Looking back, I am so happy I bought tickets for atu2.com’s 20th anniversary party hosted at The Cutting Room. Best $20.00 I spent! Sadly, I didn’t bring the right camera lens to this show as I had been out all day sight-seeing so I didn’t bring my concert lens. So the photos I took admittedly aren’t the best. In any event, I brought my best friend Chris and my wife Nathania to her first U2-type of get together (the night before her first U2 concert ever). The night started great with a lot of familiar faces. The stage area was not busy, so we waited around there with our drinks and snacks. The U2 cover band – The Unforgettable Fire – were a lot of fun. What I found striking about this evening was its purity. A die-hard core of u2 fans were dedicated enough to purchase party tickets to a well-known English language U2 fan site’s anniversary. Here we were drinking, singing, and dancing to U2’s music. It wasn’t about the celebrity at all – just the music. Belting to songs unfamiliar to pop-radio or Spotify like Gloria, Exit, Acrobat, and An Cat Dubh was a testimony to the purists in the crowd.
About 40 minutes into the set, we see Dallas Schoo at the side of the stage. The crowd erupts at his presence and we were in a delirious state. I thought this was great and really cool to have one person from U2’s inner-circle perform for a U2 fan site’s party. And then the noise of the crowd went through the roof when a second later we see The Edge walk out, assume the guitar followed by Adam taking over the bass. I haven’t felt like this in a long time – the icy shivers of hearing the opening chords to Where the Streets Have No Name. Ecstasy and bliss. After that song, they posed for a picture with The Unforgettable Fire, while we chanted louder-and-louder “One more song… one more song…” Edge and Adam complied and they tore into Out of Control. The crowd and band were one in musical purity bliss.
I will never forget that night. At that time, I had seen U2 live in concert I think 58 times. Over the years, the sense of uncertainty and surprise has waned, because of the familiarity of seeing U2 repeatedly. I have to thank Edge, Adam, and atu2 for restoring that wonderment and unrelenting awe. I went into the next concert reinvigourated, in time to accompany my newly wed wife to her first U2 concert. I can only imagine what her response was to seeing Bono, Larry, Adam and Edge on stage for the first time.