Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Blogtember - Memories

Two days of Blogtember in a row? I'm rockin' this thing!

Today's topic is: "A memory you would like to relive".

I thought about this one for a while before I made up my mind about what to write. Most of my favorite memories are quick, somewhat abstract moments that are more about the feeling that accompanies them than the actual events, people or place.

I decided that right now, if I could pick a day to relive it would be two summers ago when a dozen or so friends and I descended upon Toronto for U2. We'd just done two shows in a row in Montreal, then taken a 6 hour trail trip between the two cities. Although those two shows in Montreal were great, they were also totally crazy. The stadium was crammed with around 80,000 people, the crush of the crowd to get in the first night was crazy to the point of being dangerous, and we got POURED on at the end of the first night's show, which meant that we basically swam the mile back to the hotel instead of walking. It was awesome, but it was exhausting.

Not kidding about that 80,000 people thing. There are a good 5-10k that didn't fit in this photo. And I'm so sorry that I don't remember the original source of this photo!  I saved it years ago to use as a visual aid f explaining our location for the first show.

Toronto started off much better. When my awesome roommates and I arrived, we found that we'd been upgraded to a suite. Score! After living in a hotel room that smelled just plain gross for the past two days (apparently tossing aside our wet clothes after making it back from that first show was an awful idea!), this beautiful, bright new room felt like heaven. Plus, it had a Keurig coffee machine. I politely asked the others to step outside so I could make out with it.

Amusing fact: Our room was like a little UN of U2 - each of the four of us was from a different country. (UK, US, Canada and Netherlands.)

On the morning of the concert, my beloved bedmate Ingrid woke me up at around 3 a.m. saying it was time to go get in line. I pondered this for about two minutes before I decided screw it, I'm staying in bed. I was number 130 or something on the line list, but I'd have to sit in line for 14-ish hours to hold that spot. I decided that instead, I'd sleep in, explore Toronto a little, and then go get in line around 3. I might not get a great spot, but I was ok with that.

Best. Decision. Ever.

After several more hours of sleep, I got up and set off to walk around Toronto for a while. Our hotel was right near the big ol' CN tower thing, so getting lost was fairly impossible since I'd always have that visual reference to aim for. Besides random wandering and exploring (which I'd also done the night before), the main thing I wanted to check out was the Toronto Music Garden. The garden was designed by musician Yo Yo Ma to match Bach's Suite #1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello. As you walk through, each area is meant to reflect part of the music. Pretty rad.

This little garden turned out to be exactly what I needed after the crazy past few days (not to mention the two weeks right before the trip where I worked 20+ hours a day to be able to afford to go!). An hour spent wandering the quiet paths, surrounded by trees and rocks and flowers and occasional sights of the harbor - it was perfect.

Ready for a TOTAL nerd moment? I made the shirt that I wore to this show. Well, not the shirt itself, I got that for like $8 at Target. But I altered the fit and decorated it to match the 7 shirt that Edge wore most shows of the Elevation tour!

I think I did a pretty decent job! Although mine only has one row of sequins around the 7, because those things are little mofos to glue on.

The Edge is totally my boyfriend, btw. All I need in life is a Welshman with a hat and a guitar. Although judging by my life, I'll apparently take variations on that theme, too.

Both Bono and Edge saw and approved of my shirt, though, so totally NOT a waste of time!

Here's what made Toronto so awesome: Instead of 80+ thousand people, there were less than 20k for general admission. (I think it may have only been around 12,000 actually!) We were actually able to peek at the stadium from the bar on the night we arrived, and I was beyond thrilled to see how TINY it looked compared to the one in Montreal!


My fellow "Lazy Club" members (as we liked to call ourselves) and I got in line around 2 or 3, and were let in somewhere around 5. Instead of the absolute stampede we'd survived in Montreal, everyone just sort of sauntered in. My friends and I all went our separate ways since we all had different favorite spots to watch from, but I ended up in the inner circle (inside that circle-y track you can see in the photo above), about 4 people back from the stage, right in front of Edge. My friends that had been in line for 12+ hours ended up on the rail against the stage, but I was pretty content with my spot.

Being me, I totally made friends with the people around me in the crowd, since we had a solid two or three hours until Interpol (the opening act that I was beyond sick of by now) came on. One stranger offered me her beer, someone else offered me chicken fingers. I liked these people. Even better? The stadium had air conditioning! After two previous shows of standing in the July heat, crammed against thousands of other bodies for hours and hours, AC now seemed like the best invention in the history of all time!

The show was pretty great. We had a better collection of rare songs back in Montreal, but I was just happy to be right below Edge all night! After "With or Without You" he spotted my totally ghetto notebook paper on which I'd written "HI EDGE!" in big black Sharpie letters, and waved. That means we're totally engaged now, right? ...Right?

Pretty decent view.

After the show, I met up with my silly band of friends to discuss our experiences, and then a few of us set off for a local Toronto bar to see a U2 cover band play. Yep, after 3 U2 shows in 4 days, we needed a cover band, too. There were drinks and dancing and a song dedicated to me, so I was a very happy camper. The slow walk from the bar back to the hotel with my much-loved friends felt like a farewell to the city and the tour. It was a nice way to say goodbye.

Overall, a pretty great day. I always meant to blog about it, but I was so exhausted after my Canadian adventure that I didn't do much of anything for a few weeks, and writing about this show just never happened! But I think it fits today's topic well.

What memory would you like to relive?

1 comment:

Remus said...

awesome pics! It looks like you had a great time :) I can't think of a specific event or moment, but I would like to relive a day when our dog was still alive.... I miss her so much..