Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The U2 Experience - Key Arean, Aisle 205, Row 12

I realized how big the U2 concerts were going to be when I heard that people had to stand for hours outside Key Arena's box office the day the tickets went on sale sometime in February. But nothing drove the realization in more than the cramped parking lots around Key Arena this evening as I drove all over the place to find a convenient spot for my car. Amruta and Sid kept me company while I navigated through the streets around Seattle Centre and finally found a great spot just outside our destination.

By all accounts, this was the most number of people gathered at Key Arena for an entertainment event and the lines to get anything (beer, food, etc) were serpentine. The opening act had just ended and the stage was being prepped for U2 when we entered the main arena and stood in line to get through security. I am actually glad that I didn't get in any earlier because I don't think I'd have the patience to endure the opening act and the long 45 minute break between them and U2. Between waiting in lines and drinking our beers, it was just about "The Band"
made their grand enterance.

And what an entrance it was my countrymen... They had an eclectic list of songs that spanned most of their career, my favourites being New Year's Day and Bullet the Blue Sky. I must say that Bono is an entertainer par excellence and U2 is really, really good at doing their Live gigs. It appeared as if they were infallible on stage, their personas projected on the giant screens making them seem larger than life. Bono had a very clear message to deliver during the concert - his fight against discrimination and the upliftment of the people of Africa.
And when he sang "Where the Streets Have No Name" with the flags of the African countries flashing on the giant screens behind him, I got sucked into the emotion of it all and couldn't help but sing my heart out. U2 are rockers with a mission to help the people of the world and I respect that...

If you ask me, the most singular moment of the evening had to be when Bono asked people to text their names to a number (UNITE which is 86483) and the arena's lights were turned off. The members of the crowd reached for their cell phones to text their names and in doing so, the glow from their displays mimicked the lighter effect in rock shows. It was a surreal experience, the lights from the displays twinkling like stars in the sky and as if moved by intuition, people lifted their cell phones above their heads and swayed from side to side. Something about the sight of nearly forty thousand people holding a dim light and swaying from side to side that can't be quite explained in words, it has to be experienced...

1 comment:

  1. wow!sounds like it was a great concert...too bad I am going to miss it when they perform in Chicago.