In between the usual routines and responsibilities of the last few days, including multiple practices and then performance of the end-of-the-year singing program for the 1st graders (with barely awake Rachael carrying her breakfast in a baggie . . . honestly, the day of the performance I started dressing her in bed at 9:20, and the performance started at 9:30! luckily, we live close by, and luckily she's got a pretty easy going temperament because she just sat there in her little chair next to me by the piano, eating her "breakfast"), getting everyone squared away on whatever extra credit work they need to do to bring their grades up to where they ought to be before tomorrow (final day to turn things in), meeting with my little committee in charge of all the food planning, shopping, transporting, preparing, and clean-up at the 12&13-year-old girl's camp Kate is attending this summer for church, the Pinewood Derby for Will's scout troop, and on and on and on . . . .
Brandon and I got to do something we've been talking about for YEARS: we saw U2 in concert.
Pretty cool if you were a teenager in the 80's and have been loving them all this time.
I saw the Joshua Tree concert in Ames at Iowa State when I was a junior in high school after sleeping in a parking lot all night for tickets. Brandon missed the same concert in California because his mom wouldn't let him go--it being a school night and all. (Little differences in our mothers' personalities I think, and maybe the willfulness of their children . . .)
And I can still remember my younger sister, Elizabeth, calling me on the phone in that bright orange concrete and linoleum common room of the fish cannery in Kodiak, Alaska (how did we ever live without cell phones? so primitive!) to tell me that U2 was coming in concert shortly after I would get home and did I want tickets? I got a lone ticket, separate from her and her friends, but still went, and somehow weasled my way down so close to the stage that I actually caught one of Bono's "Zoo dollars" he threw into the audience.
Ah, those were the good old days, when music was a dominating force in my life and I had the time and spare money to care about such things as rock concerts. Then I went on a mission to Japan, graduated from college, got married, had babies, and spent a long time being too broke and too busy to pay much attention to U2 and their concert tours.
Brandon and I have been to a whopping two concerts during those ensuing 16 sixteen years--Sting and The Police (good choices, don't you think?)--but we always said if we had the chance, more than anyone, we'd love to see U2.
Then along came Ashley! Remember our wonderful 20 something babysitter? She mentioned in passing that they were coming to the University of Utah (of course, we had no clue) and her friend had a bunch of tickets to sell. So Brandon and I jumped. Tuesday night isn't the most convenient time for people in our life situation to go to a rock concert, but we made it happen. The tickets were for the field, but Ashley told us something most people don't know: anyone from the field can go into the "inner circle"--it's first come, first serve. Sure enough, we passed by the little ticket guardians with our general admission wristbands, got a special stamp, and--wah-lah!--we were up close and personal with Bono and his band.
The great thing about going to a concert like this in Utah is that not only did I get a soft pat and an apology from a guy who accidentally knocked me on the head while dancing, but for the first time in my un-extensive concert going life, I didn't catch a single whiff of alcohol or, um, "cigarettes." I seriously could NOT believe it!
I guess U2 was supposed to come to Salt Lake last year on June 3, but Bono needed emergency back surgery so the tour was postponed. I'm certain it was a twist of fate meant just for us, since we were in the thick of moving last summer and didn't even know they were on tour.
I didn't want to risk bringing my telephoto lens, so the pictures below were taken using standard zoom. Even after zooming and cropping, you can still see we really were close!
Here's what the screen looked like once the concert started:
Larry Mullen Jr:
Kate and I are sitting here talking and laughing about how he's a fifty something Dad of four:
More of the giant screen:
At one point it opened up and stretched down to the floor of the stage: