Sunday, September 12, 2010

November 22, 2004

Many who know me, know my love of the band U2. Yes, their tunes are catchy - but did you ever really listen to them? Their songs are cries for the helpless, modern pslams for the spiritual, and praise for those who stood against oppression. Yes, Vertigo is a cool song, but I am more of a Pride or Running to Stand Still Girl. 
I wrote papers on their songs in Dr. Wrabley's classes at Pitt. I was going to use Love Come Tumbling in my movie (when I evetually finish that screenplay). I saw them in concerts and knew every word to every song. U2 became a part of me, their albums the soundtrack to my 20's. 
It was 2004 and I was working at the Office of Emergency Management under the Brooklyn Bridge. It was about 6am when the first call from the PD assigned out front, Yeah, there are some trucks that need to block the entrance for the U2 concert tonight. The what? Some more phone calls later and it was confirmed: U2 was playing under the Brooklyn Bridge. I was off for the afternoon so the cards were in my favor. 
Trucks of equipment, a stage, fans began to congregate. I was getting so excited. We would be able to get right up front. But would I meet them? After all these years? Would it happen?
Limos rolled up, was it them? was Christy Turlington and Ed Burns. I could have called it a day right there. Ed Burns, the man behind the reason why I write, was there to see the show. People that I work with who were not even fans were excited as well. Who wouldn't be, it was a small show to preview U2's new album. We watched as U2 made it over the Manhattan Bridge on a flatbed truck ...and...waited...
Finally, the limo came, it was them. Adam, Larry, the Edge and Bono. In front of me. After all those years. I would be that close.
I had seen U2 perform and Bono was at the top. He hadn't sounded that good in years! They opened with Vertigo and went into All Because of You. I remembered at that moment the signifigance of the date. Michael Hutchence had died on that date seven years prior. Bono and Hutchence were apparently dear friends. 
After about 5 new songs, the Irish Flag came out, I was at the front of the stage and they took it back to the beginning. Back to The Bottom Line, where it all began for them in NYC. They played Out of Control as if they were four fresh-faced Irishmen from Dublin. It was something I will never forget. The perfect U2 moment...for the time being. 
The show ended and I was waiting around. I was still determined to meet them. What felt like an hour went by and there they were, taking pictures. I was able to get in the back of one, but still not too close. Patience, finally paid off. Almpost everyone had gone, I was ready to go back for a night tour so I could spare the time. I can't remember who was standing in front of me, but it happened. I met him.
Bono shook my hand. Then I said, you were so on tonight. This show was for Hutch! And then he hugged me. He thanked me. Then he walked away. I am still looking for a picture of that moment. The moment I had been dreaming of for what seemed like an eternity. It was over like that.
Bono wasn't the first celebrity I had even met, but it had the most impact on me. I had yelled at Ethan Hawke, chit chatted with Cyndi Luaper, held flowers for Steve Buscemi and played the umbrella dance with Kevin Bacon on Spring Street. Nothing compared.

It will be a memory that I will cherish. When I hear those songs I will go back to that chilly November night, the Manhattan skyline in the background.


All Because of You
Miracle Drug
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
City of Blinding Lights
Original of the Species
She's a Mystery to Me
Beautiful Day
I Will Follow
Out of Control

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