my family and U2 were in town last weekend to celebrate my birthday! well, maybe U2 wasn’t there for that reason, but we went to see them for my birthday so that counts. :) this is my second time seeing my favorite band since i was 12… and although i wasn’t entirely impressed with their set list, bono’s voice sounded much better than he had several years ago in pittsburgh. that may be due in part to the fact that the ginormous stage takes four days to put together and take apart, so the boys get a bit of a break between shows. so they sounded amazing, even if a lot of their set list was newer stuff from atomic bomb and all that you can’t leave behind. props to bringing back “ultraviolet” though… one of the best U2 songs ever from achtung baby. it’s been making lots of appearances lately and was on SNL last weekend. woot!
so traffic was horrendous. we live 3 miles from carter-finley stadium and it took us 1.5 hours to get there. yes, hours. really? really. i’ve read several news articles reporting that lots were full, state troopers were turning people away from parking, people abandoning their cars on the freeway and still missed the entire show despite buying $250 tickets. ouch. now, i always recommend leaving early for a concert, but there is a definite problem when people were leaving plenty early and then were turned away by troopers saying lots were full.
major concerts seem to happen much more frequently in pittsburgh than in raleigh. apparently charlotte gets most of our larger performers for some reason. however, i really have never seen such a mess at any concert i went to in the ‘burgh. i chalk it all up to raleigh really just not knowing how to handle the traffic. but concertgoers shouldn’t have to anticipate such a disaster that they feel the need to leave at 1pm to get to a 7pm concert. i also chalk it up to the carter-finley staff taking forever to make change for our $20 parking ticket. :(
well, despite it taking an hour and a half to get from my house 3 miles away to the stadium, we did get there in time. i think we missed 4 muse songs, but that was partially due to people literally taking down the metal fences designed to direct the crowds to specific gates so they could cut in front of other people. it was a mess, people… a mess. it was also kind of terrifying… like being stuck in some sort of awful end-of-days scenario where everyone is pushing, trampling, etc. with little regard to everyone else around them… only instead of escaping from flames or death they’re just trying to get a pepsi before you can.
but besides all that we had actual fun! :P :)
the stage was awesome. i’ve never seen something so entirely cool in all ways possible. it was designed to make the tour more “intimate” by making the stage larger than the venue. when i first heard that description i couldn’t understand how it made sense, but it really did. we had super good seats and, although behind U2, they often turned around and played towards the people behind them… even larry, the drummer, had a rotating drum set. pretty sweet. they’re always super good to their fans.
i so wish i could’ve brought my canon to the concert, but it’s in the shop for repairs. more importantly, too, is the fact that there weren’t any cameras allowed. :) they were searching pretty hardcore, so i left the canon and the backup canon at home. :( i did bring my sony point-and-shoot though, determined to get some images, and got some pretty sweet ones! the noise is high, but i’m still glad i have the pictures. here it is, folks! what looks to be a giant octopus/squid thing that U2 affectionately refers to as their “spaceship.”
favorite picture of the night by far featuring the incredibly intoxicated girl in front of us during one of her more lucid moments.
the video screen expanding.
little walkway lit up. U2 was able to walk across little bridges over the crowd and onto the walkway to play for us folks behind them.
complete with lots of awesome light shows.
in conclusion, the U2 show was amazing despite traffic and the terrifying crowds. they sounded good, they looked good, and it was a gorgeous night. next time maybe teleportation will be invented and i can just find my way into my seat with no issues. :)
miss the family though! :( i’ll see them next month for november. thanks for coming out guys! geoff and i had a blast.
not pictured: mom… off taking pictures of weird ducks beneath the bridge.