Tuesday, October 27, 2009

U2 10.23.09

So much to say and so little time … First of all, I think my brain went on vacation* this past weekend as well, and forgot to leave a number where I can reach it in case of emergency, and it hasn't come back yet.

*Seriously. I have made simple mistakes that for me are so stupid like mistaking The Cure for Depeche Mode and Counting Crows for Hootie and the Blowfish... Something I wouldn't normally do. And lets not even go to how long it took me to come up with the name of a U2 song (In God's Country) even though I could sing all the words to it.

The question I have been asked the most this week has been… How was U2?

Before I get to that though, let me tell you about my weekend in Vegas.

I had never been to Las Vegas before. It's never been high on my priority list. I used to think Vegas was so far away, and I guess 400 miles is far, but not as far as I thought*. I have realized as I have gotten older that the world is a much smaller place then I was led to believe.

*I remember back in High School when my friends invited me to go to St. George with them on Spring Break. My mother threw a fit because it was so far away and didn't want me to go, but because I was a responsible teenager, and stubborn to boot, I went anyway. That was my first trip away from home without my family. Over the years, and now having a sister-in-law who lives in St. George the road between here and there has gotten shorter with at least 2 trips down a year, and when you think about it, Las Vegas is just another 100 miles down the road… We've already driven this far, we might as well keep going, right.

Thursday Night…

The trip down was fun, it was just me and John and Becca. We spent Thursday night at John's sister's house* in St. George and got to visit with the family there. We watched an awesome show on VH1 about the 100 Greatest Songs of the 80's**. Great show. All the while confusing their daughter because I had introduced Becca as my "sister" and not as my "sister-in-law" and she just couldn't figure out how we were sisters and we didn't look anything alike.

*Thanks for the rooms Kristin! We really appreciated it.

** The Top 3 were:

1. Bon Jovi "Livin' on a Prayer"

 2. Def Leppard "Pour Some Sugar on Me"

3. Duran Duran "Hungry Like the Wolf"

Friday morning…

The day dawned bright and early, and we sent out for Vegas with a detour along the way. We decided that since we couldn't check into our hotel until 3:00 pm we would drive over and check out Hoover Dam.

We took the scenic route down NV-169 through miles and miles of nothing. We did pass The Lost City Museum along the way, as well as the Valley of Fire*, and a little rest stop called Red Rocks (which was literally just a bunch of big red rocks with an outhouse.)

*John says to never go to The Valley of Fire. There is nothing there but red sand and snakes.

Eventually after a few construction zones in the middle of nowhere and several hours we arrived at Hoover Dam* one of the "wonders of the modern world." While there we took the Dam Tour, watched a dam movie, took some dam pictures, looked at the dam suspension bridge they're building, rubbed the toes of the dam guardians, visited the dam gift shop, bought some dam souvenirs, used the dam restrooms and then went on our dam way back to Vegas.

This detour was pretty dam fun, I had never been on the dam tour before so that was neat to me. We took the dam cheap tour for $11 per person. This dam tour took you down to the power plant and gave you some dam interesting information that took about 30 minutes. The other tour was $30 per person and took 2 hours to go through all sorts of different dam rooms and an abundance of dam** information.

*I think the Dam is cool. This was my second voyage out to the dam.

**By the time we left the dam Becca was pretty tired of us using the word dam so much, but when you're at the dam don't you just have to put the word dam into every sentence possible… We sure think so.

Eventually we made it to Las Vegas and thanks to the Garmin we found the Eastside Cannery Hotel and Casino without too much difficulty. And it turns out the hotel was basically right around the corner form Sam Boyd Stadium and we got a pretty good look at the stadium as we drove in. None of us could see the stadium from our rooms, but it was neat none-the-less.

Friday Night….

After a short rest we piled back in the car so Becca could drop us off at the stadium at 6:00 pm and she turned around and drove to the airport to pick up Norm whose flight landed at 7:00 pm.

John and I cut in line and got into the stadium in just a few minutes and joined the mosh-pit that was the merchandise stand, bought some t-shirts and pushed our way out again… Then we bought water and headed to our seats.

Our seats were great. We were in section 122, row 18, seats 2-5 just on a little diagonal angle from the stage. There were no obstructions in our view, and no people too tall of too fat to see around. The night was perfect, cool, but not too cold, clear skies and a nice breeze.

There were celebrities in the crowd and an ex-president in the press box.

Stepping into the stadium was breath  taking. The stage was huge. The crowd was electric. I was so excited to get this party started.

The stage was magnificent. One gigantic space ship in the field of people taking us all to another place to experience U2 like never before. I have to say, that THIS stage comes in 2nd in my Top 4 favorite U2 stages.

My List*:

  1. PopMart 1997
  2. 360 Tour 2009
  3. Elevation 2001
  4. Vertigo 2005


*Hmmm… that's a harder list then I thought. I don't know that any of them fit in a "bottom slot" of my list. Maybe I should make it my Top 5 list even though there is no #5 and that way no one loses out.

The opening act* came on shortly after 7. It was the Black Eyed Peas. I don't like them. I would say that they sucked, but I can't decide if they sucked because they were bad, or if they sucked because I hated them. They played for about 45 minutes… I don't think it was a whole hour.

*Opening Acts for U2 that I've seen:

1997 Rage Against the Machine – sucked

2001 No Doubt – not terrible, but still not a band I listen to.

2005 Kanye West – sucked

2009 Black Eyed Peas - sucked

Ground Control to Major Tom started playing. The crowd roared, the lights went out, the stage lit up. U2 took the stage around 8:45 pm and played until well after 11:00 pm.

The concert was AWESOME! Really, that's the only description that I can come up with for it today. I loved it, I loved every minute of it. Dancing to the music I love, Singing along with the band I love, Sharing that special experience with the people I loved… All that only made it better. The crowd was awesome and you know everyone was there to see U2 and everyone there loved it.

Tangent: I don't know if I will ever be accustomed to the way people are at events outside of the state of Utah. Here, people will get their beer limit and move on, but at the U2 concert I had a hard time deciding if there was a beer limit. Most people were completely sloshed before the doors even opened, and as soon as they had their souvenirs the next stop was the beer stand. I swear everyone around us was super drunk, and the Nashvillians* who sat behind us were not only completely drunk before they came, but after the concert there were no less then 20 bottles under their seats and at least that many empty cups. This group also discussed how they had smoked their pot in the parking lot before the show and leaned over to ask John if he had any. When he replied that he did not they lady said "I know you have some and you just don't want to share" With her disappointment with John's answer she leaned over me breathing on me with her rancid beer breath and asked if I had any … yeah, sure lady, get a life.

*All of the Nashvillians behind us had to be in their late forties so their drunken stupidness was just that much more stupid in my opinion. Younger drunk kids you can just shake your head and comment on how stupid they are, but the older they get it turns from disappointment to pity.

Here's what they played.

2.Get On Your Boots
4.Mysterious Ways
5.Beautiful Day "In God's Country" snippet
6.I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For "Stand By Me" and "Viva Las Vegas" snippets
7.Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
8.No Line on the Horizon
10.In A Little While
11.Unknown Caller
12.Until The End Of The World
13.The Unforgettable Fire
14.City Of Blinding Lights
15.Vertigo "All These Things That I've Done" snippet
16.I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight Remix "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" and "Two Tribes" snippets
17.Sunday Bloody Sunday
19.Walk On "You'll Never Walk Alone" snippet


20.One "Amazing Grace" snippet
21.Where The Streets Have No Name

22.Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
23.With Or Without You
24.Moment of Surrender


By the end of the concert my ears were ringing, my head was fuzzy from all the pot smoke around us, and my voice was scratchy from all the cheering. That's how you're supposed to feel after a concert. (I prefer without the pothead, but it usually comes with the package.) It was great. I think it only took us about 45 minutes to get out of the parking lot and head back to the hotel.

I didn't get to sleep until after 2 am even though I was so tired.

Side Note: The hotel was nice. I guess it's newer so it's not so run down or smelly as other casino/hotels I have been to. Very nice, I could stay there again. One complement to the hotel – nice curtains! I didn't wake up until 8:54 am but when I opened my eyes the room was still pitch black. I loved it. I wish I had such great light blocking curtains at my house.

After getting room service for breakfast (there was an hour wait) we got ready to go out to the Strip and took off for my first experience of Las Vegas.

We went to the Outlet Stores first and did a little shopping. I got a new purse and a Pooh Bear. Then it was off to the Strip. We went to Cesar's Palace first. Wandered around for a while and did a little more souvenir shopping. John got some nifty Batmobile's from FAO Schwartz.

After a few hours there we went to MGM and looked at the lions. We walked through the casino and out to the street. We had dinner at the brand new Hard Rock Café. Went to the M&M Store, and The Coke Store… was there somewhere else? I don't remember. But that was enough for our day. We went back to the hotel. It was only 8:30 Vegas Time, but it was 9:30 Utah time. And we were all tired.

Sunday… We drove home. That is a long drive.

Well, it is now Tuesday and it is snowing here. I miss the warm weekend that I had in Vegas where the daily temperature was about 80 degrees and then we come home and it in the 40's!! Granted, I wouldn't want to live in that climate because I do enjoy the fall and some times the winter, but the idea of being a Snowbird and go to warmer weather for the winters*.

*I have always thought that Hawaii would be a nice place to live 80 degrees year round with the beach and the trees, but eventually, I think I'd feel trapped with no way off the island and then claustrophobia would set in and it wouldn't be so fun anymore.

That is the travel log. I had so much to say about the concert, but words just don't seem right. I think that to really understand the experience of a U2 concert you just have to go to one yourself.


I almost have John convinced that we should go to Seattle on 6/10/10 just to see them again.

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1 comment:

Lindsay said...

It sounds like you had a great time! I love No Doubt so I'm glad you didn't say they sucked when they opened for U2.

The world is pretty small.

That's so cool they played "Space Oddity!" I think David Bowie successfully kept me from wanting to be an astronaut when I was a kid, just with one little song. Poor Major Tom.