One month ago tonight my musical journey on the U2 360 tour came to an end, and I finally found what I was looking for. After driving over 18,000 miles through 31 states to attend all 16 U2 shows in the US wearing my ‘Larry Mullen Band’ shirt to each one, Larry hugged me on his way the stage at the last US show in Pittsburgh July 26, 2011. It was a moment I will never forget.
My 3 months on the road with U2 were filled with many great moments. My best memories are visiting Mount Rushmore, meeting Beth in Denver and becoming great friends, crying when I heard ‘Love Rescue Me’ for the first time at the Salt Lake City show, talking with Bono before the show in Seattle about meeting Larry then Larry shaking my hand after leaving the stage in Seattle, meeting Chuck in Seattle and becoming great friends, talking with Bono before the show in Oakland about meeting Larry, hearing Larry sing at the Oakland show, visiting Palm Springs, opening the show with 5 straight songs from ‘Achtung Baby’ and crying when I heard ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ for the first time this leg at the second show in Anaheim, screaming so loud when I saw Larry take off his shirt on the way to his car then getting the set list in Baltimore, seeing Larry (and the rest of the boys) arrive and get out of their cars in Nashville and then hearing ‘The Wanderer’ for the first time, visiting Johnny Cash’ grave, shaking Edge’s hand before the show in Chicago then hearing ‘Out of Control’ for the first time this leg and ‘One Tree Hill’ for the first time ever, visiting Milwaukee, seeing the U2 show in Philly with my old Elevation friends Jenny, Paola and Gina and with my new friend Natasha, the recognition on both Larry’s and Bono’s faces when they saw me as they walked to the stage in St Louis and then Bono’s ‘shout out’ to me during the band introductions, meeting Anisha in New Jersey and becoming great friends, dancing in the rain with Deb and her husband at the show in Minneapolis, the selflessness of my old Elevation friends Matt and Melissa talking with Bono about me meeting Larry in Pittsburgh, watching the show in Pittsburgh with my old Elevation friend Abbey and the show ending with ‘Bad,’ and countless smiles, nods and waves from Larry throughout my 16 shows. But there was no greater moment than Larry walking over to me on his way to the stage in Pittsburgh, not saying a word and wrapping his arms around me at my last U2 show.
Not a lot has happened in the past month since that fateful night in Pittsburgh. I guess it’s taking me longer than I thought it would to get back into the swing of things. After the tour ended, I spent almost 2 weeks at my parents’ house in Maryland before heading back home to Memphis. Since I’ve been home, I went to Elvis Week, I was sick, I have been looking for a job, and I have just started writing my book about my magnificent musical journey on the road with U2. I’m just now starting to feel normal again – whatever that is. In the coming days and weeks, I will post a detailed recap of my entire 3-month road trip on the U2 360 tour.
For some great photos of the U2 360 tour, please go to Tony Chiappetta’s site at http://t.co/yAXyNgd