Monday, August 1, 2011

THE Concert

The month of July has been a crazy busy one for our family. I've been trying to get this post out for weeks. I've just had a hard time getting all my thoughts together on it all. I'll warn you now it's going to be cheesy, but it's my blog and I want to remember the details. So, read it if you want, but just remember, I warned you. :)

If I had a bucket list, the concert we attended on July 2, would have been on it.

When I was 14, I heard With or Without You for the first time and I was hooked. U2 was my "first musical love" and they are still my go to band. There is just something about them.
The dream to see them live started a long time ago. Around the time I saw this video for the first time.

Well, since I'm being honest here, I'm pretty sure I wanted to marry one of them after I saw the video for the first time (I was 14), but somewhere along the way when my infatuation grew to real appreciation for their music, the dream to see them live took root.

There are lots of reasons these boys are my favorites.

I love that they are from Ireland. I've always felt a connection with them for that reason. (I told you it would be cheesy)

So many of their songs are deep and spiritual and honest.

I love Bono's loud mouth and willingness to take risks for what he believes. He's flawed and he knows it, but he steps out there and he's made a difference.

The friendship and loyalty between them is kind of unheard of in the celebrity world. They fight, have even come to blows a few times over the years, but they work it out. They are brutally honest with each other, yet they defend each other like brothers. (I've read U2 by U2, I know these things)  

I love their uniquely U2 sound and I love that they are finally embracing it.

Their music really has been a constant part of the "soundtrack" of my life. (whew, really cheesy) Good, bad, happy, hard- there is a U2 song to go with all of my big moments. David Dark said it best, "I can't explain myself to myself apart from U2."  

 Maybe part of the reason I've had a hard time getting my thoughts and feelings about the show out is because it was more than just a show for me. It was a moment, an experience, one of those times when you know you need to take it all in and really live it. I did. And I got to go with Todd which made it perfect.

So, here it is....

This was our first glimpse of the claw. We went by the stadium early in the day to scope out parking. We heard the band doing sound check. That made it all feel real.

We went in to the stadium not long after the gates opened. The stage was enormous. This picture really doesn't do it justice. It was fun watching everyone's first reaction to the claw.Lots of big smiles and "oh wows."

  Todd climbed up to the top row of the stadium to take this one. It was quite impressive.

In a crowd of over 50,000 people actually finding Chris and Kaley was a special bonus. It was Kaley's first time to see them, too.

Chris and Kaley's best friends, Molly and Jarrod were there, too. My favorite line of the night came from Jarrod, "When I get to heaven this is the music I will hear." I agree.

Steven Curtis and Will Franklin Chapman sat one row behind us. Seeing them choked my up a little. Especially Will. I've prayed for him so often over the last three years. That was pretty special.

Florence and the Machine was the opener. They have a great sound. I could have done without the screaming, but other than that...

Perfect moment. Heart pounding. Trying to take it all in. I love these intro pictures. Brings it all back. Don't they just look like rock stars? And wow! The noise in that stadium was unbelievable.

The opening song was "Even Better than the Real Thing."

Walk On

Where the Streets Have No Names.  I really wanted to hear this one live. Amazing.

Moment of Surrender- stadium lit up with cell phones.

Todd snuck this one. I'm glad he did. I'm pretty sure I smiled most of the night. Actually, Todd took all the pictures, which really helped me just take it all in. He captured the night beautifully.

The crowd after the concert. It was amazingly subdued. Quiet even. I think it was an "experience" for a lot of us.

My favorite thing about the whole night was that it lived up to my every expectation. It was all I hoped it would be, and, more.

We got to see this song played for the first time ever in front of a live audience. Bono even did a pretty good imitation of Johnny.

 We got to experience the moment that was all the buzz for U2 fans the next day.

If there was any disappointment at all for me, it was that Larry didn't do this at the Nashville show. :)

The Set List
Main Set: 
Even Better Than The Real Thing
The Fly
Mysterious Ways
Until the End of the World
I Will Follow
Get On Your Boots
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For 
The Wanderer
Beautiful Day - Space Oddity
Miss Sarajevo 
City of Blinding Lights
I'll Go Crazy (remix) 
Discotheque - Psycho Killer - Life During Wartime
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On - You'll Never Walk Alone

Amazing Grace
 Where the Streets Have No Name
Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender
All I Want Is You


  1. And I've been waiting on this one too. ;-) You did a great job, even providing the set list, which I always write down during shows. sCC too? I didn't know that. It's just too much! I am so grateful you saw them and experienced them with Todd this time. Next time, I want to be there! Super thankful. What a beautiful day it was. (Cheeeseeee) :-)

  2. Oh!! And Johnny?!! What?! Swoon...

  3. I'm glad I was so patient:) I think your texts from that day were my favorite part of it all, along with knowing that you got to experience your dream. This wasn't cheesy at all. I get it. A guy on Twitter was Tweeting about the last concert on this tour because he was there, and I just kept thinking that I wished you could have seen it one more time. But maybe once makes it perfect and special. I'm forever grateful that you got to do this. Thanks for finally get this out. I'll read it more than once:) Love you tons. (And I could have used a warning about the pic of Will. That made me cry."

  4. Tears over the Will and SCC picture. Then more tears hearing The Wanderer. I really like U2, but Johnny Cash is one of the primary voices on my life's soundtrack. Thanks for writing this post. Although we are new friends, I do totally get the fact that it meant so much to you, and I am extremely thankful for you getting to experience it. Who cares if anyone thinks it's cheesy? You're writing about the joy of a rare experience and being honest and open about how much it meant! I love it!