Heaven is going to be similar to a U2 concert

Please don’t roll your eyes at the title of this post, and I’ll get to what I mean by that in a little while. But all in all, the U2 concert here in Dallas was one of the greatest moments in my life. Was it better than the Elevation tour I saw back in November 2001? Well, that’s just like asking a parent which child he or she loves the most. You love them both as much as possible, but you also have the understanding that each is just . . . different in his or her special way.

Before the concert, I had to get psyched, and other than listening to U2 music all day I also decided to dress up like The Edge. Here is my best impersonation using a broom. Don’t worry; I didn’t take the broom to the concert.

And just for cahoots, here is a lame Photoshop of The Edge, Bono, and myself.

Then it hit me – I wonder if I can sneak my camera in? I would hate to bring it, and then be told I had to take it back to my car. Hmmmm. I got a plan. SisterGeeding would carry the camera in her purse with a pair of old batteries inside of it while hiding the good batteries in her bra. If told to take the camera back, we would ask if we could just give them the batteries – that way we couldn’t take any pictures. If asked about metal in her bra, she would just say it is an underwire. If worse came to worst, then we would take the camera back to the car since we didn’t care for the opening act, Damian Marley – youngest son of Bob Marley.

Before the concert, wifeGeeding and sisterGeeding wanted to grab a bite to eat. We ended up just going to Chili’s Too. I very much like to eat here since it is more of a fast food Chili’s, which means I can save money because there is no one to tip. I made sure not to drink too much iced-tea – the last thing I want to do at a U2 concert is to make frequent trips to the restroom. Remember, moderate dehydration must be used for good, not for evil.

We get to the American Airlines Center about an hour before the opening act. I had one ticket left over since wifeGeeding’s best friend fell ill. One thing I have learned when going to arena type of events: don’t take the first paid parking opportunity and don’t talk to the first scalper. A lot of folks end up paying $15 for parking because that is the first parking area they see. However, if you drive a little bit further you can find parking as cheap as $6 for just about the same distance away from the AAC. So I end up talking to about the fourth scalper I see. I told him I had one ticket to sell. He offered me $20 for it. I told him $115. He countered at $80. I held at $115 and revved my engine. He caved in and I was satisfied. Probably could have gotten more, but I was happy with what I got.

We arrive in the AAC about 45 minutes before the opening act. Operation Paparazzi was a success. In other words, we were able to sneak the camera in. I also overpaid for a concert t-shirt, program, and a poster. Didn’t really like this poster, but it had the date and location at the bottom of it. As with the Elevation tour, I bought a poster and framed it with the concert ticket inside. I plan on doing the same with this one.

It’s about 5 minutes before the opening act starts and the place is only about 25% full; probably because no one was interested in seeing Damian Marley. After watching and listening to his performance, I could understand why they all came in late. I don’t know much about reggae music but I know I don’t like it. On the Elevation tour, the opening act was No Doubt and they were spectacular, but I don’t think I’ll be buying any Damian Marley music anytime soon. I really only have two comments considering Marley’s 45 minute performance.

First of all, there was a guy on stage with him and all he did was wave a Jamaican flag the entire time. This dude’s arms must have really been in shape because he just didn’t quite. He was very much like the Energizer Bunny. Kinda reminded me of the guy that holds the umbrella for Puff Daddy or Michael Jackson every time they go in the sun.

Second, Marley and the flag-waving dude had the audacity to walk on the ellipse. Don’t they know this is sacred only to U2??? I saw a Gwen Stafani interview back in 2002 and she was talking about being the opening act for U2 and how she wouldn’t even dare walk on that area because it would be disrespectful. Just for that, I hope Marley gets a violent case of diarrhea.

It’s about 8:45 PM and the house lights go out. The Edge walks out and starts to jam, it’s the beginning of City of Blinding lights. A light shines on him, then you hear the drum beat and the lights are on Larry Mullen Jr. All of a sudden you hear the bass guitar stat and Adam Clayton is in the light. Finally we see at the top of the ellipse, furthest away from the stage, Bono emerges and all is right in this world.

Here are some high lights of the show:

– During Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bono took a young boy out of the crowd and let him yell in the microphone.

– During One, Bono had us all take out our cell phones and text our names to join the One Campaign. At the end of the show, most of the folks that text messaged to join the One Campain was displayed on the screen over the stage.

– During Angel in Harlem, Bono asked this one teenage boy in the crowd if he could play the guitar. Bono let him get on stage and the kid wasn’t bad. He even got into it by walking around the stage and doing a couple of high kicks. After the song he switched sun glasses with Bono.

– Some chick also got to go on stage.

– They sang Old Man River and dedicated it to the flood victims. You can watch part of that performance here.

– My favorite part of the Elevation tour was when they performed Pride In The Name of Love and the audience was singing the backup part. This happened at this concert as well, and you can watch part of it here. (half of the clip may only work)

– U2 came out for two encores. The last concert I attended they only gave one.

– Playlist: City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo / Rockaway Beach (snippet) / Rock ‘N’ Roll N(snippet), Elevation, The Electric Co. / Bullet With Butterfly Wings (snippet) / See Me, Feel Me (snippet), The Ocean, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For / Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting (snippet) / In A Little While (snippet), Beautiful Day / Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (snippet), Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own / The Black Hills of Dakota (snippet), Love And Peace Or Else, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet The Blue Sky / The Hands That Built America (snippet) / When Johnny Comes Marching Home (snippet), Miss Sarajevo, Pride (In The Name Of Love), Where The Streets Have No Name, One / Ol’ Man River (snippet)

– Encore: The First Time (acoustic), Stuck In a Moment, Angel of Harlem, With or Without You, All Because of You, Yahweh, 40

The very last song they played was 40. Man, was this moving. 40 is about Psalm 40, and this experience was what I imagine heaven to be like, seriously. I felt like I was truly worshiping. I’ve been to Christian concerts such as Stephen Curtis Chapman, DC Talk, Audio Adrenaline, Third Day, NewsBoys, and many others – and I never felt this kind of worship before. Numbing, fulfilling, I just can’t do justice to describe it. You can view part of this experience here. The concert ended with Bono waving goodbye and exiting with music still playing. Adam Clayton stopped playing, waved, and exited with the other two still playing. Then it was The Edge’s turn. Finally it was just Larry Mullen Jr playing the drumsw all by his lonesome and all of us were still singing. He stopped, and we were all singing 40 acappella. This was the part that made me think of heaven. He then drummed for a bit longer, and that was the end of one of the greatest moments of my life.

I took a plethora of pictures, all of which you can view here. Some are out of focus. But listed below are the best of the best. Click to enlarge. Note: sometime the pictures below look great, and sometimes they look out of whack. I think it may be a Flickr issue.

























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