Reflections on the U2 concert

So Jon and I left the kids with trustworthy people, and hit the road for Nashville this past weekend to see U2 in concert. They’re a band I’ve loved since high school, and have always wanted to see in concert. It’s not just their music, but also Bono’s Christian faith and his commitment to helping people around the world. He does the good that he can.

We drove 8 hours to Nashville on Saturday, stretched our legs, and got a bite to eat at Chipotle Mexican Grill before heading over to take our place in line. We had general admission tickets, and were hoping to get into the inner circle. But, even though we got in line an hour before the gates would open (so three hours before the opening act would start), we stood down the long street and around the corner. No inner circle, but we did get really close to the outer walkway, so that was good!

Everyone seemed really nice, and while we waited for the show to begin, we chatted with two friendly couples standing next to us – one from Mississippi and the other from Philadelphia. The crowd in the area around us was very well-behaved.

The opening act was Florence and the Machine. She has an great voice, and made me smile as she skipped around the stage in her long flowing outfit like a little girl. But she wasn’t why we were there. (She was, however, why the two girls next to us were there… singing along every word and shrieking their excitement in my ear… eek! The girls disappeared after Florence left the stage. Are you kidding me??)

After what seemed like forever, U2 took the stage… how cool is that?!?! With lights and smoke and all the effects, the energy filled the stadium. In 90+ degrees, they gave it their all, and the passion and energy overflowed. It’s amazing to be in the presence of someone pouring out their all and loving what they’re doing and making a difference in the world in their own way. It’s inspiring.

One highlight was that we got to sing part of Amazing Grace with Bono (and 40,000 other fans, of course). Then at the end of the concert, Bono has this guy from the audience come up… a blind guitar player as indicated on the sign he was holding. Bono lets “Dude” play “All I Want is You” – dedicated to Dude’s wife Andrea – while he (Bono) sings it. What a wow moment! Then, when it’s over, Bono gives Dude his guitar!! The crowd went wild.

It’s funny how, in a crowd like that, a sort of camaraderie forms, so that a gesture to one member is somehow received by all members. I think we were all touched by the act of kindness. And it was a perfect example of being prepared and ready for opportunity when it may present itself. Obviously, Dude had learned and played U2 songs prior to this. Then he put himself in a position to be seen, held his little sign, and hoped for the opportunity. When it came, he was ready. I think I’ll pull out my old guitar and start practicing…

After the concert, Jon and I drove a bit and then stopped for the night. A few hours later we got up and got back on the road home. It was fun having an adventure for just the two of us… haven’t done that since the kids came along. We should do it again some time. The only bad thing was that I missed him terribly when he went back to work on Tuesday.

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