Author Topic: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017  (Read 2573 times)

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Offline weinerdog

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #45 on: June 08, 2017, 12:31:22 PM »
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Whew, didn't miss anything! I had to save a dog from thunder and lightening.

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Offline cocamojoe

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #46 on: June 08, 2017, 02:33:25 PM »
Having attended both Chicago 2 and now Pittsburgh, here are my thoughts: overall, the tour and show is amazing. Though Chicago 2 did have lots of empty seats, it was, overall, more packed than Pittsburgh. But, I expected this: Chicago is a much bigger market than is Pittsburgh (Chicago the city is something like 3.5 million, with a metro population somewhere around 9 million; Pittsburgh is aroujd 310,000, with a metro population of around 2.5 million); the Pittsburgh show was on a Wednesday night (i.e., less people would be inclined to travel, as opposed to, say, Cleveland, which is only 2 hours away, is on a weekend, and, though having a similarly sized population, sold out fairly quickly, likely as it is the final night of the North American tour); to top it off, Pittsburgh is only 2-4 hours from Cleveland, D.C., and Philly, and only 5-7 hours from NYC, Toronto, and Chicago.

Competition-wise, and logistically speaking, Pittsburgh was kind of doomed/destined to be undersold.

Both shows were excellent, and I'm especially glad to have gone to Chicago 2, as I got to hear ASoH, which was subbed out for Bad in Pittsburgh. Bono's voice sounded fuller, more strong in Chicago, though that also could have been where I was (nosebleeds in Chitown, GA for Pittsburgh). Also, it was a relatively cold evening in Pittsburgh, especially for early June (around 60F at showtime, with an overnight low around 50F), which can definitely have an effect on ones singing voice.

Though these two shows were my 9th and 10th times seeing them, they were my first and second times ever to hear New Year's Day live. That was a treat; as was hearing ASoH and tracks 5-11 from Joshua Tree. If I have any caveats about the setlist, it is that the set is too short. Sure, it clocks in at 2 hours, but the I&E and last leg of 360 was clocking in closer to 2.5 hours most nights; and, tickets were more expensive for this show. Also, ostensibly touring the Joshua Tree de facto requires at least a nod to Rattle & Hum by way of AT LEAST one song. They recorded the f****** album and shot the damn film DURING the original Joshua Tree tour, for crying out loud.

Finally, as much as I like the new song, ending on it is kind of a bum note. Beautiful Day and Elevation are SO high energy, that it's too quick of a come down, tempo and mood-wise. Either slip in something high energy, or at least play I Will Follow afterwards. I don't get their whole mentality if either/or, rather than both/and. Don't choose between Bad and ASoH, or I Will Follow and the new song; play both.

So, overall, an excellent production and all, though it could certainly be tweaked some. It'll be interesting to see what they do in Europe and South America, with how heavy handedly this is an "USA show".

Offline aviastar

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #47 on: June 08, 2017, 02:38:31 PM »
What does this portend for Louisville?

Offline cocamojoe

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #48 on: June 08, 2017, 02:48:24 PM »
Also, the friends who went with me in both Chicago and Pittsburgh were ALL U2 virgins! I can't emphasize enough how cool it is watxhing their reactions throughout the show. In Chicago, a Colombian friend (whom I met way back when I first moved to Pittsburgh, as he was then in grad school in my area) went with me, and he brought a Syrian friend (he moved to France at such a young age, that we call him Frenchie). Both of them were so utterly blown away by the musicianship, the performance, the production, and, overall, the message (we agreed that a few of the "luminous females" shown really aren't all that luminous, but that's a separate subject altogether). We didn't get seats together, as they bought their tickets the day before, while we were all a good 5-6 beers deep while watching a soccer game. All the same, I managed to find them tickets in the row DIRECTLY in front of mine! As I said above, there were a bunch of empty seats there at Chicago 2, that we did find enough empty seats together that we got to move.

In Pittsburgh, on the floor, we ranged in age from 23-50, and some were originally from anywhere from Bulgaria, to France, to Bosnia, to Ukraine. One had even lived in Canadia for a good chunk of his life. Being such a diverse group of friends, nationality wise, culturally wise, age wise, even religiously (one was Muslim, another was Protestant, one was Roman Catholic, another was Ukrainian Catholic, another agnostic), the whole message of unity was truly embodied in just our motley crew.

Seeing and hearing the reactions of some of my closest friends when they recognize different songs, and even the French gal told me today how she even loved the songs that she didn't recognize on a par with the classics that she could sing in her sleep, for me (being the U2 veteran), felt amazing, experiencing it anew, vicariously through them.

Offline cocamojoe

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #49 on: June 08, 2017, 02:50:12 PM »
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What does this portend for Louisville?
I suspect the crowd to be about the same as Pittsburgh. One plus, Stubhub tickets were going for as cheap as $15 for last nights show. Several friends of mine bought them, and the stadium moved them down to the $280 seats for free!

Offline crush_d

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #50 on: June 08, 2017, 08:56:21 PM »
Attended Seattle and Pittsburgh and I must say in comparison Pittsburgh was an average show. Well, as far as U2 show can be!

In Seattle crowd was electric and energy was overwhelming. In Pittsburgh people had fun and sung hits but it wasn't so intense. Many people were leaving during the last songs.

Also empty sectors didn't add to the atmosphere - didn't expect so many empty seats. I blame Ticketmaster, because there weren't so many good seats on sale at reasonable price <120$ (BTW, advertised low price of 35$ in fact was 65$!) so scalpers had their time even a week before the concert. And suddenly at the concert six sectors are closed and two are almost empty. Also yes, they moved those who had tickets in closed sectors. I was late and "lucky" to get an abstructed view.

But when it comes to U2 - even with a shorter set and without any special rotation songs it was awesome!

Some of my highlights from the show:
  • Exit - somehow didn't appreciate it in Seattle, but it's just a blast;
  • Little things​ - it got me into tears this time! If that will be the last song on the album I truly hope it's not about them finishing their career but just about finishing the album. I personally like it as a closer - it's symbolic in so many ways!;
  • Bad is always a highlight but it shined in Pittsburgh
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Offline cocamojoe

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #51 on: June 08, 2017, 10:37:28 PM »
In other news, earlier tonight, I saw Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds here in Pittsburgh, and, while they only played 19 songs, the show was pushing 3 hours in length.

Offline tigerfan41

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #52 on: June 08, 2017, 11:25:59 PM »
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What does this portend for Louisville?
I suspect the crowd to be about the same as Pittsburgh. One plus, Stubhub tickets were going for as cheap as $15 for last nights show. Several friends of mine bought them, and the stadium moved them down to the $280 seats for free!

Yep, same experience for my dad. I got him a $35 ticket in the 500 section, he was upgraded at no charge to section 137, which was originally $280.

The big issue with this concert, in terms of sales, is that the lower bowl tickets sold very poorly. Presumably due to the high $100/$280 price tags. There were at least 12 upper deck sections that were closed off (that I counted) in addition to those behind the stage and directly to the right or left (which weren't tarped off, but were totally empty). This was done in an attempt to fill out the lower bowl as much as possible. And it worked, as by the time U2 took the stage, the lower bowl was close to totally full.

Now, I have another theory. A few weeks ago, GA tickets were suddenly and mysteriously taken off line. Suddenly a bunch of $35 tickets showed up (and a bunch more last week) and the lower bowl was VERY blue on TM (indicating lots of unsold tickets). My theory is that GA was intentionally taken off line in an attempt to sell more of the lower bowl/$35 upper bowl tickets. It failed as they had to do the free upgrades from upper to lower AND GA was only half full...even when U2 took the stage. Seriously, look at pictures of the floor, it's very thin--so thin, that when I saw the pics, I thought it was when the Lumineers were playing...except the picture was taken when the B stage was lit up and in use by U2.

------------------------

Anyway, moving on to my own review of the show. This was my third U2 concert, first on this tour and first in 6 years. I drove from out of state, got into my hotel, then got up early to head over to the stadium. We arrived around 9am and were told that security would be giving each of us numbered wrist bands. We were in the high 100s. After getting the wrist bands, we were told that we could leave the premises and return by 2pm to line up for the concert, based upon our numbers.

That left the niece and I with 4 hours of free time, which was wonderful. Seriously, I hope all U2 concerts are run this way because it was nice to be able to explore the city and still wait in line for a good spot in GA. It was a fair process and a smooth one.

We used the time to walk the downtown area (beautiful despite the gloomy weather) and visit a local art museum. We had time to spare after that and used it to walk the area right around the stadium. We figured out where the band was set to enter (it was an obvious area where cars were constantly driving in/out of the stadium, with lots of security--just an FYI for anyone who wishes to meet the band). We stood behind the barricade setup by security and waited. Unfortunately, the band hadn't arrived by the time we left to line back up in the GA line at 2.

We get back to the GA line and line up in order. Then we're told security will let us leave the premises again, but we must be back and lined up in order again at 4pm.

So we use this time to head back over to where the band will enter. We wait again behind the barricade. By the time 4pm rolled around, the band still hadn't arrived. Turns out, they did arrive a little after we left for the GA line and Bono got out to meet the fans/sign autographs. So had we not been in the GA line, we likely could've either gotten close to Bono or met him. Ah well.

We get back to the GA line by 4 and line up in order. We're told that security will be bringing us into the stadium (after doing the typical security check) in groups of 50 fans (so 1-50, 51-100, 100-150 etc.). This was presumably done to prevent fans chaotically running into the stadium.

Unfortunately, the niece and I were forced to get GA tix off a resale site and experienced issues with the prepaid card at entry. After a trip to ticket resolution we were told that the card was invalid and not in the system. Not going to get into the whole tale (as it's a long one), but basically the ticket resale site checked with the seller and the tickets were valid, so the resale site spoke with ticket resolution, gave all the order information, ticket resolution looked up the order and printed us hard tickets. So, yep, we got the elusive hard GA tickets, which is pretty cool in a way.

Anyway, we lost our 100-something spot in the line and were bumped to somewhere near 500 after security expedited us through the line to get us as close to our original spot as possible (pro tip: always be nice to security/stadium workers, calmly explain what happened, and they'll often be very helpful and nice to you). This still got us a spot 2-3 people back on the b stage, right in front of Larry. By the end of the night, we were just 1 person back, as the crowd had shifted.

Now, onto the show itself. The Lumineers opened promptly at 7pm and played a 45 minute set. I don't personally care for their music, but they sounded good and tried to interact with the crowd. Unfortunately, when they took the stage most of the stadium was empty. It filled up by the time U2 came on.

Before U2 took the stage, someone got a copy of the "schedule" from venue security and posted it online. It stated that U2 would take the stage at 8:40pm and finish somewhere around 11. This got our hopes up that U2 would play some extra songs.

Unfortunately, that did not happen. U2 took the stage around 850pm and finished about 1050pm. I've heard that ASOH was originally on the setlist but was dropped, not sure if this was in addition to Bad or in place of it.

As for the show itself? In a word: stunning and a little bit of sensory overload for those of us in GA at the b-stage. For the first 4 songs, we have to decide what to focus on--which individual band member or should I look at the big HD screen with graphics and video of the band? The band members are all within 5-10 feet of you and it's a bit of a tough choice on who/what to focus on. But it's really, really cool.

Bono seemed to be very energetic and into the crowd, even if the crowd wasn't necessarily into him--without talking politics and breaking the rule here, I have heard feedback from some who attended the show that they did not appreciate the political "lectures" from Bono. Presumably, Bono sensed this as he mentioned toward the start of the night that "all are welcome here, regardless of who you voted for." That did little to please fans who were bothered by the message of unity, the refugee video, AIDS awareness, the Trump video etc.

As for me? I wasn't at all bothered by it and actually thought it was VERY toned down in comparison to what I have seen of other tours. It seemed like Bono was trying hard to get the message out without offending, to try to preach unity/tolerance of all sides. But again, some people took it the wrong way and still felt the show was too political. In talking to people around the town after the show, I heard a lot of mentions of the political tone, almost as if they were surprised that U2--a band that has always been political--had been a little political at their show? It seems like maybe PA might be very sensitive about this issue? I can't recall anyone complaining about the political overtones here in my state (which also leans right), but maybe I'm wrong.

The crowd around us seemed to be very into the show. Lots of singing along, lots of dancing. I don't know how crowd participation was way up in the stands, but on the floor it seemed to be quite good. Not as energetic as Chicago, obviously, but still very energetic for a concert in general.

Sound-wise, the band sounded great from our place on the floor. Not too loud, not too quiet. Everything was crisp. I've been to plenty of shows, both stadium, arena, and smaller venues, and this was one of the best sounding ones. No distortion whatsoever. I've heard from some in the stands that the sound was not so good, but again, from our place it was perfect. Even listening back to the videos I took, it sounds very good.

I was particularly impressed by the visuals of the show--specifically those during TJT portion of the show. Streets is obviously iconic and seeing them pose in front of the red screen with tree (while simultaneously seeing the drumset lowered in front of us) was so freakin' cool. The visuals really add to songs like Bullet and Exit, especially. The latter has never been a favorite of mine, but after seeing it live, I really really like it. It's partially because of the visuals but also partially because of Bono's new "alter ego", Shadow Man. He really gets into the character and it is very entertaining to see, both on the screen and right in front of you on the catwalk or B stage. It also is a perfect way of "jazzing" up a song that otherwise might not stand out in the live show.

I don't get the Salvation Army visual for RHMT, but it's cool I suppose.

Speaking of songs I normally don't like, the live performance of Wires really made me like the song more. It was an energetic, fun song live.

The post-JT set seems to flow pretty well considering the songs and how different they are. I particularly enjoyed Ultraviolet and the uplifting female message behind it and the visuals on screen. I also really enjoyed Miss Sarajevo and the accompanying video, which was very touching.

Beautiful Day and Elevation might not be die hard fan favorites, but they brought a lot of energy to the stadium after some solemn songs. Everyone around me was bouncing up and down for Elevation and they were also singing/dancing to BD. I really enjoyed the visuals for BD as they matched the song perfectly and really added to the experience. I think the Elevation/bridge part with Larry on screen is cute, considering how reserved/shy he is otherwise during the show.

Oh, and One? No matter how many songs I hear that song, I don't think I'll get tired of it or the message. It was every bit as good live at this show and seeing Adam join Bono on the B stage was sweet. The crowd around us seemed to like it a lot.

Ending with Little Things is a bit of a risk for sure, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it as a show closer. That said, it sounded good live (not as smooth as the Kimmel performance, obviously) although most around us did not know the words. I think it was a mistake for U2 to start playing it live without releasing it as a single so that fans could listen to it and maybe learn it before coming to the show. We knew the words, but that's only because we've listened to the Kimmel performance. It's very telling that even the "hardcore" fans in GA who waited many hours to get close did not know the lyrics, so I can only imagine that casual fans up in the stands had no idea what U2 was playing.

I did notice that fans in the stands began to leave during the last song. I think this was a combination of the old "leave before/during the encore to beat the concert traffic" thing and this being a new song with low interest. I don't think it's at all a poor reflection on U2's live show, though.

People have been reporting online that Bono's last words on stage right after Little Things was "well, it is Wednesday night" which was said in response to the crowd leaving early. That's not what I or others heard, though. We heard Bono say "and that was just a Wednesday night!" which was presumably said as a compliment to the crowd energy (i.e. it's a week night, but we still had a hell of a show with these fans). Again, Bono seemed to be very energetic and into the crowd all night, no hint of it being a low energy show on the band's part, anyway.

All in all, I thought it was a terrific concert. Would I have enjoyed more songs? Of course. But I&E (with its 25 song setlist) was a bit of an outlier as other U2 tours have been closer to 22 songs. They play for just about 2 hours nonstop, with hardly a break, which I can imagine may be a little tough for Bono's vocals at this stage. And the openers get 45 minutes, so it's nearly a 3 hour concert when combining their time with U2's. All that to say, I'd like to see them add more songs and, if necessary, take a longer break between the encores and perhaps start a little earlier in the night to deliver a longer concert.

I was especially happy to hear songs like NYD and Bad, both of which I had never heard live before. Bad sounded particularly good at this show and hearing the crowd participation + turning the lights out (and having the fans light up the stadium with their cell phones) was really cool.

I also want to give props to Heinz Stadium, their security, and the GA line runner for a very smooth, enjoyable queueing process. They really had their stuff together from start to finish and it showed. No snafus like in Vancouver or other cities.

My niece, being a U2 n00b, had a blast and was overwhelmed at the scale of the concert as she had never been to a concert of this size/scale before. I noticed a lot of younger fans in the crowd, which was awesome to see.

We'll be headed to the Cleveland show in a few weeks and then Detroit in a few months. Very much looking forward to those shows, but secretly hoping that U2 changes up the setlist a bit before the Detroit show.

I took plenty of pictures at the show and will see about posting them here.

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #53 on: June 09, 2017, 01:30:56 AM »
Sounds like fun, Tiger. Glad you had a good time.  Where are your seats in Cleveland and Detroit?  I'm in 106 for Cleveland and Red Zone for Detroit.  So exciting~!

Offline il_capo

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #54 on: June 09, 2017, 07:00:04 AM »
Thanks for the in depth review, tiger - glad you had a good time.  Like you I am enjoying the current version of TTYW as I've seen it on youtube, so I think I'm going to be pleased to hear it live.  It'd have been better to get a colliery band to do the video accompaniment for RHMT, but perhaps the video makers found it easier/quicker to recruit the Salvation Army instead.

It is interesting to read that Bono has tried to tone down the politics, and yet so many people are still unhappy at the tone of the concert.  Anyway, we want pictures so post away!

Offline Starman

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #55 on: June 09, 2017, 10:03:22 AM »
Tiger, I was also waiting for the band to enter but had to go back to the GA line at around 2:30. I saw online that Bono loved the drawing of him from the little girl and he signed it for her and took a picture. I thought that was very sweet.

It was a great show. I was so into it that I didn't even notice the crowd leaving early during Little Things. Without breaking the political rules here, I'm not  completely surprised that people were complaining about the politics. This is a pretty conservative area, mainly in the areas outside of Pittsburgh.

Can't wait for Cleveland!

Offline Starman

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #56 on: June 09, 2017, 10:12:56 AM »
Some more pictures:

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Offline tigerfan41

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #57 on: June 09, 2017, 11:46:58 AM »
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Sounds like fun, Tiger. Glad you had a good time.  Where are your seats in Cleveland and Detroit?  I'm in 106 for Cleveland and Red Zone for Detroit.  So exciting~!

Doing GA for both those shows as well! Had such a good experience in GA on the 360 tour and in Pittsburgh, so couldn't pass it up again. I do have family who will be up in the stands, though. It's a great show no matter where you're at.  ;D

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Thanks for the in depth review, tiger - glad you had a good time.  Like you I am enjoying the current version of TTYW as I've seen it on youtube, so I think I'm going to be pleased to hear it live.  It'd have been better to get a colliery band to do the video accompaniment for RHMT, but perhaps the video makers found it easier/quicker to recruit the Salvation Army instead.

It is interesting to read that Bono has tried to tone down the politics, and yet so many people are still unhappy at the tone of the concert.  Anyway, we want pictures so post away!

Yeah, I think you'll enjoy it! I've gotten the photos all edited now, so I'll post them here.

BTW, remember how you told me a while back to buy "October" on vinyl if I found it? Well, I finally found a copy out in Pittsburgh for $5, so I picked it up. I'll give it a listen and see if perhaps my opinion of it changes.  ;)

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Tiger, I was also waiting for the band to enter but had to go back to the GA line at around 2:30. I saw online that Bono loved the drawing of him from the little girl and he signed it for her and took a picture. I thought that was very sweet.

It was a great show. I was so into it that I didn't even notice the crowd leaving early during Little Things. Without breaking the political rules here, I'm not  completely surprised that people were complaining about the politics. This is a pretty conservative area, mainly in the areas outside of Pittsburgh.

Can't wait for Cleveland!

That's awesome! I was talking to some people who were waiting, so it's entirely possible we may have been right by each other or even talked. I found all the fans there to be super nice and most thought it was cool to see so many younger folks (my niece included) there for the show.

Are you doing GA for Cleveland as well?

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #58 on: June 09, 2017, 08:47:31 PM »
Tiger, that's neat you found "October" on vinyl.  I love "October", especially Larry's crashing drums and the sense I get of the band reaching for something that is not quite yet in their grasp but oh so close.  You can sense the raw talent and youthful enthusiasm, with the rhythm section carrying it forward at all times.

Offline Starman

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Official Pittsburgh Thread ** Spoilers** 7 June 2017
« Reply #59 on: June 09, 2017, 10:54:12 PM »
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Tiger, I was also waiting for the band to enter but had to go back to the GA line at around 2:30. I saw online that Bono loved the drawing of him from the little girl and he signed it for her and took a picture. I thought that was very sweet.

It was a great show. I was so into it that I didn't even notice the crowd leaving early during Little Things. Without breaking the political rules here, I'm not  completely surprised that people were complaining about the politics. This is a pretty conservative area, mainly in the areas outside of Pittsburgh.

Can't wait for Cleveland!

That's awesome! I was talking to some people who were waiting, so it's entirely possible we may have been right by each other or even talked. I found all the fans there to be super nice and most thought it was cool to see so many younger folks (my niece included) there for the show.

Are you doing GA for Cleveland as well?

I sure am! Not sure what the plan is yet, but it's going to be a blast.

I'm not sure if I talked to you or not. I was wearing a Penn State hat and an I+E shirt.