Friday, April 28, 2006

U2 trip, part 3

{ok, so when I left off I had just arrived at the GA line, it was about 8am, 12+ hours until show time}

The next several hours were pretty uneventful. Lots of standing, followed by sitting. Interesting people watching, though! I struck up a conversation with the guy right in front of me in line, and we ended up being kind of buddies throughout the rest of the day. The guy right behind me was a friendly sort, too. He had 2 GA tickets and spent most of the day calling his date trying to convince her to come to the concert. Can you imagine? Here he's offering her a free ticket, he's doing all the waiting-in-line part, she just has to show up, but she never did. Nuts!

The nice thing about making friends with the people in line around you is that you can leave and they'll save your spot for you. Going in I wasn't sure if I'd even be able to leave the line at all, but as it ended up I did leave a few times just to walk around, or go to the bathroom, visit the little store across the street, etc. The scalpers were amazing, I'd never been to a concert before and didn't know what to expect, but I was surprised by how many scalpers there were all around the venue, looking to buy and sell tickets.

In one of my first little walks around the arena I came across this big parking lot in back, and I can't even tell you how excited I was to see the black and red Vertigo semi trucks parked back there! I took several pics of the trucks, actually. It was like this whole thing was a dream or that I didn't really expect it to happen, that's why it was so cool to see those trucks. I kept walking around the back and found the staff entrance to that parking lot, and hung out there a while in the hopes of meeting Bono or one of the other boys, but nothing really seemed to be happening so I went back to my place in line. Knowing where that spot was would come in really handy the next day, though!

I should back up and say that I had my GA ticket just totally by luck and providence. Like every die hard u2 fan, I wanted the GA experience, but the tickets sold out within minutes of going on sale and from then on the prices for GA tickets on ebay was just going higher and higher. I finally did get my tickets for both nights from an ebay seller, but couldn't afford GA and was just happy to be in the building. But, the day before I left for the concert, I checked ticketmaster (for the 1000th time) because they are known to have some ticket drops shortly before the shows. And I *totally* lucked out, pulled up a GA ticket and paid face value for it! Man, that was so awesome.

So then I had this extra ticket I didn't need, so I listed it on ebay and sold it but never got a chance to totally firm up my plans to meet the buyer before I had to leave early the next morning for my flight. All I knew was his name was Mike, all he knew was my name was Molly and I was from MT and I'd be in the GA line outside the venue all day.

In chatting with the guys around me in line I told them all the story and made sure they would keep an eye out for a guy named Mike looking for me. In the end, maybe about 3 hours or so before the doors opened, I was kind of wandering around the arena people watching when I heard someone calling my name, and it was him! So, so strange to have someone calling out to me in a city where I knew *no one*. So, he got his ticket, I got my money, and it all worked out.

Of course, as the day went on, the line was getting longer and longer and longer, people were getting grumpier and there were a few really snaggy girls that evidently didn't think I was pretty or young enough to be a u2 fan, and they would get SO pissed off everytime I went past them in line to get to my spot up near the front of the line. Ha!

Ok, so the next really exciting thing that happened was hearing the sound check. I can't even *tell* you how totally ecstatic I was to hear that. Again, it was like a part of me didn't really think it was going to happen, and when I heard them soundchecking and knew they were *there*, u2 was actually *there*, inside the same building I was standing next to, it was just a really awesome moment. Even the crazy security people and the problems getting my ticket from the Will Call window, and the bitchy girl fans at the end of line, none of it mattered.

I did really kind of sweat it out over at the box office Will Call window, and only made it back to my spot in line about 5 minutes before the doors opened, but it worked out. The line was gradually scrunched up from this big long, spread out thing to a tight cramped knot of anxious people, and then they opened the doors and all holy hell broke loose, lol!

U2 had this crazy lottery system on this tour, where everyone's ticket was scanned (GA only, not *everyone*) and certain ones were randomly chosen to get into the middle of the stage, the coveted "ellipse" spots. So tension was high, everyone was making deals with the people around them (if you get scanned, you take me, ok?). Unfortunately, for me, I didn't get scanned in nor did any of the several people that I had made deals with. Oh well!

So, in my hurry to get a good spot outside the ellipse, I almost tripped on the guy in front of me in line as we were going down the stairs to the floor, which would've really sucked if I sent us both plunging to our deaths, but it was ok and I got a spot on the rail! Awesome, awesome spot. And they guy I had made friends with in line that morning was like 7 feet tall so he was able to stand right behind me and see just fine.

The next part sucked, it really did. I think it was about 3 hours of standing in one place before Kings of Leon came on for their opener, and then another hour or 2 before u2 was supposed to come on. That's a LONG time to stand in one place, bracing yourself the whole time and fighting the crowd pushing from every side. But what happened next, oh man. What happened next made it all worth it, many times over.

2 Comments:

Blogger dv said...

sounds like a fun trip.

April 29, 2006 9:00 AM  
Blogger Mary Jo said...

Can't wait for the next installment!
You are so brave going on your own.
Totally understand what you mean about making friends with the fans around you. Mike and I were able to go to lunch together because of some really cool people who were in line behind us. So many cool fans!!
although always a couple of idiots like you came across but ;)

May 01, 2006 6:00 AM  

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