@U2 Home Page - U2 News, Lyrics, Tour Dates & more       https://www.atu2.com
[Skip to Content]

"[The Joshua Tree] captures something that Bono has live, which we haven't done before." — Larry

Got the Sun, Got the Sand, Got a Long Day of Waiting to See the Band

@U2
8:00 a.m. Palm Pilot alarm goes off

8:17 a.m. Clothing selected to be worn for the next 17 hours

8:23 a.m. Eat a nutritious bowl of Frosted Flakes

8:27 a.m. Hop in the shower

8:33 a.m. Immerse skin with SPF 45

8:47 a.m. Leave house to head to National Car Rental Center Arena

9:02 a.m. Stop off at local Publix Grocery Store for water, Gatorade and fruit

10:14 a.m. Arrive at arena -- drop off fianc with food/beverages/chairs/umbrella/etc.

10:22 a.m. Park car across the street (save in paying $10 parking at arena)

10:35 a.m. Sit down in line for GA. 27 fans already in line

10:39 a.m. Line told to move back about 20 yards* (far better than on March 24th when they didn't do that until around 3:30 p.m.)

10:41 a.m. GA notice goes up to indicate this is where the line for GA is

Note: the first fans arrived at the arena at 4:30 a.m. They started a list of names to document who was in line so that those dedicated fans wouldn't lose out of their placement on the floor to folks who arrived at 4:30 p.m. The one disadvantage of starting a list is that it can get easily lost which did happen and a new one started with the new names at the start of the line (which also did happen).

Many fans did take heed from what others went through on March 24 they came prepared with their heavy-duty sun block, plenty of water, beach umbrellas, and a game of Twister. With the temperature at 80-degrees and not a cloud in the sky, great care was taken to ensure that no one suffered from sunstroke or heat exhaustion.

10:47 a.m. Atlas Van Lines and Upstaging trailers get in place to assist in tonight's load out.

11:05 a.m. 2 security guards finally show up to start watching the GA line

11:20 a.m. 37 people now in line

11:31 a.m. 44 people now in line

11:50 a.m. Crew bus enters the Lexus Level North Garage

12:05 p.m. 55 people

12:07 p.m. National Car Rental Center announcements begin. These announcements last 2 minutes and 10 seconds, run on a loop with Achtung Baby being played in the background. Everyone who is waiting in GA must listen to these announcements for at least the next 6 hours. Announcement states that the doors open at 6 p.m., the Corrs will take the stage at 7:30 and U2 will take the stage at 8:30. It also states all of the items -- including Frisbees -- that will not be allowed into the arena.

12:20 p.m. 62 people now in line

12:50 p.m. 70 people now in line

1:10 p.m. Beer arrives

1:12 p.m. 80 people now in line

3:30 p.m. Bono arrives at the backstage area, signs posters, shirts -- just about anything. Answers a fan's question about when "Kite" will be performed (not 'til Washington, D.C.).

3:40 p.m. Merchandise arrives outside. Cash only outside, but they'll take credit cards inside the arena.

3:47 p.m. There are now 150 people in line for GA. The list that was started by the first group of people is now lost.

4:14 p.m. Close to 200 people now in line for GA. Tough to keep count now that the sign-up list has been lost.

At this point, there are enough folks in line that reunions are now taking place. Fans from the various different online chat forums are now putting a screen name to a face. Some fans who hadn't seen each other since the last tour are now catching up on what has happened to each other over the past four years. Quite heartwarming, really. I find myself getting caught up in it as well.

5:17 p.m. Boys in one line, girls in another line. A security officer starts walking up and down the GA line asking for trash and contraband. At this point, anyone trying to bring in items ranging from bubbles to cameras, beach balls to Irish flags start concealing them the best they can.

6:12 p.m. Doors still not open and the sky is turning quite dark and stormy.

6:27 p.m. Doors finally open. Security officers are wearing latex gloves and start patting down fans entering the arena. Once in the arena, fans received an orange tyvek wristband. The security officers kept telling fans to slow down and walk down to the floor.

6:34 p.m. Fans exiting the heart receive an additional white checkered tyvek wristband to allow for re-entrance into the heart.

6:46 p.m. Leave the heart to enjoy one of those $3.00 20 oz. cups of soda.

7:30 p.m. Right on time, the Corrs start. Andrea Corr uses the same "I love you, too" line as she did the night before. Same set list as the night before as well. Finishes spot-on-the nose at 8:15 p.m.

At this point, time really started to stand still (yet move so quickly). All of U2's roadies were up on stage, preparing it for the band. Paul McGuinness was spotted taking a picture of some VIPs on the stage. At about 8:40, the photographers were brought out and positioned.

8:55 p.m. Just like during opening night, U2 took the stage with the house lights on. By this point, the comfort level within the heart started to wane due to a good number of VIPs entering into it. There were many "suits" from SFX led into the heart area along with management VIPs and other family members of the crew. Whatever comfort level fans had within the heart was gone by the first minute of Elevation. Looking over to the fans outside of the heart, crushing had already started towards the heart's tip -- the place where Bono spent a great deal of time at during the show.

From that point on, it was every person for themselves in the GA area. I was standing at the rail on Edge's side, towards the fattest part of the heart. One thing fans in this area needed to watch out for were the wire-gauze screens that came down during "New York" and "With or Without You." The security in the pit area did not notice the screens until fans warned them as the screens were descending.

One thing that did strike me during the show was how UNREHEARSED this show was from opening night. Opening night was quite polished and flowed. The show on the 26th brought out the kitchy-side in Bono. He was given a lemon garland by one fan in the audience, which he wore during most of "New York." He was then given a punching nun, which he cradled during "New Year's Day."

He also brought a gal up on stage during "Mysterious Ways," and once again during "With or Without You."

However, the one item that really sticks in my mind of the show is the inability for Bono to remember the lyrics to the songs. When PopMart started in Las Vegas, "Staring at the Sun" was the thorn in their side. This evening, it was "Angel of Harlem." Edge stood there dumbfounded, looking at Bono as Bono was struggling to remember what rhymed with "Lady Day's got bloodshot eyes." Bono did say afterwards, "I must apologize," and fans forgave him for it.

The March 26th show had 2 songs less than opening night (missing: "Ground Beneath Her Feet" and "Gone"), however it felt like the show lasted the same length of time. Perhaps it was because Bono spent more time performing "Bad" and "Bullet."

The concert was over with around 10:50 p.m., and immediately security began to aggressively get fans out of the GA area so that breakdown could happen. In a complete contrast to the serene manner the fans were allowed into GA, they were being herded and yelled at to move faster -- some pushed out of the GA area. This left me with a very unsettled feeling that now that the experience was over, the fans really did not matter to anyone anymore. Show was over and we don't care was the sentiment from the local security crews. Local security crews went so far to overstep U2's own people who were telling certain fans to stay in a particular area while they went to get a guitar pick or a set list.

After seeing the show from the Gold Circle area on opening night and GA on the 2nd night, I am quite impressed with the level of safety that was put into place in the GA area within the heart. However, there is still much left to be done with the fans outside of the heart. As far as concert ticket pricing is concerned, the show is worth the $85 ticket level, but there are no show-stoppers as were promised that would warrant 20 percent of the audience paying over double what was charged at previous U2 shows.

It is still thrilling to see the band that has changed your life in so many ways, and it's still quite wonderful to hear the songs you love performed live (and quite loud). U2 have said that the first 30 days or so of a tour is when the squeaky wheel gets fixed, so if this is how they're performing at the start of the tour, I can't wait until I see them in Boston!

12:23 a.m. Finally home!

© @U2/Colombaro, 2001. All rights reserved.