looking acoustic guitar which I knew very well from several pictures - it was that same one they gave the fans who played with U2 on this leg of the tour! My heart jumped, and I showed Dallas my sign (side 1). He read it and kept walking, then suddenly he turned around, came back, leaned down to me and said "They're gonna do Wild Honey." I was amazed! That guy must have the biggest kindest heart in the industry of rock and roll. (You always see him giving fans U2 guitar picks, and other relics) He came back just to tell me not to get my hopes up! I know it was only out of compassion!

Well, what can I say - I was a bit taken aback. Now I realize that I should've known if a crew member chose to tell me to forget it, it wasn't going to happen! But I was too ambitious and hopeful to give up!

The show started and Larry's birthday was celebrated. I'm not gonna go into detail of how unique this particular show was - it will all be covered in other posts. During Until the End of the World, when The Edge was right next to me I held up my sign (side 2). Edge read it, gave me a smile, and kept playing. (It is pretty impressive how they can play every note without a glitch yet be aware of everything that's going on around them) Bono read my sign too during Sunday Bloody Sunday - he was right above me, but didn't show any acknowledgement this time (I was no longer screaming, I just raised the sign up humbly and in silence, in tune with the somber mood of the performance - it was just me saying "I'm still here if you need me").

When it came down to the acoustic set and B+E came up to the tip, I was once again waving my sign screaming "Bono" (My sincere apologies to the people behind me who were tapping on my back because the couldn't see)

Hearing Wild Honey was bittersweet for me. It was my favorite song off of ATYCLB, but I could also feel my dream crumbling into dust.
When they went into Please with that friend of theirs Brody, or whatever his name was (who is that guy anyhow?), I was genuinely upset. I knew it was over. Please was my favorite off of Pop, but I was just too upset to hear it. I felt a whole range of emotions, one of them (and i hope you forgive me) was anger at the band for bringing that guy up to play keyboards instead of a true fan. I just felt like that guy was very weak instrument and talentwise and added nothing to the song.

When the intro to Bad kicked in I was no longer part of the show. I was a detached observer. I felt like a child watching everyone though his tears. I stood numb in the middle of a crowd that was going wild. (This was a very interesting experience) My emotions were boiling up inside of me. I just stood there and at the end of the song I belted out "let it go" along with bono with such volume and intensity that I was taken aback.


The Conclusion (finally, right?)

For the rest of the show I was more an observer than a fan. I was no longer jumping with everyone and no longer singing. I had the urge to throw something at Bono to let out my frustration. I felt like a worshiper let down by his heroes. (I know it was foolish to see it that way, but I was lost in my emotions, and the disappointment I felt was pretty big because of how ambitious I was to play) All kinds of thoughts started coming - What the hell am I doing here?...This is my 5th show!...I've spent 500+ dollars...I have an exam tomorrow morning...I skipped two days of classes...this is not my life...I'm just deceiving myself, etc... Anotherwords I never thought I could feel so crap at a U2 show. The only thing that saved me that night was doing a good deed. I saw a girl who was very short a couple of people behind, struggling to see over their backs. I offered to trade places with her - it was the least I could do after being so selfish with wanting to be onstage. By doing this I was able to drown my sorrows, so to speak, so that I finished the show starting to get back into it.

After having done what I had just done I felt a connection with the people around me. I felt their approval without words. Instead of looking at the band, I statrted looking at the people around me, at their facial expressions, at their emotuions. After seeing so many concerts on this tour I finally undestood the point of a U2 show. It's not about the band or any one person - It's about love and compassion and unity with those around you. It hit me like a flash of lightntning as I sang Hallelujah at the top of my lungs. Just a few more brief moments and the show was over.

- Alex

[This message has been edited by EdgeZTV (edited 11-02-2001).]
Really like the ending to your story - but remember the guy who played on Please was pre-arranged so don't take it personally that Bono didn't pull you onstage!

If you're still determined on the next tour get there early and put your banner on the rail at the tip - that way they'll see it immediately and it will be easier for them to pull you up - and they'll also realise the effort you went to to get that spot. Good luck!
Top Bottom