Monday, April 24, 2006

one year ago (part 2)

So there I was, driving alone in a rented car through a strange city, on my way to spend the next 12+ hours in line with a bunch of strangers. I got to downtown Seattle just fine, and as it turns out I drove directly to within less than a block of Key Arena, but unfortunately I made a wrong turn and ended up lost. Way lost. Twice. And you know what? Even that wasn't so bad.

I stopped and asked directions (twice), and was getting frustrated because I was in a hurry to get to the venue and get my place in line. I was talking to myself in the car and getting more and more angry because so many of the intersections I was coming to didn't have street signs, so I couldn't figure out exactly where I was or which way I needed to go. I said (outloud, alone, to myself) "Goddammit! Why don't any of the streets here have fucking names?!?" And then, of course, I had to laugh. I remember thinking it was a good sign, I had finally found my way to where the streets have no names, and it would be ok.

And it was. I found my way to Key Arena, got a good parking spot, and headed back to the arena itself. Remember, I've never been there before, so I didn't have any idea what I was looking for or where I was going exactly but I knew that somewhere outside the building I'd find a line of people and probably some metal barriers.

I will never, not ever, forget the feeling I had when I came down a set of stairs and around a corner to a courtyard area where, yup, there were a couple of lines of people, and a zig-zag of metal barriers that was familiar to me from the photos I'd seen of the GA lines at all the previous concerts in the preceding month.

I came around that corner, and even though I didn't know a single person there, and none of them new me, my heart soared. I had found my people. I knew that each and every one of the approximately 100 people there had to be hard-core u2 fans, I knew they were there for the same reason as me, I knew them collectively even though I didn't know any of them by name. That was my tribe. From all different races, religions, backgrounds, nationalities, people of different generations, genders, political leanings, philosophical ideals, we were all united by the music of u2 and had each been so touched, so changed by that music that we came from near and far to gather outside the arena and sit in the rain and sun for hours, many, many hours, and we were each and every one of us just so happy to be there.

I could've hugged them all.


Blogger Mary Jo said...

What is it about this band? When you become a fan, you are a fan for life!!
Loved the part you wrote about the streets not having names - a sign for sure :)

What an amazing experience you had!!!

April 25, 2006 6:05 AM  
Blogger c said...

did you take that flickr pic on your sidebar of bono in the purple shirt? i flew out to seattle for those shows as well, and was out behind the venue when he came out in that purple shirt. i think you and i were in the same ol' GA line.......


April 27, 2006 2:39 PM  

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