U2ieTour NYC1&2 July 18-19, 2015

What made the first two U2ieTour shows in New York City at Madison Square Garden on July 18 and 19 especially fantastic was that I was not expecting anything – I had no plans to meet the band or wait in the GA line. I had already had so many great experiences on this tour that I had no goals to reach. I was just going to let whatever happened happen. And it did and it was glorious! I met Larry again, I was on the rail at the e stage and I heard one of my favorite songs that I have never heard before and that U2 hasn’t played in over 25 years. If this is how U2 opens the first of eight shows at the Garden, I can’t imagine how the final shows are going to be!

I left my house Saturday morning July 18 just after 7am, drove about 45 minutes up to White Marsh to catch the 8:20am Megabus to New York City. After stopping at the weigh station and some traffic in the Lincoln Tunnel, we finally arrived in Manhattan around 12:15 – about 45 minutes late. I checked into the New Yorker Hotel, was given a free fridge then went across the street for some yummy New York pizza! Around 1:45 I walked over to Madison Square Garden. As I was walking by the GA line President Obama drove by. A few motorcades first and then his. Then I turned the corner and at 2pm and saw Bono drive in. I wasn’t planning on waiting out for the band, but I couldn’t walk away once I saw Bono drive in, so I stayed. But I stood alone on the opposite side of where the crowd was just thinking I would take pictures and then be in a good spot to see them get out of the cars when the others arrived. (It was a parking lot / loading dock area with the perimeter shaped like an L.) 004

I immediately texted my friend Vicky was was just getting on the train from Long Island. Tonight was going to be her first U2 show. Bono was taking his sweet time meeting with all the fans. People were now filling up on my side of the ‘L’ and Bono was making his way over to us as well. I texted Vicki and told her to hurry up that Bono was still outside signing autographs. She arrived about three minutes before Bono got to us. Before either of us said a word, Bono made a B line for Vicky and kissed her on the cheek. Then I told Bono that it was Vicky’s first U2 show, and he said something like ‘oh I hope we don’t mess up’ or ‘I hope we play a good show for you’ – something along those lines. Vicky asked Bono for a picture, but he declined and immediately started writing her shirt without her asking for an autograph. We think he wrote, “Got to get Bono off my chest.” 11205528_431395023711230_3831899378854478038_nAs Bono was finishing up, I asked Brian if Larry would be stopping. Brian of course laughed at me and said he didn’t know – I always ask Brian that. Then Bono looked over at me and his eyes all a glitter, winked, smiled and shook his head – I always ask Bono that too. Edge drove in next, but did not stop. Then Larry drove in.

I had no intentions or hopes of meeting Larry again after giving him my book in Denver and getting my picture with him in Chicago, but there I was and I wasn’t going to leave. Besides, I didn’t think Larry would walk all the way around to our side anyway especially since it was so crowded by this time. But he did. Larry made his way down the line across from us then he peeked around the corner to see how many more people were waiting. I could tell he was sort of like ‘oh no that’s a lot of people but I’m here so I kind of have to now’ – at least that’s what I thought his face said. Larry was taking pictures and shaking hands but was not signing autographs, but met with everyone who was waiting. He took a selfie with my friend Juliana who was two people away from me on the other side of Vicky – you can see my Larry Mullen Band shirt in between the two of them. Then Larry took a selfie with Vicky, who was to my right and I unintentionally photobombed.

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Then Larry finally got to me. And I just started blabbering nonstop. I had just drank a large sweet tea. I said, “Larry this is Vicky’s first show, and she made this hat for me” and I showed him the Larry Mullen Band hat. I don’t know if he even looked at it though because he looked me in the eye and said, “How are ya? Good to see you!” I could tell from the tone of his voice and the expression on his face that Larry definitely remembered me from meeting him in Chicago two weeks before. I shook his hand and thanked him for taking the time to come out to greet the fans. He was touched and said, “Oh you’re welcome.” My friend Kevin who was standing to the left of me caught the entire nine second conversation on video, well audio actually but it’s fantastic and I will be forever grateful to him. (it’s included in the video below)

Adam drove in but did not stop, so Vicky and I decided to walk into MSG and check out the merch table and escape into the air conditioning. We were about halfway down the block when we heard screaming, so we ran back. Edge had walked back out to greet everyone. He was not signing autographs, but was taking pictures. He, like Bono and Larry before him, went down both sides of the L and met everyone. I stood behind my friends and took pictures for them since I had already had my picture taken with Edge in Denver. Around 4pm or so all the excitement was over and we left to go inside and get our special MSG shirts, eat, rest and cool off. By the way, the dated MSG shirts have all the dates on the shirt and are a different color each show. We thought they had invidual show dates on each one, but no – same design, same eight dates, just a different color each night. I bought one because it was blue and blue is my second favorite color. If there is an orange shirt later on, I will buy that as well and give my blue shirt to someone. As we were eating our ice cream cooling off inside Penn Station, I told Vicky how lucky she was to meet Bono, Larry and Edge before her very first U2 show. It took me 23 years to get a picture with Larry, and she did it on her first day.

I got at the end of the GA line at 6pm because I thought that was when doors were opening, but I they did not open until 6:30. We had no choice of North or South side as everyone was giving a South Side wristband, which was fine with me since I always go South Side. I saw Stu as we were getting wristbanded, and said Hello – I always see him before the shows for some reason. Once inside I got my favorite spot next to Larry’s drums on the e stage. I was one person back from the rail behind the girl who got on stage in Chicago and her boyfriend. They were very nice and let me squeeze in with them during the e stage set, so I was on the rail very close to Larry. I left after the e stage set, as I always do during “Every Breaking Wave.” But as I was walking away, I realized the piano music Edge was playing was not “Every Breaking Wave.” It was OCTOBER!!! I couldn’t believe my ears. “October” is one of my favorite songs and one of my favorite albums, and October is my birthday month. I have never heard it played live as U2 had not played it on the Love Town Tour in Australia in 1989. I was losing my mind and screaming. The people around me just didn’t understand as they weren’t the crazies like us. They had no idea how rare this moment was. After as I was walking over to the North side, I saw Abbey in her front row seat and we shook hands and celebrated that glorious moment. Then I looked up at Jenny in her seat a few rows up and we jumped up and down and shared the moment as well. There was bar / lounge area right through the tunnel where I could buy a $5 bottle of water while listening to the show. I was back in the GA area before “Every Breaking Wave” finished. As I stood in the back of the North Side for the rest of the show, U2’s new manager Guy OSeary walked by me and noticed my Larry Mullen Band shirt. He smiled and gave me the thumbs up. Bono sang the “Shine Like Stars” verse during “With or Without You” and said “What a blessing it is for you to know me Larry” during “City of Blinding Lights.”

After the show, I ran into everyone outside. I saw Vicky and met Marr and her friend who also wrote a book and gave it to Larry. I ran into Kevin and his son and was talking with them when Jenny and Abbey walked up. They had just talked with Dallas who told them Edge just decided to play “October” that afternoon. As I was walking back to my hotel, I passed by Stu. I shouted at him “Are you kidding me? OCTOBER!” The look of fear on his face quickly turned to gratitude when I thanked him, even though technically he had nothing to do with it. I decided to grab a bite at the Tick Tock Diner, which was attached to my hotel. I was eating my grilled cheese and sweet potato fries when Martin and Chris (the Bono of UZoo) walked in and they sat down for a bit and we caught up. Then I went up to my room showered and posted pics and retold the days events to folks online and didn’t fall asleep until almost 5am. Just couldn’t believe what a great day I had when I had expected nothing and didn’t plan for anything. Good things always happen when I wear the original Larry Mullen Band shirt. Meeting Larry and hearing “October” – wow! And that was only the first of eight shows in New York City!

The set list for the first of eight U2ieTour shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City according to U2gigs.com was as follows:

    1. The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
    2. The Electric Co. / Send In The Clowns (snippet) / I Can See For Miles (snippet) / On Broadway (snippet)
    3. Vertigo / God Save The Queen (Sex Pistols) (snippet)
    4. I Will Follow
    5. Iris (Hold Me Close)
    6. Cedarwood Road
    7. Song For Someone
    8. Sunday Bloody Sunday / When Johnny Comes Marching Home (snippet)
    9. Raised By Wolves / Psalm 23 (snippet)
    10. Until The End Of The World / Love And Peace Or Else (snippet)

(Intermission)

    1. Invisible
    2. Even Better Than The Real Thing
    3. Mysterious Ways / Burning Down The House (snippet) / Young Americans (snippet)
    4. Elevation
    5. Ordinary Love
    6. October
    7. Every Breaking Wave
    8. With Or Without You / In The Garden (snippet) / Shine Like Stars (snippet)
    9. City Of Blinding Lights
    10. Bullet The Blue Sky / 19 (snippet)
    11. The Hands That Built America (snippet) / Pride (In The Name Of Love)

encore(s):

  1. Beautiful Day / I Remember You (snippet)
  2. Mother And Child Reunion (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name / California (There Is No End To Love) (snippet)
  3. One / Invisible (snippet)

After only three hours of sleep, I woke up at 8am on Sunday July 19th the morning of the second U2ieTour show in New York. I didn’t want to get ready and be presentable that early, so I just ordered a cheese omelet from the Tick Tock Diner and had it delivered to my room. I stayed in bed until about 2:30, napped a little but mostly just rested. I met Jenny over at MSG around 3pm. I ran into Dan, my old Elevation friend, and he told me they were all inside except for Bono. I also saw Krystal and met Bonnie. It was a lot hotter than the day before (in the 90s and very humid – who knew NYC was hotter than Baltimore?) and there were many more fans waiting than the day before. Bono drove in a little after 3:30 but did not stop. No one stopped. I should have known because I wasn’t wearing my original Larry Mullen Band shirt. Good things always happen when I wear that shirt. Jenny and I decided to go inside and cool off. I bought a Joshua Tree album shirt. It’s fantastic! I don’t need another shirt, but it’s my favorite album so I had to have it. The color of the special MSG shirt was yellow – yuck I’m not a fan of yellow. We decided to eat at Kabooz in Penn Station. I just got chicken tenders – something bland for the show is always good. Drank about three waters and an iced tea.

Jenny and I got in the GA line around 6pm, and that was a long hot half hour waiting in the sun before the doors opened. We again had no choice but to go to the South Side, which I was very happy about. The GA seemed more crowded than the night before, so we stood at the back of the e stage one person off the rail. The second song of the night was “Gloria,” which is always exciting since they just started playing it recently. Although I didn’t get to squeeze up onto the rail during the e stage set, the people in front of me let me steady myself by putting my hand on the rail so I could get even taller and have a great view of Larry. And I’m SO glad they did because U2 played “Volcano!” And Larry bangs the hell out of those drums during “Volcano!” It has become my favorite live song off SOI. I was very afraid I wouldn’t hear “Volcano” again fearing they might play it at one of the two shows I wasn’t going to in NYC, but now I can rest easy. And the next song, we think it was for Dan, was “Stuck in a Moment.” It was the first time I had heard it this tour and now I’ve heard everything U2 has played this tour except “In God’s Country,” which really doesn’t count because it was with the guy in Phoenix on guitar. Right after “Stuck,” Edge started playing “OCTOBER” again!!! I couldn’t believe it! They don’t play the song for over 25 years and then play it two nights in a row! It was a good thing because I wasn’t in such a state of shock as the night before so there was less screaming and I just soaked in every second of that beautiful tune! After, Jenny and I walked over to the North Side and watched the remainder of the show from there. I again went to the bar and got my water. We saw Guy OSeary again and I had on a different Larry Mullen Band shirt on. We also ran into Tony, the Bono of Unforgettable Fire. I didn’t think he would remember me as I have not seen them perform since Elevation. But he did and even congratulated me on my book, which was very nice. U2 played “Bad” with snippets of “Moment of Surrender” before and after. Toward the end of the show, we stood against the barricade to watch U2 as they exited after “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

I left the show very quickly, so quick in fact I saw U2 drive out of the Garden – first time I’ve seen them leave all tour. They just happen to be pulling out on my way back to the hotel. I grabbed some McDonald’s and went back to my room and showered and tried to get to sleep quickly as I had a 9am Megabus in the morning.

The set list for U2ieTour NYC2 according to U2gigs.com was as follows:

    1. The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
    2. Gloria / Van Morrison’s Gloria (snippet)
    3. Vertigo / God Save The Queen (Sex Pistols) (snippet) / Transmission (snippet)
    4. I Will Follow / Summer In The City (snippet)
    5. Iris (Hold Me Close)
    6. Cedarwood Road
    7. Song For Someone
    8. Sunday Bloody Sunday / When Johnny Comes Marching Home (snippet)
    9. Raised By Wolves / Psalm 23 (snippet)
    10. Until The End Of The World / Love And Peace Or Else (snippet)

(Intermission)

    1. Invisible
    2. Even Better Than The Real Thing
    3. Mysterious Ways
    4. Volcano
    5. Stuck In A Moment You Can’t Get Out Of
    6. October
    7. Every Breaking Wave
    8. With Or Without You
    9. City Of Blinding Lights
    10. Bullet The Blue Sky
    11. The Hands That Built America (snippet) / Pride (In The Name Of Love)

encore(s):

  1. Beautiful Day / Moment Of Surrender (snippet)
  2. Bad / Moment Of Surrender (snippet)
  3. Mother And Child Reunion (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name / California (There Is No End To Love) (snippet)
  4. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For / People Have The Power (snippet)

To see all of my pictures from the first two U2ieTour NYC shows, please click here and here.

I did not expect the first two New York shows to be that fantastic. I thought U2 would save the best for last, maybe they are. I can’t imagine how it’s going to get much better. The second night was perfection with “Gloria,” “Volcano,” “Stuck,” “October,” “Bad” with “Moment of Surrender” snippets and closing with my favorite “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” It was as great as Chicago2, but with “October.” In fact, neither “October” or “Bad” were on the set list for NYC2, so we basically got two extra songs. I cannot wait to go back up to New York this Sunday for the final four U2ieTour shows. It will be bittersweet for sure, but magical!

On_the_Road_with_U2_Cover_for_Kindle

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About Deena 'DeenasDays' Dietrich (340 Articles)
My name is Deena Dietrich. I live in Ellicott City, Maryland with my 2 dogs Elvis and Cilla. I am making my way as a Social Media Manager, Blogger and now Author. I have written my U2 memoir 'On the Road with U2: my musical journey' (available on amazon) about the 75 (now 100) U2 shows I have been to since ZooTv and the places I’ve seen and the people I’ve met along the way. My motto is “It is better to regret something you have done, than something you haven’t.” So follow me on my journey as I pursue my passions in music and sports with Elvis, U2, Grizzlies, Broncos, LMP, NKOTB, Orioles. Please connect with me @DeenasDays on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ or you can email me at deenadietrich@gmail.com.

14 Comments on U2ieTour NYC1&2 July 18-19, 2015

  1. beautifully written as always!!! And thanx for including me and my first time eXPERIENCE!

  2. Beautifully written as always Deena!!! Thank you for including me and my first time eXPERIENCE!! Blessings and much success!

  3. You’re always at the front of the meet and greet line. Instead of monopolizing time, skip it and give another fan who has never met them a chance to have their moment with a band member. I think it’s great that two of your friends had moments, but what about a fan or two behind you who has never met them and you’re chewing Larry’s ear off for the millionth time? 😕

    • Thanks for reading my blog but did you really read it? I’m ALWAYS at the front of the meet and greet line? no i’m not. i have been 4 times this tour – out of 11, so that’s not even half of the time. There was no one behind me in line Saturday to meet the band. When I got there I was the only one on that side and was just going to take pictures across the way. My friends came so I stayed. The only band member I met was Larry and took pics for my friends meeting Bono and Edge. I haven’t met Larry a million times. Before this year I have only met him once and that was 14 years ago. i wasn’t exactly chewing his ear off. We spoke for 9 seconds. Everyone has the same chance to meet the band if they want. I didn’t get there at 9am to wait. I was walking around the corner at 2 and saw Bono drive in. But even if I did wait why do you care? Jealousy is the root of hate. I’m actually happy when other fans meet the band. Sorry you’re so jealous, you can’t be happy for others’ good fortune. If you don’t like reading about my encounters with the band then you probably shouldn’t read my blog. I tried to email you with a response, but you weren’t brave enough to attach a valid email address to your negative comment. I’m not hiding behind a computer. I put my name to everything I say. Peace and love.

  4. Delia Dunning // July 23, 2015 at 3:22 pm // Reply

    I have to vouch for Deena. When I saw her in Chicago, she was not at the front of the meet and greet line. She was sitting on the grass against a chain link fence enjoying some conversation with fellow U2 fans including myself. If you really want to meet the lads, you have to get there early like so many people do.. I was there about an hour and a half before they arrived, so I didn’t get a spot but that’s ok. I got really close once the rail cleared a little. I think your comment above is really rude. Deena has done a lot for people so that they can enjoy their experience. She has organized meet ups and given lots of advice. I appreciate that.

  5. Lizette I’m sorry I don’t. 😞 Those were the only pics that I have. Deena was kind enough to capture my moment and I am forever thankful. And for the person who responded rudely and obviously didn’t “read” her blog and “assumed” she wasn’t giving other fans a chance and blabbering to Larry, she wasn’t. She was there because I asked her to so she can capture my first experiences with the band. And she was there for me as any true friend would. Thank you again Deena. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t have met Bono, Larry or The Edge that day. Blessings on the rest of your journey. 😊

  6. Love the video and blog! A little secret I can share with everyone – I lost my original video, but I am thrilled that you have preserved it here and on Youtube. The story here is that the video was a complete mistake! I thought I had stopped the video, and was preparing for a possible photo with Larry! When I realized the video was still running, I just went with it. Then I discovered I had captured your conversation.
    A terrific memory, and a great interaction with LMJ for all of us there that afternoon.
    Cheers and safe travels wherever you are!

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