Tuesday, September 6, 2011

well hello there, bono.

i had heard U2 was coming to town- but we didn't have tickets. sure, i was bummed- i think U2 is one of those bucketlist bands that everyone should see at least once. but, again, no tickets. no plans to go.

well, you can imagine my surprise when i get a call on the morning of the concert asking me if i could volunteer to help out at the show. FOR FREE. i seriously could not have been more thrilled. so, for this blog post, i found my sister-in-law lindsey's post was detailed enough to copy and paste here. plus, i am trying to catch up on 4 months of activities... lindsey won't mind, right?

so, in lindsey's words, here is the AWESOME account of the experience we had:

The day of was a busy one for me, and I had not heard a time we needed to be there. (I wasn't even sure where there was.) When I finally checked email, I read we needed to be at Rice Eccles at 4:30 to check in and get our assignments. I looked at the clock. It was 4:10. Gulp. I quickly called Ashley, who was taking Rachel's spot because she'd gotten in a car accident and wasn't up to a loud, crazy evening. We decided we had to press on and get there ASAP! I called Jon to tell him to drop what he was doing and git.
To save every precious minute, Ashley would be at In-n-Out by the freeway. Traffic was horrible, and I missed the exit. By the time I got to her I was so mad at myself and really feeling like the evening was hopeless. Would they really still let us in???
It wasn't too crowded when we got to the U, we weren't sure where to go, so we ran to the nearest gate. A woman was there checking tickets and as soon as we approached her telling her we were volunteers, she asked if we were Linda's nieces, let us know we were late, and that Ashley's zipper was down. Phew! We were in! I cannot tell you how great it felt to enter those gates. We were inside the U2 concert! For FREE! We'd made it! We found the office to sign in, and put on our bright green vests. We couldn't get a hold of or find Abby, and went off to our assignments. It appeared every "station" was covered, so we walked around quite a bit. This was good, because we were able to get our bearings, and figure out the seating. We were finally assigned at a gate to check peoples belongings in. Ashley was behind me in charge of crowd control, to make sure everyone used the crosswalk and not dart out in front of Trax and get killed. (this kept her quiet busy, I tell you!) I had my first "customer", a girl who set her backback in front of me. I started unzipping pockets and pulling things out, moving things around etc. when the "man in charge" informed me I must never put my hands inside the bags. What if there was a needle??? Oh. Good to know. I kept learning items they could not bring in as I went. It started getting quite busy and time flew by. I could hear the opening band playing and end. I was getting nervous Ashley and I were going to be stuck out there when U2 came on and began scheming a way to ditch this post. These vests were getting stashed in a ficus if it came down to it. Luckily the "man in charge" told us he only needed two people to stay, the others needed to go inside for new assignments. The other people were apparently getting paid and had strict orders to stay put, so Ashley and I were on our way again. It always threw us off when someone would stop us to ask us questions, "Where is the fastest way to find my seat? Where is Will-Call? Where is the entrance to the suits? Where is the beer? Where can I smoke?" We did not know the answers to any of these, but did our best to point them in the right direction. Just goes to show. Those people in the vests don't know nuthin'.
We meandered ourselves down to the stage area, because that was the most exciting area. As we approached the barricade, a security guy saw us coming and started moving the barricade! Unbelievable what these vests will do! We were really wanting to find Abby because we knew U2 would be coming on soon. As soon as we looked down by the stage, we saw her walking up! Joyous moment!!! We got as close as we could to the stage, chatting, looking around at everything, when a security man came up behind us, "Spread out!" What??? We can stay here??? Yes, through the entire concert we were as close to the stage as could be. Such energy as the band took the stage, belting out all the favorites. At one point Bono was walking down the bridge right towards me. It was hard not to scream, jump up and down, clap and sing along. But I felt funny doing this in a "professional vest". I mean, I've never seen the staff act this way, have you? By the end I'd totally forgotten about the vest and was singing right along. It was a chilly night and I had not realized we'd be outside and was just in short sleeves. Chilly! I had to keep moving around to stay warm. At one point some people pointed out that a guy nearby was smoking, was he allowed to do this? Stop him! Uhhhh...... I don't like confrontations.... Oh, look, he's putting it out, no worries.
U2 does not disappoint, and this 360 Tour was the best yet. They sang all my favorites and then some. They played for over two hours! While singing their last song, "With or Without You" a security guy approached us, saying, "You three, follow me". We danced and sang behind him. He led us up the ramp near the gates to the outside road where several nice SUV's were parked. "You guys stay here and make sure no one crosses over to these cars". Uh. Ok. Then he pulled Abby up a little ways to the first car. I was noticing how nice the cars were, and the men surrounding the cars in long coats and earpieces. These cars were ready, pulled up to the gates for a quick get-away. These were the bands get-away cars! The surrounding crowd was not as dense as I, and suddenly there was Bono, right in front of us, waving and climbing into the first car. I looked up to see Abby ignoring the mob, jumping up and down, blowing kisses. Then came The Edge into the next car, waving away, then Larry Mullen, then Adam Clayton. Unbelievable! What are the odds we would get to be up so close??? I tell you, the rush has still not worn off!
Afterwards we realized how starving we all were and went to Village Inn where Linda met up with us and we told her the story of our evening. By now it was after one, but we were still so pumped! I ended not even crawling into bed until after 3. What a night! Whahoooooo!

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