Sunday, October 4, 2009

U2 - Magnificent!!

Several months ago, I mentioned to Dave that U2 was coming to Raleigh in October and would he like to go see them since it was around his birthday. I knew that he had always wanted to see them in concert and I thought it would be a blast too. Gia said she would keep the kids for us so we could even spend the night in Raleigh if we wanted to; so, we got online and bought tickets for the U2 360 tour. After we had purchased our tickets, Dave found out that he was going to be down in Pensacola, FL for safety school over that weekend but didn't think it would be a problem to fly up to Raleigh, catch the concert and fly back to Pensacola. We checked on flights and it was only going to cost about $200 so we thought "great"! We should have just gone ahead and gotten the plane ticket but we wanted to make sure that it would be okay for him to leave. By the time he got it cleared, the price of the plane ticket had jumped to about $600 - $800! So instead of flying, Dave left Pensacola on Friday afternoon after his class and drove for awhile that night. He stopped and spent the night in a hotel and drove the rest of the way on Saturday. I headed to Raleigh after Zachary's soccer game on Saturday morning and we both arrived at our hotel, the Embassy Suites, within a half hour of each other.
We were so happy to see each other even though it had been less than a week that he had been gone. We had a nice dinner at Bonefish Grill and then headed to the concert. Muse was the opening act and Dave didn't care much about them but I was looking forward to seeing them. As soon as we got on I-40 we saw that we might have a problem. Traffic was at a complete stand still. We were only 4 1/2 miles from the stadium but it took us 2 1/2 hours to get there. It was so frustrating! Needless to say, we missed all of Muse. When we finally did get to our seats, the lights were on and they were getting the stage and everything ready for U2. Even though I was disappointed that I didn't get to see Muse, we were both so relieved that we didn't miss any of U2.
A few songs into the show at Carter-Finley Stadium, Bono paused to survey his domain. And he addressed the packed house with the egomaniacal charm we've all come to know and love. He said, "We've got old songs, we've got new songs, we've got songs we can barely play. And we've got a spaceship!" Yes, it was hard not to notice what has to be the most elaborately ginormous stage setup in rock history -- a huge, claw-shaped beast that looked like a vertigo-inducing theme-park ride.

The imposing centerpiece, a four-pronged UFO anchored by a glowing 164-foot pylon and cylindrical LED screen, loomed over a sprawling stage with footbridges that glide around ringed catwalks. Each of the three "claw" structures that leapfrog along the itinerary requires 37 trucks and cost upward of $40 million. The trek entails a total fleet of 200 trucks, a crew of 400 and a daily overhead of $750,000. Dave and I saw the trucks, row after row of bright red shiny semis all lined up outside the stadium.

The headline portion of the evening opened with David Bowie's "Space Oddity" as prelude music. Larry Mullen Jr. entered first, sitting down at his drums to start bashing. Guitarist Dave "The Edge" Evans was next, with bassist Adam Clayton right behind. And Bono was last out, of course. Bono wasted no time hitting the heroic poses on the opener "Breathe," a track from the current album "No Line on the Horizon."

I loved it when Bono led 60,000 people in "Amazing Grace" during the encore version of "One." And during "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," Bono pointed at the moon and sang the opening of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" ("When the night has come/And the land is dark/And the moon is the only light we will see ...") with everyone singing right along with him. It was magnificent! Another favorite moment of mine was when Bono dedicated "New Year's Day" to the members of the United States Military. I was very proud to be standing there by Dave's side. Bono's word of the evening was magnificent.......and it truly was!

This was the setlist for the night:
Get On Your Boots
Mysterious Ways
Beautiful Day / C Moon (snippet)
No Line On The Horizon
In A Little While
New Year's Day
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Stand By Me (snippet)
Stuck In A Moment
The Unforgettable Fire
Mofo (snippet) / City Of Blinding Lights
Crazy Tonight / Thank You (Falettin Me Be Mice Elf Again) (snippet)
Sunday Bloody Sunday / Rock The Casbah (snippet) / People Get Ready (snippet)
Walk On / You'll Never Walk Alone (snippet)

One / Amazing Grace (snippet)
Where The Streets Have No Name
Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
With Or Without You
Moment of Surrender


Ellis Family said...

I loveeeeeeeeeeeeee that you got to go and ONLY missed Muse! I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeee my U2 Tee-shirt - THANK YOU! And, I love you ;)

canscrap4u2 said...

great pictures! Were you really close?