Okay, let me get this out of the way: yes, I high-fived Paul McGuinness on his way out of the arena tonight. I just wrote a post a week ago that mildly criticized him (on his birthday no less), and tonight he becomes the closest I’ve been to an actual member of U2 (not counting standing in a crowd). So, yay me, right?
So I get into the arena and down to my seat, and discover that I am exactly parallel to the back of the main stage, on the south side (Edge’s side). There are three rows of seats in front of me, all empty because they wouldn’t have been able to see on the stage, then my row. I would estimate that when I stood up the back edge of the stage was probably around belly height to me. Not bad, although there was some equipment in the way a little too. I was also next to one of the entrances into the arena, one of the ones at each corner.
I sat next to a couple who also happened to be from Texas, and we had a nice conversation before the show. I kept looking back down the tunnel, and down the tunnel on the far side too, trying to figure out which side 3/4 of the band would be coming from (I knew Bono would come out the far end). Turns out they came out the opposite side to me, which is very disappointing, but it also turns out that my side was the celebrity entrance. A few minutes after sitting down, George Lucas came through with someone, I said “George” to him but he didn’t pay any attention to me (was hoping to get a Sheldon moment in there). A few other people came by now and then, and I kept looking back to see who was coming. A group that looked like a band, a couple of people I semi-recognized (I know it wasn’t Jon Bon Jovi, but who’s a singer that looks somewhat like him?). There was a dude who looked like a rapper, not sure which one.
So the show went on, and I was mildly disappointed because frankly the angle wasn’t great for the band. The three of them came over to my side a few times during the show (not enough I don’t think). I enjoyed the angle to the band less than yesterday, when I was in GA, but I enjoyed the angle to the screen much better, I was able to see it and see what was going on much better.
They played both Out Of Control and Bad, two of my favorite songs. Really happy about that. They also played the (mildly) sucky version of Sunday, it’s just a little slow-paced for my liking.
At some point, I have no idea which song it was, but Bono came over to our side, in the corner, and his spotlight shining on him also happened to shine on the security guard who had been standing at the celebrity entrance all night. She did not look around at him at all, even though he was right above her. I went down at the end and asked her about it, and she laughed and said that she’d lose her job if she turned around, although she was tempted to look up instead, she could have seen him that way. But she was happy because she knew he was there and she was in the spotlight with him. I don’t think I would have resisted that temptation, which explains why I’m not a security guard at a U2 show.
And so to the end of the show, I am watching Streets, and somehow realize that several people were just coming in beside me, and realized that Paul McGuinness was one of them (the rest were female, no idea who they were, band wives? His wife might have been one of them, there was an older lady there (sorry, lady)). I watched them out of the corner of my eye, they went over to the edge of the GA crowd. Anyway, Streets ended and One started, and Bono dedicated One to Paul, and then the crowd mostly sang One, which was great. But Paul and the ladies left before the end of One, which surprised me that it was dedicated to him and he left in the middle. But as they came down the celebrity exit, I put my arm down to high five and yelled “Paul,” and he looked up and raised his hand and grasped my hand, in a sort of handshake. Then he went on out. And I stood up and watched the end of the show, thinking that wow, that moment might just have made it the best show of my life. Hard to top that, right?
Two down, two to go. Third deck on Sunday, I doubt I’ll meet anyone famous up there.
My rating for Chicago 2: 10 / 10