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"No one in Dublin was interested in us and we came down here as a last resort." — Adam, on U2 winning the Limerick Civic Week Pop '78 Competition

by Beesch

beesch here

the past few days have been quite surreal. and folks, its just heating up. 4 nights of chitown are coming our way.

just a fair warning, this may be a bit long. i am irish of course, so we are known to ramble, especialy when drinking, but still making some sense. so, if you want to only skim or just delete, go right ahead.

Tuesday- calm before the storm

it started tuesday during the day. met up with my good friend Tony coming in from Omaha, had a italian beef from Sammys, got a birthday hat for the show, went to the brewers game saw my cubs lose but bucks won. 2-0. bring on the finals.

that night at the Vox, a last minute gathering of U2 fans came together. it was short notice, because we were about as disorganized asthe bradley center, but a few poeple turned out and it was a good time. Saw susan, met John, had a blast. Drank a bit, which i paid a bit for in the morning. a wierd moment happened when i toke a stroll outside with my sister. a guy pulls up in a car asking for directions to a bar about a block away. i recognize this guy right away, its Ray King of the Milwaukee Brewers. he asks us to hop in and go with him to the bar. how can you turn down that! he buys us a beer and we get an autograph afterwards and head back. a friend from my work knows Ray and he said that he was a great guy, and he sure was.

Friday-- this day will owe me nothing

so, we planned on getting to the place early, 7am. but as it happens because of our festivities to previous night, we dont make it down there until 9:30. i did call Susan in line to get an update and she said everything was cool, about 20 people so i wasnt sweating it. that much. ok bullshit, i was a nervous wreck until i got down there with worse case scenarios going through my mind. but i settled once we got down there.

waited in line for hours, got sunburned. was sitting next to amy and didnt even know it! =)
so, my friends get back at about 3:30. we would always have one person in line while the others went off to get food or bathroom. i take off with Tony at 3:30 to check out the service lot. as we are walking up we see a few fans, but no action really. then a big tour bus pulls up. now the static in the air is getting up there. after 15 minutes of waiting , out strolls PJ Harvey. she looked a lot different to me than the magazines and the videos, but she still looked good. well, after seeing that, there was no way in hell i was going to leave.
then i met amy and we were all just bubbling because we knew they would come. soon.
but they closed the gate we were waiting at and left the other open. damn. thoughts of running to the other gate were coming to mind, but amy, bless her soul, reminded me that PJ walked into the bradley center from a door close to OUR gate. the hell if i was moving, what was i THINKING!??

so, at about 4pm, were waiting, seeing nothing. and this black car want to get in. it tooted the horn. it took us a while to get the light bulb in our head. plus the windows were tinted, but eventually we woke up from our stupor. THATS LARRY MULLEN JR!!!!

Larry got out, signed autographs, posed with people. it was great. i got my picture taken with him, and said thank you for everything. he hung out for about 5-10 minutes. while he was doing this, the tour bus came into the gate. i asked larry how he felt about the tour so far and he said it was great. i also asked him if he was able to get out on his bike at all yet and see the harley plant ( which is made proudly in milwaukee!!!) and he said unfortunately no not yet.
cool, i just asked larry some questions nd got a response. i was really excited and close to tears. so many emotions. after he went in, we hawked the tour bus as if our lives depended on it. out came adam and edge, both waving to us as we yelled. and after a bit of time that seemed like an eternity. John, bonos bodyguard, comes over and tells us that bono will come over, but no pushing and kep it calm. no problem.
here comes the man. i could not believe it. he was totally cool, down to earth. very friendly, and tried to sign everybodys stuff. he was out there for about 5-10 minutes. hell i don[t know, who the hell looks at their watch when bono is standing there in front of them.
i wished him a happy birthday, got a few pictures, shook the mans hand, said thank you, and congradulated him on the drop the debt campaign. he said there still is a lot of work to be done. i bet i looked like a dork wearing a plastic blue happy birthday hat. who cares.

so bono goes back inside, and we go back to get in line.

what the hell happened here??!! so , when i left, things were in order right. a nice single file line. now it was 150 people packed up into the lobby area. that was not cool. i lost my spot. wait a MINUTE!! I JUST MET BONO AND LARRY!!! WHO CARES ABOUT ANY LINE!!
after that i take one trip to the restroom, and get sidetracked. the bradle center has these side doors large enough for semi trucks, and we hear some rattling from it. we step up, put our ear to the door, and we could hear the soundcheck!!!!!! this is so cool, and the show hast even started yet.
i listened to them soundcheck discotheque about 3 times. they were messing around with the beginning. larry completely messed up once and i though it was hilarious. these guys are human after all. i heard a bit of new york and just went on my way.

finally, after about a 30minutes stress panic attack of fear of not getting into the heart, i got there. cool. once in the heart i got my wristbands and was free to finally relax. out of the corner of my eye i see bonos bodyguard in the heart. i walked up and thanked him for bringing bono out. he said no prob, the uys love meeting the fans and they really mean it when they try to do a lot of things for you. i ended up talking to him for about 15 minutes. hell, i even got a picture with him he was so cool. i had that blue hat on too, so hopefully if i ever see him again i could remind him of that and he would remeber that. who knows.

The Greatest Show On Earth

PJ Harvey took the stage, ad put on a good warm up act. i must say that i didnt know much of her stuff, but she was cool. it could have been worse. i knew that the boys come up with the lights on, and with that elevation remix playing. i tried getting on the side where they walk up but security stopped me, so i just stood right below where edge would be. here they come. OH MAN!!! I AM CLOSE!! much closer than POPMart and better too because no seats. i really didnt have many pictures left because i took so many of larry and bono before. but i got a few off, still need to develope though. after taking a few i went in the middle ofthe heart and hopped around with my friends. it was great. truley a club show in an arena. Bonos voice was on the entire night, edge adam and larry were in top form. here are the highlights to my best U2 show ever!!!!

--GONE i was hopping mad. Im not coming down!!! i was to only one hopping really high. during one refrain, it looked like bono was looking at me, kinda nodded, but i might be making that up. but, Susan made me feel good when she said the same thing, and she was outside the heart.

-- I WILL FOLLOW Bono totally free versed before your eyes...make a circle. four guys chasing a dream, dream out loud!! it was great.

-- Bono talking about missing the Lemon, and a lot about space travel.

--STAY and DESIRE ad libbing milwaukee, the crowd did that! i love desire and pride. anything to get the whole place singing along. truly magical and religous.

--Bono making it around the heart running in 15 seconds. i timed him.

-The home crowd while i was skeptical at first, milwaukee brought it to the table. we were loud! and i loved it. Bono made a reference to the Palms, where U2 first played in milwaukee.

--Bono starting to sing happy birthday to himself, and letting us finish. then him laughing. that was cool seeing him laugh.he was truly having a good time.

so, after following him around the heart whenever i had a chance, and gave it a real effort for New York, FINALLY, during The Fly, Bono comes over by our area and is reaching down to play, tease the girl in front of me. it was the perfect moment. i held up the blue plastic bowl style birthday hat so he could see it and see the happy birthday. he took it. HE TOOK IT!!!!!! he then wore it a bit, then held it out like he was begging. he was saying love? love? as he was begging with it. some people did throw coins and i started to feel bad as one plunked off his head. but he didnt seem to mind and he started the whole begging thing! =) someone threw a dollar on stage, and he pocketed it. then he put the hat on the ground and did a magic trick!! with his hands he held up a 1 in one had and a fist with the other. then he hit his hands together and the one jumped hands. then he did it again, then a second finger appeared, and then he just held up the peace sign. it was totally cool. i didnt get the hat back, but i never wanted it back, i just wanted to give it to bono to wear for his birthday, and it happened.

so, the show is over, i am sunburned, tired, legs sore. dehydrated, ears ringing.

i couldnt be happier in my life. it was the best day of my life. and its only getting started. tomorrow, 5 days of U2 craziness kicks off in chicago. i cant wait.

hello to susan, john, amy, Mike Dann ( very cool that we met!) and the two girls i dont remeber their names, but saw them at the soundcheck door.
sorry i didnt meet more people, but we got the week, month, years after that.

U2 in chitown. the next chapter beings....


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