360 Degrees

About a month before Ahna and I ever met, I had the opportunity to see U2 in Denver at the Pepsi Center in what was one of the greatest rock shows I have ever seen. So it didn’t take long for it to come up in our early conversations as we learned more and more about each other…and it didn’t take much longer than that for Ahna to express her wishes to see them the next time they came to town.

Fast-forward to November of 2009 when it was announced that they would be having a stop at Mile High Stadium as part of their 360 Tour. I changed schedule and re-arrange the bank accounts to make sure that I was sitting at the computer at precisely 10am on the morning that the tickets went on sale. We were rewarded with field tickets to what was sure to be a great show just a few months away. Now’s a good time to admit that we are both huge U2 fans, and each proclaim to have a song or two of theirs in our top-10 lists. So it was with much anticipation that we awaited June of last summer to roll around. As it got closer, U2 seemed to find more air time on our iPods as we certainly wanted to be as up-to-speed on the music as possible (there’s a lot of prep that goes into seeing a concert sometimes). But, our balloon was burst when we turned on the news one morning to see that Bono had hurt his back at a show in Germany and U2 was going to have to reschedule the rest of that leg of the tour. Bummer.

I can’t remember exactly when they announced the new date for the show, as insignificant details of the last six months have found their way out of my mind; but I can tell you that when we heard about it, we were excited. So, last weekend was the culmination of years of wait and nearly two years of ticket holding. This time around, the anticipation level was a lot more muted than last summer, but we made a night out of it…gave Ezra over to my parents, had dinner with some good friends from the hospital, enjoyed an amazing show, and spent the night at a hotel downtown.

There are plenty of places to hear about the stage set-up for the show (huge, cool, trippy) so we won’t go into how it takes four days to build and two days to disassemble. There are also plenty of places to hear about the set list that they debuted for the Denver show (and they played each of our favorite songs – All I Want Is You and Zooropa…both very rare) so we won’t go into how fun it was to hear music that spanned their entire existence but focused on their albums from the 90s. There are also plenty of places to hear about how loud and loud the shows have been (it was actually to the point of pain several times) so we won’t go into how we contemplated stepping out of the show just to let our ears relax for a minute only to stay inside in fear of missing a part of the show that we have waited so long to see.

But, I will bring up what was one of the highlights of the evening – because it produced one of the most striking images I have ever seen. They sang a song titled ‘Miss Saravejo’ which comes from the b-side of their greatest hits; and one that they sung under a pseudonym and with some random guy named Pavarotti. It’s a beautifully written and performed song inspired by the Serbian-Bosnian war from the 90s (Bono sung the operatic part). During the show, they had video and still images from the 1993 Miss Saravejo contest, and the still shot that you see below has turned into an image that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. There is so much depth in the photo, that there is little hope of ever trying to explain it…so I just look at it, and hope that we find a way to never let anything like that happen again.

The show was everything that we hoped it would be: we laughed, we cried, we sang out loud and danced till we couldn’t anymore. It was great to catch up with a very special set of people, and it will certainly go down as a concert to remember.

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