I wish I could go again.  It was that great…

I saw my first U2 show in 1987.  I was sixteen.  It was magic.  To date it was the best show I’ve ever seen.  The whole place was filled with energy, crazy love energy.  It was weird and wonderful and beyond description.  I think it was spiritual.  I’m not kidding.

I saw my second U2 show in 1992.  I was twenty-one.  It was a bitter disappointment.  I was disillusioned.  This band that I had devoted myself to was different and I wasn’t digging it.  The 1987 show was stripped down, bare bones, serious, heart-felt and genuine.  The 1992 show was a re-making of the band.  I knew the music had changed, but I thought the show would be the same.  It was the polar opposite of the first show.  Commercial, loud, in-your-face, staged, and loaded with irony.  I missed the irony; I missed the U2 I’d grown up with and I decided to turn my back on this new U2.

Of course U2 didn’t know any of this and they went on making great music, touring and quickly becoming the biggest band of my generation.  I still bought their albums, but I didn’t really listen to the music the way I had before.  The Zoo TV tour had broken my heart.  They came back to the Twin Cities three times and played to sold out audiences.  I was not among the crowd.

They say time heals all wounds and last Saturday my U2 wound was finally healed.  A mere 24 years after that awesome Joshua Tree tour, I returned to U2 land and fell in love all over again.  They are still awesome.

This concert was a blend of the other two shows I’ve seen.  It was a big production and there was lots of glitz and glam, but it had a heartfelt sincerity and energy that I had missed during the Zoo TV tour.  And honestly, it was just good to see the boys again.

They played a lovely mix of songs.  Lots of old and new, a couple of cover tunes, and even a song off Boy.  My favorites included “I Will Follow”, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, “Stand By Me”, and “Hallelujah”.  It poured rain and we got soaking wet as did everyone else, band included.  The crazy stage screen contraption did all kinds of cool stuff, the boys rocked out, the fans sang, and all 60,000 people spent the whole show standing.  It was beautiful.

The journey home was an epic, complete with two dead cell phones, a two mile walk, and lots of bus waiting and futile cab hailing.  Finally at 12:45pm, one and one-half hours after the show ended, a small man originally from another country, took notice of my flailing arms, stopped his cab, and delivered us home.  What a nice man.  I’m not sure we would be home yet if it wasn’t for that man and his cab.

I won’t be missing another show, ever.  If they come here and I’m alive and kicking, I’ll be there!