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"We never suffered from that indie mentality of 'big is bad.' A lot of groups that could've gone on to make amazing music crumbled under some sort of inverse guilt or mistrust of success." — Edge



by Stephanie (the belly dancer)

My name is Stephanie, and best known as the girl who ran away. I'm not going to write about the entire concert, since other people have written about; Im writing this to give my account of what it was like being pulled up for Mysterious Ways:
First I should explain a few things... I became a U2 freak in four minutes when my best friend, Angela Pancella, showed me Mysterious Ways live in Sydney Zoo TV. In those four minutes I decided Mysterious Ways was my new favorite song, Bono was one of the sexiest men on earth, U2 was the best band since the Beatles, and I wanted to belly dance. This fall Angie and I started taking lessons at Simones Seventh Veil, a little studio in our hometown of St. Louis. I made my costume to do a presentation on Middle Eastern dance, and based it on Morleighs from Zoo TV. After the concert at Irving Plaza which we taped, Angie choreographed an entire routine for Mysterious Ways, starting with the first note of Bonos voice. Chest circles, hip snaps, undulations: we practiced it all together. To that extent it was planned. Planned on my end if not Bonos!
During my thirteen hours in line (every moment of which I enjoyed) I found out that Streets was the song before Mysterious Ways. If I wanted a chance, Id have to catch Bonos attention before then. We got in the front row of the heart, right in front of Adam, since Im really into Adam and love the base. Adam was awesome, really distributing the love, as Angie would say, but Bono just seemed to flit by. I knew he hadnt seen me. Streets started, and I looked for Bono but he was far away. Then Mysterious Ways started and I couldnt even see Bono. Instead, of letting myself waste the routine, I did it right there on the floor in front of Adam, who I am pretty sure was smiling at it. Finally Bono came down from the video screen of the silhouette, but he whisked off along the heart ramp.
At some point, Edge walked to the center where Bono had been playing guitar during previous songs. I raised myself up on the bars in front of the stage to show him my costume. He grinned and played the guitar at me, stamping his foot my way and leaning towards me. Edge left and I focused on Adam again, dancing and having a wonderful time.
By the time Bono came back towards our section, the song was over 90% over. I knew there was very little point, but raised myself on the bars anyway. Angie was holding a She can belly dance sign, with which I had nothing to do.... (That was her idea and news to me, but hey, It pays to advertise.) Bono saw me and froze: I couldnt tell if he were disappointed or surprised, or just deciding whether to pull me up or not, but it was a pretty priceless expression. He beckoned, tossed his head and said, Oh all right, common up, child, or something like that.
Amazed, I slipped off my sandals (I cant dance in shoes), and threw my leg over the barrier. Two security guards came over and shoved me up by my rear. Bono reached down and pulled me up with the grip Edge uses on him in the Stuck video. Bono is quite strong I discovered, and has a very powerful grip.
Once I was on the stage and standing upright I tried to figure out where we were in the routine, and I thought it was right where Morleigh turns away from Bono, does slow undulations and then presents her belly button for Bono to almost touch. So thats what I did, but once I started to lean back and offer Bono my tummy, he shook his head no and beckoned me forward. So I undulated after him. Our gazes locked and I followed him up the ramp to the heart, which is a metal grate very unpleasant to bare feet. The whole time Bono kept beckoning and saying, Come on, come on, youre doing great, and basically helping ensure he didnt get stuck with a frozen belly dancer. I did undulations, bouncing hip ups, and any of the moves that work as fast as Bono wanted them done. I just tried to keep up.
It took me several moments and about one third of my time on stage to realize Bono meant to take me all the way around the heart. At some point, while still on Adams side of the stage, I did an extra hip move and, for the first and only time, Bono broke eye contact to look down. He let his jaw open a little, made big eyes and, I think, said Damn! or some other flatteringly impressed exclamation. I got a big high out of that and redoubled my efforts, as we locked gaze again. It was as if there were noone else in the world, just me dancing for him. I dont know how he made me feel like that with over 20,000 people there, but it worked and prevented me from feeling at all nervous. The smile in his eyes, his comforting, reassuring murmurs, and beckoning hand movements made me calm and as confident as I could be.
While I stared into those gorgeous blue eyes, Bono started to sing something. For all I could tell at first, he was singing, A daba el! After three times, I realized he was singing, Youre beautiful.
I tried to add in a few more moves as we made our way to the end of the heart. I realized that I still hadnt given him my scarf, which is how Morleigh ended her routine, so I unwound it from my wrist and waved it at him. He beckoned slightly, so I tossed it to him, but he missed. I recognized the ending guitar part, and since I promised myself not to be that annoying girl who wont get off the stage, I instantly went into the spin which brought me, slightly dizzy, to the edge of the stage where I staggered into the arms of the security and was returned to my friends.
People around me were clapping, giving me high fives, and patting my back as I searched desperately for my water bottle. Bono was now back on my side (or I should say, Adams side) of the stage. He looked at me and said Thank you, and I think, I HOPE, I shouted back, No, thank YOU. Then he said, Youre sweet, took a few steps and looked at me over his shoulder to ask, Your mama teach you to dance like that? to which I emphatically yelled No! Bono then launched into The Fly and disappeared.
In the pit I looked for my shoes and was pelted by exclamations of You idiot! and What were you thinking? by all the girls around me. I looked so confused that they explained, Bono was chasing you across the stage with open arms for a hug! Why didnt you hug him?
I would like to say that I am so cool, I didnt care about getting a hug from Bono, or that my sense of aesthetics prevented it, but that would be a lie. I didnt know he offered me a hug, and I hadnt wanted to ask for one, as if being pulled on stage werent enough somehow.
After the concert, I spent a very long time trying to convince people that I hadnt been planned, Bono hadnt known about me in advance, and that I am not in the pay of U2. Someone even mistook me for Morleigh, which is about the best compliment Ive ever gotten. Only after the concert did I discover that I had had spotlights and had been on the video screens... I hadnt even seen the camera. On stage with Bono, all there had been were two friendly, reassuring and beautiful blue eyes.

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