Author Topic: Worth a 22-year wait  (Read 1272 times)

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Worth a 22-year wait
« on: October 06, 2009, 01:03:19 PM »
So my quest to see U2 in concert was going to end. I had the date marked down. My plans were rough but set. I was headed to Hampton, Va. on either Dec. 11 or 12. This was early December 1987, mind you.

Problem was, I was a sophomore at Garner High School, and this thing called history was in progress. The Trojans were deep in the NCHSAA 4-A Football Playoffs. Anthony Barbour, Hal Stewart, the no-name defense, Hal Stewart's old lucky socks. Those were the things that were first in the minds of all Trojan fans. Everything else -- actual school work, family, the meteoric rise of the world's greatest band -- suddenly was on the back burner, especially after the Trojans held at the goal line in the Eastern 4-A Championship against Northern Durham, setting up a date with Charlotte Harding for the state championship - on the weekend of Dec. 11-12, 1987.

So long, Bono, hello Charlotte. The "dirty old dogs," as Hal called us, were all off to Charlotte for the state championship game. So long Hampton, hello C-Town.

Most of you know the story by now: AB (Barbour) scored on the first play from scrimmage and two-and-a-half hours later, the Trojans ruled the 4-A football world.

I thought about that night a bit as I settled into my seat at Carter-Finley Stadium Saturday night. Sure there'd been other tries at seeing U2 in concert. Ten years after my first attempt I was set to attend the PopMart tour at Carter-Finley but that show was cancelled when the video screen was struck by lightning three nights before in Washington D.C., prompting the cancellation of the Raleigh show.

In 1992 and 2001, I couldn't get tickets to the shows in Charlotte. I could have gotten tickets, of course, but didn't want to scalp them.

Three years later, I bit a big bullet and paid way too much for two tickets to the Vertigo Tour show set for the then-new Charlotte Arena. It was going to be a great outing for me and my current female acquaintance but (like many previous and then future female acquaintances) she found a way to do without me for that night. So without time to find a "U2-worthy date," I ditched the tickets on eBay.

This time around, though, I was going no matter what. Acts of God and women be damned, Clay and U2 were coming together in Raleigh.

So I arrive at said show wondering what I was in for. Would these guys still have it? Would they be entering their old guy band stage by now? I'd heard some wild rumor that Bono had gotten fat and was losing his voice.

As an N.C. State graduate, I was fully prepared for yet another trip to Carter-Finley that ended in disappointment.

Then, a funny thing happened. The show started and it was better than anything I could have imagined it would be. It was like I'd imagined it would be in 1987, only better and more polished. It had the polish only one of the world's greatest rock bands can put on it. A band that didn't show any signs of entering into any kind of decline.

The stage was massive but created the most intimate feel of a concert you'll ever attend with 50,000 other people.

Bono's voice was amazing; he wasn't fat. (There's no way he possibly could be with the energy and cardio it takes to belt out songs for more than two hours.) The Edge was the Edge, Adam Clayton was Adam and Larry Mullen Jr. banged away on the drums like no one else can.

I even found myself belting out the lyrics to two of my least favorite U2 offerings: "Mysterious Ways" and "Vertigo."

And when Bono belted through "One" into a snippet of "Amazing Grace" and then on into "Where the Streets Have No Name," I realized that some things in life are worth waiting for -- even a wait of more than two decades.

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Offline efdeat

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Re: Worth a 22-year wait
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2009, 04:43:14 PM »
I am glad you found the show worth the wait!  What a story, with all your mis-steps and ones-that-got-away.  Glad you were able to catch the band this time around.  I'm still making sense of it all.  :)

Offline StrongGirl

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Re: Worth a 22-year wait
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2009, 09:52:23 PM »
Wow your story is very similar to mine! It was a 22 year wait for me as well! Joshua Tree tour was the last I saw the boys. I felt the same way when I finally saw 360!! It was an experience I'll never forget!