Oh hi! Welcome back! It's been a while! I like that thing you're doing with your hair now!
Sorry for the long break between posts about my epic vacation of epicness, some mutant strain of Allergies of Doom have knocked me on my ass all week! I'm still not 100%, but I think I've finally worked out the right coffee/chocolate/Nyquil/allergy meds/rum ratio to at least keep me on my feet! (I even missed Target Tuesday this week, because I was passed out on the couch all day from allergy medicine! FAIL!)
Anyway! When I left off in part 3 of my epic U2 Tour (or UTour, as I'm now calling it. U2our? U2r?) Canada trip, I was finally inside the most ginormous stadium ever, smooshed up with 80,000 of my dearest friends.
Interpol was the opening band, which I wasn't especially excited about. I only knew one of their songs (which really is enough, because all of their songs sound the same!), and I was a little meh about seeing a band I'm not crazy about three times in the same week. They were about 45 minutes late going on, which we later learned was because one of their crew broke one of the guitarist's guitars, and they literally had to send someone out to a local music shop to replace it. Oops! At least their set killed some time- even a band you don't like much is better than just standing there for hour upon hour! When they finished, I tweeted something along the lines of "Well, they weren't THAT bad, but do I really have to hear that two more times?" Other cities got opening acts like Muse, Lenny Kravitz, Florence & the Machine and Arcade Fire. We got Interpol. Three times. Just sayin'.
I can't explain what it's like to actually see your favorite band take the stage for the first time, especially when you've been counting down to the show for an entire year. Bowie's Space Oddity ("Ground Control to Major Tom....") has played over the PA before every show on the 360 tour, which is perfect since the claw kind of looks like a big spaceship. As soon as the first few notes of Bowie hit the air, those in the crowd that knew what was up lost it. About halfway through the song, the giant video screen on the Claw jumps to life with cameras on the band as they enter the stadium. If you haven't already lost it at this point, you are now a giant, quivering puddle of goo.
(Not my video, and not the best sound, but so perfect for capturing the atmosphere! And this is the exact show we're talking about, so points for accuracy!)
That moment when the music shifts and it's just Larry on stage with the drums is pretty freaking awesome, but I was just STARING at the left side of the stage waiting, and then I was shrieking at Amy and Kristin "THAT IS THE FUCKING EDGE!!!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!"
In other words, I was totally relaxed and chill.
(I have to admit I got a little misty-eyed just watching that. The very last show of the tour was last night, and it is so weird to think that the 360 tour is now OVER. Goodbye claw, you were loved!)
Amusing fact: I am such an Edge girl that we were literally 3 songs into the show before I actually looked over and noticed Bono. I was like "O hai, Bono is here, too! Did you guys know that?" Sorry, Bono. I'll pay attention to you in Toronto, I promise. (Ooh, ahh, more foreshadowing!)
The highlight of the show for me was during Until the End of the World, which is tied with Where the Streets Have No Name for my favorite live song. Edge always goes out on one of the bridges to play most of the song, and the bridge's position that night lined up perfectly with that gap in the crowd in front of me, so it felt like he was playing it straight at me. Um, AWESOME.
Even though we were closer to the stage than like 75,000 of the people there, we were still way farther back than I'm used to being, since I'm used to seeing local bands and being right up in front of the stage. I had to keep telling myself "Dude, that's actually U2!" because my brain just couldn't grasp that idea, it was more like watching a movie.
The boys always go backstage just before the encore, and they usually change clothes. (Well, Bono has to change into the snazzy light/laser jacket!) There's a hilarious moment on the In-Ear Mic bootleg of the Rose Bowl show where Edge is so caught up in everything that's going on that a few seconds before they are supposed to be back on stage, you hear him suddenly say "SHIT! I forgot to change my shirt!!" and then there's a rustle of clothes. Cracks me up every time! Since it was so hot, Edge traded in his leather shirt for a t-shirt tonight, which made me super happy because a) I hate that freaking leather shirt he's been wearing the last several months of the tour and b) t-shirt means I can see his arms. He has good arms. It was a lighter colored shirt, so I turned to my friends and commented "Edge is in a t-shirt! It SO needs to start pouring rain now!"
I am so sorry.
If you remember waaaay back, when we were in line for the show and dying from heat, I also commented that it should rain really hard for like 5 minutes during Moment of Surrender, the last song.
Guess what happened?
About halfway through Moment of Surrender, the raindrops started. Thirty seconds later, it was a downpour. By the end of the song, people were gathering two of every animal and looking for ark supplies, because that rain was freaking biblical.
Unlike other bands that are total whimps, U2 could care less if it rains, the show goes on. (Look up any YouTube from the show in Minneapolis last week, there was some EPIC rain, and Bono's just dripping wet the whole time.) So before we all started the soggy exodus from the Hippodrome, Bono threw in a little bonus rain song at the end of Moment of Surrender.
So that leaves us with all of these people:
...trying to leave the stadium all at once in the POURING EPIC RAIN. I have no idea how those people got out of the stands, because by the time we made it to the back of the field, my makeup had melted into my eyeballs, and I couldn't see. The water was already an inch or so deep across the field, and I was wearing flip-flops, fighting to keep them on my feet. It was raining way too hard to even see where we were, we just followed the crush of people the half mile or so out to the main highway. It. Was. Insane.
I found this great video on YouTube, which oddly looks a lot dryer than it was:
Once the stampeding wet crowd hit the area where the line had been all morning, many started grabbing at the abandoned chairs, tents, ANYTHING to use as a shield from the rain, which was kind of funny.
We were lucky that our hotel was just a mile walk from the stadium. (LONGEST. MILE. EVER.) Most of the crowd ended up waiting for like an hour in the rain for the subway, which must have SUUUUCKED. Even though walking in the cold wind and rain (it even HAILED at one point) sucked, at least we were getting somewhere, ya know? I'll never forget the warm, welcoming green glow of the Quality Hotel sign when we finally spotted it from a few blocks away.
Amy, Kristin and I ran up to their room to take this *lovely* photo of how pretty we were. (Compare to this one, which we called the "before".)
(You know that if I ever become famous, THIS is the photo the trashy gossip magazines will dig up and put on the cover!)
After the photos, I went back up to my own room to trade concert stories with my roommates, since we'd all watched the show from different places. (Well, after we all changed into dry clothes, obviously. Our room smelled like wet dog for DAYS.) We all curled up in our beds and showed each other photos, trading stories of favorite concert moments. And then we slept, slept, slept since none of us were planning to do the line the next day!
No concert photos from me for this post, since even with my telephoto adapter, they didn't turn out that great. There's a whole album of them on my personal Facebook if you're curious, though! Pics from Toronto turned out MUCH better, so there will be some in that post!
Still to come we have the 2nd Montreal show, the Party Train, wandering around Toronto, the Toronto show and my side trip to Niagara Falls!