Tuesday, June 14, 2011

U2 || Even Better than an Ankle Sprang || Oakland June 7, 2011

U2 Oakland June 7, 2011
I had seen this thing coming down the pipeline before.  For me the last experience like this was the night I got backstage all, access passes to see The Rolling Stones "Bridges to Babylon Tour" in 1997.  So I knew what to expect.  The likeness of a gifted gem of one more childhood Christmas Eve or a highly anticipated trip to Disneyland as a young lad.  I was prepped and ready for it.

See a good friend has a certain family member that happens to be a founder of Elevation Partners, the famous "dream team" of venture capital firms that happens to include Bono.  So I knew that U2 was coming and that they would probably have pretty good seats.  I planted the seed, "Ya know, sometimes people fall off the bus at the very last moment.  If anyone cannot make the show at the last minute I want to let you know that I am available."  At 9:30pm the night before I got the call.  "We have an extra ticket."  Bingo.  I am in!

I shifted my day to an early office close and headed up to the pre-party in Atherton.  Cold beer and good food all within the backdrop of a beautiful private estate.  Unfortunately Bono couldn't make it, I think he was donating his time at the local children's hospital before the show (not really).  Either way we prepped up for the big night with food and booze then climbed aboard the luxury liner bus and made the 3 hour jaunt over to Oakland.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  It took 3 hours to go 40 miles.  There was a massive traffic jam trying to get to the coliseum and we never even made the bus ride into the coliseum parking lot.  We got out and hoofed it for about four blocks.  And we were the lucky ones getting in about 9:30pm just in time to see the lights go down.  We heard later that some people didn't even make it to their seats until about 11pm.
U2 360 - Light Attack
We got to our seats, which by all standard we definitely corporate.  They were close enough to be "really good seats", but for a true music fan they were nothing to write home about.  That was until I got a "red zone" pass slapped around my neck.  My friend and I proceeded to walk right on up to the stage.  This is what we saw....

Sunday Bloody Sunday


Bono Serenading the Crowd

All and all a great show.  They kicked off with "Even Better Than the Real Thing", which was my personal motto pre-show because, I felt like I was a little kid on his way to Disneyland.  It was like I was dreaming the whole time, this unexpected fortunate experience that was bestowed upon me.  The stand out numbers were "I Will Follow", Bowie's "Space Oddity" going into "Pride".  I personally enjoy "Vertigo" as well as "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and I was happy that the video came out so well.

If you think about it U2 is amazing.  Not only are they still the same four guys rocking in a rock band the way we all wish we could, they have been doing it for 30 years.  Any fan who has a love for live rock 'n' roll  can attest to U2's incredible staying power to continuously put on a great show with just four members (along with a hidden keyboardist under the stage, they have been doing that for years).  I referred to the Rolling Stones show that I saw back in 1997 and "yes" it was a great show.  And "yes" they are one of my favorite bands of all time, but still they came with full horn section, back up singers, percussion, keyboards and god only knows who else was on the stage.  So to see a stripped down 4 piece rock a crowd of  69,000 people was a sight to be seen.  And then there was the light show......hats off, men.

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