Thursday, October 22, 2009
U2 ROAD TRIP
The concert was scheduled to start at 7, with the Black-Eyed Peas as the opening act. We arrived at our hotel in Oklahoma City (all the hotels in Norman were booked up solid - I was lucky to find the one we got) around 4, changed, and headed to Norman in search of dinner. I had gotten several recommendations for restaurants from former Normanites, but the crowd were so large around the campus that we ended up at Freebirds (a favorite from our Austin days) instead of any of those. Ah well, no complaints about a good burrito.
The crowd was an interesting mix of college kids, 30-40 year-olds, parents with children, and even people my parents' age (sorry Mom and Dad, but you are certainly older than most of the people I would expect to see at that sort of concert). I have never been to a college football game, but Mindy commented that the crowd really felt like that sort of crowd.
Eventually, we made our way to the stadium and climbed up to our seats in the nosebleed section (hey- what can I say - I am cheap when it comes to tickets). Actually, it wasn't truly the nosebleed section of the stadium - there was another level above us, but it wasn't in use for the concert. We had fun talking with the people around us, and speculating about how full the floor would get, once U2 started.
The only problem was the wind. Oklahoma is a pretty windy place, and according to one of the people seated near us, the wind that day was some of the strongest in quite awhile. We were near the top of the stadium, so the wind whipped around up there, bringing a cold edge with it. I began to regret leaving my extra sweatshirt and hat in the car.
But all such problems were quickly forgotten when, after the BEPs finished, a woman carrying a large wad of tickets came through our area and exchanged our nosebleed seats for ones only 15 rows away from the floor. We were still a ways from the stage, but the people actually looked like people, and not ants. Everyone in that section had been moved from up higher - I think they moved the original inhabitants to the floor or something - so we were all really excited. Everyone around us had to call someone else and exclaim "We just got moved down to row 15 (or 16 or 14...)!!!" Mindy quickly updated her Facebook status to do the same.
And then, U2 came on. It was awesome. The crowd stood up as soon as Larry Mullen Jr. appeared in the entrance, and didn't sit down until Bono directed us to, about 1.5 hours later. In all, they played for 2 hours - songs from the new album, songs from older albums, and songs from in-between. Mindy was spellbound throughout. I was too (apart from a couple of times drunk fans nearby tried to drown out Bono - not a wise thing to do). I am sad that Benjamin couldn't be there with me, but I had a really good time with Mindy. Thanks for the pictures Mindy!