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"In art and love and rock ‘n’ roll, the whole had better equal much more than the sum of its parts, or else you're just rubbing two sticks together searching for fire." — Bruce Springsteen, at U2's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction



by Dawn S.

I was at this show! A friend was a member of the Belkin Club (sp?) and members of this club got priority tickets for concerts being sponsored by that promoter. My friend Thom had 4 tickets in the dead-center of the 5th row and invited me to go because I was such a big U2 fan. He didn't have to ask me twice! The four of us were all college students at Bowling Green State University and the concert date was during final exams but we didn't care. We borrowed an Irish flag from one of Thom's fraternity brothers, loaded into another guy's car, and made the trip into Cleveland. The concert was absolutely amazing! The energy of the band and the crowd was incredible - It was like something physical. To be that close to the stage was awesome - It's spoiled me for every other U2 concert I've attended since. The highlight of the show was when I almost got on stage. During the concert, we were waving our Irish flag and Bono motioned for us to bring it to him. Thom and I bolted out of our row and to the side of the stage. The corner of the orchestra pit was in front of us but I was ready to jump right over it to hand that flag to Bono personally. Unfortunately, one of the concert security guys was not going to allow me to attempt this risky move and took the flag from us and handed it to Bono. Bono performed with the flag wrapped around him and then gave it back to the security guy who returned it to us. I think Thom bought that flag from the guy who loaned it to us - I hope he still has it! After the show, we drifted out to our car along with the rest of the crowd. It was so incredible hearing everyone singing the refrain from "40" as they left the show. "How long... to sing this song" echoed over and over again throughout the streets and parking garages near the Music Hall. And, we had plenty of time to listen to it because our friend's car's battery was dead! So, we had to call Thom's parents. They lived in Cleveland and his dad came to pick us up and we stayed overnight at his house. He returned us to campus the next morning, back to the harsh reality of final exams! It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I've seen U2 in concert a number of times since but nothing quite lives up to that first show.

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