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"[I]t's absurd that a singer in a rock band puts on a pinstripe suit and goes for a walk down Wall Street banging on doors. But you know what? They opened." — Bono




by Elsha

Happy Anniversary U2!



Finally after a whole year of waiting to see U2 live the big day was finally drawing near. I was so excited because I had been waiting for so long. The first show was in Denver this time and we were driving once again. The weather had been pretty bad for about a month. It would not stop raining and I was really worried about the weather for the day of the show. It was kind of funny though because for the last hour of the drive as I was listening to U2 on my phone almost every song mentioned the rain. Little did I realize how much it would mean when during Electrical Storm it says we need the rain to wash away our bad luck.

We drove in on Thursday night and then Friday night we went to a fan gathering and Under a Blood Red Sky concert at the Hard Rock Caf. That was so much fun because I got to be on the front row right in front of Tedge. My friend Rachel and Dave came too. It was a great show especially when Tedge came and played guitar right behind me. Another cool thing was when Billy Bono sang, All I Want is You right to me. Little did I know how that song would come to be even more special the next day.

Saturday was the big day and it had finally arrived. We got to the venue at about 1pm. We visited the merchandise shop and then went to see all my friends in the GA ticket line. It was really cool to see everyone especially since I only get to see them when U2 are on tour. After we got pictures with my friends we headed for the spot that we suspected that the boys would come in. we were in the right spot at about 2:30pm and had heard that they might be leaving the hotel at about 3pm. We stood behind fences with Dave and Mary Marbaugh, Rachael Dowd, and David Starck. It wasnt raining which was nice but it was definitely windy. We were all blown by the wind but that is ok. Thankfully Rachael held up a Bono bag in front of my face to keep the sand from getting in my eyes. I had brought my poster from the Vegas concert that my friend Marcy made that says, Yo Bono can Elsha come up to see the view? As we were waiting Mom saw Dallas Schoo, Edges guitar tech walk by. We started calling his name and he came right over. He talked to us, read the poster and then gave Rachael and me a Bono guitar pick. Then Sam OSullivan came over and talked with us for a few minutes. Not too much longer after that two black SUVS came driving up. Everyone knew it was Bono and the boys. Bono got out first but went to the fans across from us. I was worried that we wouldnt get to see him but just then Edge came to our side and walked down the line to us. He said hello and looked at my rings like his. He thought they were pretty cool and then he headed down the line on to the other side.

Bono got closer to us after holding a little girl and signing her Bono jersey. That was adorable! When he finally got to us my mom asked if he remembered Elsha. He said Hey, How you doing? I havent seen you in ages! How have you been? Hows your health? I told him that was doing great especially now that he was there. It was really sweet that one of the first things he asked was about my health. Dad asked if he remembered the picture in my book of me backstage with them in Denver and he said that he did and then went to sign it with a black sharpie. Mom said we had a silver one. He said, she always goes posh. So he signed it Bono with a posh pen. It was so funny! He looked at a few of the other pages and mom asked if he wanted to see my pictures of my bedroom. He did and signed it Your blue room and drew a flower. Just as he was about to walk down the line Mom showed him my Africa book and told him that because of him that is what I do. He said, Oh, cool can I keep this or is it yours? I said sure you can have it! He asked how many of them I had. We said just that one but I could get another one. He said, ok, I want it. And then told the bodyguard Brian to put them in his dressing room. Totally awesome! In the meantime, Brian asked for my address and email address because he had something for me that he had kept since The Sundance Film Festival. It was really cool and then he had the other bodyguard come back and ask for my phone number. That was even more exciting! The best thing was that my friends were there to share it with me especially Rachael and Dave who captured it all on video. It was just a great day all around actually.

After hanging out with Bono and the crew, Dave, Rachael and us headed into the show. We all hung out and luckily Rachael ended up being able to sit by us the whole time. It was really fun because Dave came and stood next to me for almost the entire concert. That was so much fun! Right before they were about to sing, All I Want is You Bono said this is for a little girl and her mother. Dave and Rachael both looked at Mom and I. Then Mom started crying. That was really sweet of Bono. It was just like the exact same thing that happened 6 years and one month before when I had just been backstage with U2 and then Bono singing Miracle Drug for a sick young lady. With a great day, awesome setlist, many wonderful surprises, and sharing it all with your best friends the best way to describe the day is what Dave said to Bono that same day 6 years and one month to the day ago the magic happened! and we will definitely never forget it.

Elsha Stockseth
The Even Bigger Biggest Little U2 Fan in the World

*This was my first time in a true big city and I was really surprised by all the homeless people. It was really sad to see them digging in the trash for food, eating the scraps left on the outdoor restaurant tables, and sleeping in the entrances to the shops in their sleeping bags at night. You know I used to be kind of scared to be around people like that but after reading the book, Same Kind of Different as Me, I realized that they are just people like everyone else. They were some of the friendliest people I have ever met. They were always the first to wave and say hi. I never felt afraid of them, I only wished I could do something to help them. I was only afraid of the group of drunk teenagers who were yelling at each other and following behind us at 12am.

*After the U2 show we had to walk down a long road and under the overpass to get back on the light rail train to our hotel. There seemed to be thousands of people doing the same thing and I was a little worried about getting pushed or bumped in the crowd. Surprisingly everyone was very courteous and kept in a nice order. The most amazing thing happened during the walk that night. As we got closer to the overpass we could hear music playing. It turned out to be a great African American saxophone player. He was playing The Star Spangled Banner. Everyone was just chatting with each other and then almost like a flash mob one person started singing until we all joined in. Although the song was hallway over once everyone started singing it was quite loud at the end. Then a few people yelled, Play ball! which was pretty funny but I have never had a feeling like that before and it made me proud to be an American.

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