Yes, I was. Right up close. On the floor, peering over boney shoulders, between arms raised to shoot digital photos, on tiptoes, craning my neck so my 5'2" frame might be a momentary giant and I'd get the best view of the rock gods' piercing eyes, euphoric smiles, mad riffs on the $10,000 guitars...
It was a lot of effing work, I tell you!
My stomach muscles feel like I just got done doing 200 v-ups in gymnastics training. Standing on pointe for over two hours requires the strength of Athena, I discovered.
My two U2 buddies flew into Chi-town to meet me for U2 Chicago 2 (in fan geek speak) so we could behave like girls half our ages. We lined up for general admission spots at 11:00 a.m. and didn't return to the hotel room until after 11:30 p.m. During the day, we swapped stories with each other, met fans (the one next to us came from Indonesia! - thus rendering my devotion to the level of a slug) and managed to find a cheeze-bourgor, cheeze-bourgor, cheeze-bourgor place for lunch. I stayed behind while my gal pals dug up the grub.
The U2 cam team came by in a van videotaping the fans for the DVD that would be made that night. So look for me next year when it comes out, will ya? I'm the short one, brunette, with the black training jacket zipped to my chin to stay warm.
When the lines split for general admission fans (club members) versus the rest of the population (about the size of Belize all standing in line), a couple of genuine goons began puking on the pavement in front of us and then hurled racial slurs and invectives across to other fans. I will spare you their grotesqueries. Twelve big security personnel swooped into the riotous applause of the crowd and hustled them away, stripping these two bozos of their tickets. While we cheered, the fan cam took full advantage. So if you see wild cheering from tired fans in line on the DVD, you'll know the truth - we were cheering for the security team, not U2. :)
Inside, we skipped to our places on the floor. I will also spare you the rude behavior of the late-arriving GA fans who were bitchy and snippy and have really small breasts (I am not petty) and then dared to hassle us, the bone weary, full of urine, starving fans for wanting to hold our spots while we PEED, for god's sake. Suffice to say, the pushy lot of them found a way to edge my friends and me out of our spots by night's end. I did voodoo behind their backs.
Caution: If you 're 5'2" and want to attend a concert on the floor, wear platform shoes, bring a tall and burly date/hubster or buy a seat ticket. I had the damndest time seeing the show.
However, all was instantly forgiven the first time Bono peered down on us and I could see the cracks in his face! Oh joyous moment! Adam posed on the catwalk like a super model with a bass. We were on the Edge's side and his fingers flew. Finally uninterrupted fixed vision on his hands and parade of expensive, gorgeous guitars. Bliss.
The reviews for Sat. Chicago 1 were rude and unnecessarily harsh - so much so, Bono entered the arena under a cloud. He spent the first couple of songs exorcising his demons, or at the least, healing his hurt feelings. He even changed the lyrics of one line to say "even with a bad review."
But once he was convinced we were with him, the night flew and he relaxed and sang like his old self: with power, and nuance. That there is anything left of our tiny rock star at the end of a night, is astounding. That he can do this night after night for a year is, well, godlike. I'll write more about the actual concert later when I can go over the highs and lows.
The show must be good. It sure sounded good. What I saw, I loved, loved, loved. But I feel like I missed the effect of the arena show... which means my trip to Cleveland for our next concert stop will be well worth it since we have seats. :) Wanna come?