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"I am a singer and a songwriter but I am also a father, four times over. I am a friend to dogs. I am a sworn enemy of the saccharine; and a believer in grace over karma. I talk too much when I'm drunk and sometimes even when I'm not." — Bono, 2001 Harvard graduation speech



by Collin Souter (TheMacPhistoGuy

My girlfriend Nikki and I sat in the $85 seats like a couple of spoiled brats who just got sent to their room during the greatest party of the year. We had been so accostomed to being on the floor with all these great die-hard travelling U2 fans. We had grown used to having the same conversation with people we've met on this mad odyssey ("Is this your first show?" "Where else have you seen them?" "What's your favorite album?"). Now, we had to watch the party from afar with many people who probably received their tickets from a broker who probably told them, "Of course they're great seats. They're expensive, right?" People who would willingly and gladly pay $5 for a bottle of water. Not my kind of party.

However, once the band kicked the United Center into high gear, my whole snobby attitude quickly vanished as the music elevated its way up to the 300 level. The class-warrior mentality had no place in my consciousness. The party didn't just exist on the floor. It vibrated everywhere, save for the couple next to me who never once got off their chairs. Whatever.

I've heard countless stories of other fans having run-ins with the band, but Johnathan, the keyboard player during "Stay," will always have the best story. Not only did he play WITH the band on one of their best songs, but he played WELL. It took a mother-load of courage to request such a thing. Johnathan, you rule, baby!

Also, I noticed a belly dancer at the front of the GA line, for whom I felt a bit of sympathy. The weather stayed on the cold side yesterday, but her efforts did not prove to be worthless. Bono brought her up on stage during "Mysterious Ways" and she fit the part nicely.

"Wake Up Dead Man" came out of nowhere between "One" and "Walk On" and I hope it stays. There always needed to be some sort of segue between those two songs and "Wake Up" couldn't be more appropriate.

Being in the expensive Wall Street seats did show me some things from the show I hadn't noticed. On the floor, you can't really hear the whole crowd surrounding you. I could actually hear the reactions of the people during the Charlton Heston bit. I could hear when the entire stadium knew the lyrics to "Bad." And I could see the heart lit up in all its glory, a sight I hope you consistant GA ticket holders will allow yourselves to see.

Try it. Many of you, I'm sure, will join the party afterwords anyway.

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