"Post Game Report" - Written at 12:30 a.m. on March 30th - I didn't have my computer, so I settled for using the motel notepad to note this down after the show :) ...
|Absolutely exhausted, but too
wired to sleep yet. What a day! :-) After stressing out in a major way
over this little adventure, as expected everything was fine.
Packed up and left the house just before 11a.m., and since motel check in time wasn't until 2:00, I swung by the ESA to resolve a hockey ticket refund issue; after speaking with three people at the box office, got nothing accomplished, so after finding out that the practice I was planning to watch before heading to Charlotte wasn't going to be starting for another forty minutes or so, opted to go ahead and hit the road a little earlier than expected. Good thing, too. Top speed on the freeway for the first forty-five minutes? A whole 15 mph. Alas, it wasn't Rock N Roll that was stopping traffic, but a rain induced accident by the airport.
Eventually traffic got back up to full speed, and the despite the rain, the first half of the trip, getting into Greensboro, was a piece of cake; after adding over 3000 miles to the odometer driving to the hockey games in Greensboro before the ESA in Raleigh was finished, the practically drives itself that far. Felt weird to be taking the 85 exit to Charlotte, though, I'd never done that before. I was a little unnerved over having to drive a completely unfamiliar section of highway by my lonesome in a perpetual downpour, but managed just fine and pulled into the Sleep Inn parking lot at about 2:30. After calling to find out what time the doors were supposed to open, 6:00, I just hung out in my room, channel surfing until it was time to leave. Opted to not stand around in line in the pouring rain, had a seat in the reserved section, so headed for an overhang until they started letting people in, around 6:30 or so. Great spot to wait - dry, and you could hear the sound check from there - "Elevation" among other things.
They didn't check my backpack when I came in, which surprised me, but was a relief since my digital camera was tucked in my sweatshirt at the bottom of the bag. I swung by the t-shirt stand, picked up a shirt, program and a button, which set me back a quick $52, ran to the ladies room to relocate my undiscovered camera closer to the top of the bag, then took my seat. And WHAT A SEAT! Worth every penny. The stage walkway was about 10-12 people away from me, with only empty floorspace (and only one row of seats) between me and it. And I was very nearly parallel to the stage. Excellent! But as I discovered later, there IS such thing as being too close to the action. Partway through the show, just as Bono had sat down at the keyboard to play "Sweetest Thing", my camera and I were discovered. By the head of U2 tour security, no less. Whoops. I probably would have been okay had the guy not thought I was shooting film footage. He apparently thought I had a video camera, and sent one of the event staff to take me upstairs. No big deal, they just had me stash the thing in a locker for the rest of the evening. But what hurt was that they made me erase the floppy disk in the camera (of course, a half hour later it finally occurred to me that I could have VERY easily swapped out the disk that was in the camera at the time with one I hadn't used yet without anyone noticing, and not lost ANYTHING, but alas, by then it was too late). So much for the great footage I'd just shot of Bono during "Sweetest Thing". On the bright side, they had no idea that the disk that I'd just erased was NOT my first one, but actually my SIXTH, so while I hate the fact that disk six no longer exists, disks one through five still do. So while I wasn't able to shoot the entire show, I WAS able to keep some of it. And it WAS actually nice to not have to worry about taking photos, switching disks, or being caught, so other than a small worry in the back of my brain over storing my $600 camera in a 50 cent locker, I enjoyed the rest of the concert just fine without the camera.
After the show, I hurried back to the locker, got my camera back, and headed out the door. The rain had finally stopped, and so had the traffic. It must have taken me 45 minutes to get out of the parking lot, but once I got out, since the motel was so close, I was back and settled into the motel in less than ten minutes.
Wish I could remember song details, and orders, and such from the show, but I'm lousy at remembering stuff like that. But I remember it starting with the band just walking up on stage and starting right in on "Elevation", "Beautiful Day", "Stuck in a Moment", and then after that the songs all start to run together. They DIDN'T play "Pride", no "11 O'Clock Tick Tock", no "Desire". But they DID play things like "Until the End of The World", "Staring at the Sun", and "The Ground Beneath Her Feet", as well as "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "New Years Day". Some of the FX (yes, there WERE some, but U2 was still the star of the show this time) were drop down gauzy banners that were flown in from the ceiling on occasion, and used to great effect with lighting and shadows (during "New York"), and a small vidi-wall across the back of the stage that rose as a wall (like during "Streets") as well as separate panels (during "Mysterious Ways"). They pulled out video graphic bits from Zoo TV on a few songs. And of course the heart shaped walkway that went out from the left of the stage, came to a point out into the audience, then went back to the stage on the right side. During one song, Bono went tearing around and did two laps around the entire walkway. U2 played their set, came back for a multi song encore which opened with "Bullet the Blue Sky". Then came back for one last song, "Walk On", and then called it a night.
And what a night it was.
Concert Reviews, Articles, and Photos from "The Charlotte Observer"
U2 brings rock of ages
- Lengthy career bridges generation gap in Coliseum performance
U2 goes back to basics in heart-shaped show
My Concert Photos...
The 20+ full sized 640x480 photos are in an online album over at picturetrail.com.
|...And the MPG clips|
|The digital camera is
very handy. It IS a still camera, but it also has the capability to
shoot mpg clips up to a minute in length. And I managed to shoot several
before I had to lock up the camera for the night.