Sunday, September 18, 2005

Vertigo in Toronto

Where can I even begin? I was at the U2 show at Air Canada Centre on Saturday night and, needless to say, it was amazing! This is the fifth time I've seen U2 and every experience has been unique in its own way, but Saturday was absolutely unforgettable.

I met up with my buddy Bill in Mississauga and we headed down to the ACC a couple of hours before they opened the doors at 6:30. We had general admission floor tickets and we didn't want to be stuck at the back of the arena so we made sure we were in line in decent time. I would estimate there were 300 or so people ahead of us.

As we filed through security, I could see that they were scanning everyone’s tickets to see if they were one of the chosen few to make it inside the ellipse (see photo above). I hadn’t really given this much thought ahead of time. I mean, what are the chances of having a winning ticket out of the 18,000 or so tickets that were sold for the show? My buddy went through – not a winner – then they scanned my ticket and lo and behold, A WINNER! To make a long story short, the two of us were allowed to enter the “inner circle” and ended up about 6 feet from the stage! It was as if I was seeing them 25 years ago in a little club somewhere.

Now, if you don’t know me, you may think, “big deal, so you made it to the stage.” But for those who do, you will know that I am somewhat of a U2 fanatic. My over-the-top fandom has cooled a bit now that I’m older and apparently more mature, but after 4 previous concerts in big stadiums, only sort of seeing the band on the stage, this was like a dream come true. And a dream it was, for even now I can scarcely recall the details. It only seems half real.

I could give you particulars about the concert itself – the set list, the commentary, the surprise guests – but you can find that elsewhere on-line. I’d prefer just to give you my personal take on the night. The dedication of Miracle Drug to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto (who saved my life when I was born) brought a tear to my eye. One was turned into a prayer and I found myself praying as well (“do you hear me knockin’ Lord…?”), Yahweh & 40 to end the felt like we had just done church and to a certain extent, maybe we did.

My U2 concert history…
March 28, 1985 – Maple Leaf Gardens
October 3, 1987 – Exhibition Stadium
September 6, 1992 – Exhibition Stadium
October 26, 1997 – Skydome

September 17, 2005 – Air Canada Centre


Andrea said...

Hey Brad, go ahead and use my photos if you'd like!

PS I also came up a winner, at Monday's show!

James said...

Was I at the show with you in 1985? I remember being at Maple Leaf Gardens with Bill and Doug, I think. Did they play more than once in Toronto in 1985? And I remember the 1997 show with you, and the MuchMusic thing, and the "listening party" for Pop.

So how come you didn't call me about this show?