Pre-show jitters

The week that I have been waiting for begins today. After months (years?) of anticipation, planning, dreaming and hoping, mere hours after this blog post goes live, I will get on a plane and head to Chicago. And less than 24 hours after the post goes live I will be at Chicago 1, the first Innocence + Experience concert I will have attended live. I say live because I have watched many (most) of the shows online in various forms (Periscope, Meerkat, Twitter and YouTube), so I have a great deal of knowledge of what is coming.

I am going to attend shows 1 and 2 by myself, once in GA and once in the seats, and then shows 3 and 4 in the seats with my wife and son (ten years old, and will be seeing his first U2 show live). My plan is to write after each show, so come back tomorrow and you’ll see my review of the first Chicago show (spoiler: it’s going to get a 10 / 10, as every live U2 concert automatically does. That’s just the way it works). And through the rest of the week I’ll be doing reviews of each show along with some thoughts on the whole experience in between.

So what about the title? Pre-show jitters, how can I have those? I’ll admit to a mild nervousness before every show that I attend, even knowing that it’s going to be good, but I just have worry that something might happen. It might be something with the band (like falling off the stage), it might be something with the flights or the tickets or whatever. Just that something will go wrong and I won’t see the show, or won’t enjoy it for some reason. This has never happened, it’s just my own worry. I can’t explain it really. And add to that my son’s first show, I have to hope that he loves it, I think I will be nervous that he won’t like it, or won’t be happy being there.

So literally as I write, this time tomorrow I will be at the show. An hour in, so we’ll be approaching the intermission. For a while, watching the early shows on Periscope, I had the idea that I would return the favor and Periscope the show back out to the world. But then, as I thought about it, I kind of decided not to (sorry). A couple of things made me lean that way, first, when Bono had all those folks up on the stage last week, and told them to put down their phones and enjoy the moment. That’s what I want to do. And second, I saw a photo from last week, taken by someone in the GA, and there were half a dozen people between them and the stage, all holding up phones and taking pictures and video. I realized that I do want to enjoy the moment, and I don’t want to be staring through a screen when Bono reaches down toward me (as if!). I can find photos much better than what I can take, so why do it? It would be my photo, sure, but I’m not sure that matters so much. I know I’m being hypocritical by saying all that, when I watch Periscopes myself. Maybe it’ll be different when I’m in the seats versus in the GA.