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"People are always trying to make us something. Why won't they accept us as being four people?" — Bono



by Arlan Elizabeth


Its early afternoon on Sunday, October 23, 2005. Ive just returned home from last nights U2 concert, but already it feels as if it were a dream. I feel so overwhelmed with delirium and exhilaration that I cant stand the thought of having to return to my everyday life in the next few hours. My upstairs bathroom is leaking into the guest room below; I have to put the trash out tonight; I have papers to grade. But right now, nothing is as important to me as what happened last night. My distraction will be evident for days, if not weeks.

Yesterday, I got in line at the Civic Arena about 8:45 AM and was number 67. Good luck, I thought. I was born in 67. My companions joined me around noon, bringing hats and gloves, some snacks and water. It rained all day, sometimes heavily, at other times, only a light mist. As the day progress, the wind picked up and the temperature seemed to get colder, but it may just have been that I didnt have any core heat left to keep me warm. Id camped out in the snow for tickets to my first showApril 9, 1985so I knew I could withstand a little water and fifty-degree temperatures. Plus, Id seen this tour in Dublin in June and knew the sacrifice was worth it. (I didnt write a review then, but think I will retro-post something this week in order to keep this current reverie going. I've got great pics from that show.)

Unbelievably, we scanned into the ellipse on my sisters ticket, so the three of usHeidi, Diana and Iwere some of the first fans right up front against the railing. We stood between center stage and The Edge, with perfectly unbroken sight lines to Larry and Adam. Id been on the floor for two previous shows, but never in the front. Always someone or something had been between the band and me. Up front in my COEXIST t-shirt, I had reached Nirvana.

Ill give you night two at the MCI center this week in D.C., but I raise you last nights show in Pittsburgh. It gets no better. I hope that Detroit and the rest of the dates get as good a show. Doesnt Bono ever get tired? Dont these guys age? After reading how good Thursday nights show was, I was anticipating an off night. But, it was a Saturday and the band seemed to feed off the audiences frenzied weekend response. The Edges face LIGHTS UP when he smiles, and Adam has NEVER looked better. When did he become the best looking member of the band?

Ive never seen them play more for the audience. At one point when Bono was out on the ellipse with The Edge, he missed a high note, stopped the song, asked The Edge to go back and replay a few bars so he could try it again. What a thrill to see such a human moment between one of the best song writing duos of all time. Bono actually stopped the show for someone in the audience saying I dont think Ive ever signed an autograph in the middle of a show before. During Sunday Bloody Sunday, I found it unexpectedly poignant to see him to pull two small boys up on stage, sit them on the monitors and sing to them, for them. I dont know if the boys understood the significance of what was happening, but Bono seemed fully present in the moment and the effort was completely authentic. I had a small sign with me that said Bono, will you dance with me? which got acknowledgment from each of the band members, but it was lucky, lucky Alan who got pulled on stage from behind the ellipse. He played Party Girl with The Edge, then got a bottle of Veuve Cliquot to take home with him. Alan, it was nice meeting you outside after the showyou seem like a sweet, deserving kid and I hope you made it back to Cleveland safely. Rock on, my friend.

The U2 experience is always more than just the music. We met the nicest people in line yesterday; Shannon and Curt (also from Pgh), Scott and Jobie from North Carolina, Mike and several people from outside Columbus, two guys from Erieone of whom who has named his son Hewson. Thank you all for filling a cold wet day with your warmth and humor. There are no fans like U2 fans. I hope we meet again.

Some things I dont know but would like toif you do, please email me at arvox@adelphia.net and fill me in: Who is Lucy, the person Bono said has also been opening up for them on this tour? Did I misunderstand or have I missed something--? Also, Bono dedicated a song to the family of a young man (Matt?)who is he and whats the story behind the dedication?

Im hoping to make it to Cleveland, if it doesnt cost too much to get my plumbing fixed. This feeling is like a drug that I cant get enough of. Already, I can feel myself coming down and its going to be a hard Monday morning landing. I hope the next tour isnt another four yearsGod, I miss them when theyre not around.

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