After two years of waiting. After two years of having bought plane tickets and show tickets for a different city. After two years of having to sell those tickets and buy tickets for a different, closer city. After two years of waiting, it finally happened. U2 rocked the Rice-Eccles stadium at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
We arrived 2 hours before gates opened to stand in line behind more than 2 thousand people already lined up. We waited. The gates opened at 5pm. We waited…for the crowd to start moving. 3o minutes later we entered the stadium found a place to stand that was only about 10 feet away from the circular walking platform that encompassed the main stage. And then, for another 90 minutes, we waited.
At 7pm, Denver natives, The Fray took the stage. Although a very talented band, their blend of depressing introspective music did not translate very well to such a large stadium venue. They performed for about 45 minutes. And then we waited….
For another hour we waited. We watched a very efficient crew disassemble The Fray’s set and quickly set the stage for the main act. We watched 12 luck (or unlucky) individuals be hoisted up into the legs of the “claw” to operate spotlights. We watched a ticker type system tell the time of different cities in the world as well as give us good social information such as how many days we have before the world’s oil runs out, and how many litres of water have been consumed today.
But still, we waited.
And waited some more….
Then finally, just like that, there they were. The biggest rock and roll band in the world, in the biggest traveling stage in the world. Singing in front of 50,000 screaming U2 fans. They opened up with a song that I quite frankly didn’t think they would sing, “Even better than the Real Thing”. This was one of the five songs that I hoped they would play. In fact, when the show was over, they had played 3 of the five songs that I wanted to hear most.
It was worth the wait.