It was my first U2ieTour ticket purchased. I used my u2.com presale code to ensure I would see U2 Opening Night at Madison Square Garden. This Saturday July 18, 2011 will be my 85th U2 show, my 10th of the innocence and experience tour, and U2’s first of eight shows in New York City where they end this first North American leg of the tour.
This weekend I am going up to New York City for the first two shows Saturday July 18 and Sunday July 19. For the first time I am not flying to get to the shows – yay! I only live about three hours from NYC, so I am taking the Megabus – it’s actually cheaper than driving with tolls and gas, plus I don’t really want to drive in Manhattan. I’m taking the Megabus up Saturday morning and arrive in NYC just a few blocks from MSG around 11:30am. I will check into the Wyndham New Yorker hotel just a few blocks from MSG, unpack, eat lunch and rest a bit before meeting up with my friends at the Garden. The New York shows are going to be great because I will be with a lot of my old Elevation tour friends as well as new friends I have met on this tour. U2 really brings people together. For the second show at MSG on July 19, I will probably walk around Manhattan before heading over to the show. Not that I need to sightsee in New York because I’ve been so many times, but I would like to wander around a bit and take it all in. I leave for home Monday morning at 9am via Megabus.
The following weekend I go back up to New York City for six days for the final four shows of the North American leg of the tour. I leave my house Sunday morning July 26th and arrive in Manhattan via Megabus around 11:30am just a few blocks from Madison Square Garden. For this longer stay, I will be at the Candlewood Suites Times Square about five or six blocks from MSG. It is further than the New Yorker hotel, but it has a full kitchen and is a larger space. I will be going to the fifth and sixth NYC U2 shows on Sunday July 26th and Monday July 27. Tuesday and Wednesday I will be working from my hotel room. Tuesday night I might take in a Broadway show or just stay in and rest. Wednesday night July 29th is the atU2 20th anniversary party at The Cutting Room. This is going to be a blast! Everyone is going and there is going to be a performance by U2 tribute band Unforgettable Fire, who I haven’t seen since the Elevation Tour – it is also their 20th anniversary. Thursday July 30 and Friday July 31 are the last US shows on the innocence and experience tour. Friday is sure to be an epic show – the 8th ie show in NYC, the last on this leg and my 90th U2 show. I am sure we will hear something new or at least something that hasn’t been played in a long time, like “Two Hearts Beat As One” that I heard sound checked in Chicago. I have been VERY fortunate this tour as I have heard everything U2 has played except for “Stuck in a Moment” and “In God’s Country.” It is why I chose to go to the first and last show of the North American leg as well as equally space the shows in between the beginning and the end – so I would hear a variety of songs and experience any changes to the shows. I got spoiled on 360 going to every US show, so this was the next best thing to ensure I got to hear everything, or mostly everything.
Originally I had all eight ie shows in New York City, but I sold the third and fourth shows when the Denver shows were announced. I wanted to see U2 in a different city, I love Denver and the Denver shows were weekend shows where the third and fourth NYC shows were weekday shows, so this gave me less time off of work. And how fortuitous I did that! The first Denver show on June 6, 2015 was where I reached my goal, my dream was realized and I got something I didn’t even aspire to. I met Larry that day in Denver, after only meeting him once 14 years prior on the Elevation Tour. Yes, that’s how long I’ve been waiting to meet Larry again (although he did hug me on his way to the stage in Pittsburgh at the last 360 show in the US). I met Larry in Denver. I told him about my book I wrote, gave him a copy of it and then he autographed a copy for me – goal reached and dream realized. This was my first autograph from Larry. When I published my book, my goal was to give it to Larry so he may read it – or at least know of its existence. I also met Bono that day and told him about my book and he autographed it too. At the concert that night, Larry and I locked eyes during “Angel of Harlem” then he walked over to me and gave me his drumsticks. I didn’t have a sign and I didn’t ask for them, he just gave them to me. So yeah I am glad I sold two of my New York shows to go to the Denver shows!
This has truly been the Dreams Come True tour for the fans. Not only my dreams realized, but everyone’s. Fans have been pulled onto the stage to dance with with Bono, to play with U2 and to play in place of U2 while U2 watched – unreal! Fans have met each member of the band as U2 has been greeting the fans before every show, Larry has given drumsticks to fans with signs asking for them and the crew has given out many set lists. Dream out Loud because U2 is not finished yet. I am sure these final eight shows in New York City are going to unforgettable!
I will do my best to periscope (I know I’ve said that before, but really this time I’m going to do it), video, take pictures, tweet and blog these final unforgettable moments on the ie tour in North America. It’s going to be a sad day August 1st when it’s all over and I’m on that Megabus for three hours back home remembering the good times and knowing there are no more U2 shows … until next year hopefully. See you On the Road with U2!