Saturday, September 10th, 2005

Posted: September 7, 2011 in Live Music, Rock
Tags: , , ,
I was especially distracted this particular Saturday because U2’s Vertigo Tour was in town and I was lucky enough to snag a pair of tickets to one of their four sold out shows that coming Friday. My friend Shwang and I were in my apartment trying to get some work done and to relieve the boredom, we had the radio on. Mix 99.9 was holding a contest to win a pair of tickets to U2’s show on Monday and were giving them to the 99th caller. My concentration needed another focus (thank you ADD) and to keep myself occupied, I started dialing the number. Despite many busy signals, I persisted because it all of a sudden became a mission. Finally, the DJ picked up, asked my name and told me I won. I was #99. All I could yell was “Shut up!”, followed by screaming and several Omgs. Little did I know this was just the beginning.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Now that our concentration was completely shot, and on a high from our win, Shwang and I decide to celebrate with dinner. Just like everyday, we pass by the infamous Fabulous Cafe. And I say infamous, because no one’s ever heard of it. The sign was one of those tacky fluorescent blue ones, usually illuminating only half the letters at a time. It’s near the Greyhound Bus terminal and with nothing remarkable surrounding it. Shwang looks over to the patio and points out some guy in a large white cowboy hat and shades. Not really paying any attention I disregard him, until Shwang exclaims “Is that Bono?!?” Instinctively I knew there was no way he’d be there, but I had to look. And holy moly was it ever Bono. I immediately froze.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For those who don’t understand the magnitude of this sighting, Bono to me is like a hero, the one person in the world (along with his band) that I would die to meet or talk to or even be around. Their music has been so inspirational to me for so long in so many ways that I’ve even imagined what what I would say (oh come on, we’ve all done it). Whenever I used to watch interviews with them, I would think I could do a better job, ask better questions, because I know their music so well. I always wanted them to understand the effect they’ve had on me over all these years, and to thank them. He was even the background on my cell phone at that time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The hostess was only letting people in that were staying to eat so we got a table for two. As we’re pretending to read the menu, I ask the waitress if that’s indeed Bono. She confirms it but says he just signed the bill and is about to leave. I somehow manage to muster enough coherence to call my roommate and ask her to bring down a camera to take a picture (I had no faith in my Nokia camera phone at the time). The rest is a bit of a blur. Bono gets out of his chair looks to his right waves, then looks right at us to his left waves, nods and says “bye”. I came as close to fainting as I think I ever will. After practically hyperventilating and accosting Shwang for something to write with/on, I play it cool and follow him to the sidewalk where a small crowd had now gathered. He’s now about three people away from me, signing autographs and I try to get his attention but I literally could not speak. He’s inching closer and closer  to me and all I need to say is “Bono, can you sign this?” but I’m so panicked that this is real, that my throat dries up and the words get stuck but are dying to come out. He’s maybe one person away and about to turn toward me and then out of nowhere some elderly-ish woman who just happened to be walking by pushing a baby in a stroller screams and jumps and hugs Bono completely diverting his attention in the other direction. And now I’m looking at his back. His bodyguard then intervenes and ushers him into his car and just like that, he’s gone.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There I stood, pen and paper in hand, mouth open still trying to say something, still in shock. Then my roommate comes running out half dressed with a camera, but it was too late. I had it and I missed my one and only chance in life to meet or even say something to my idol. Someone I admire. I look up to. And in a matter of seconds everything I had imagined about this meeting vanished. I was defeated, discouraged and in utter disbelief. I remember thinking what just happened??? Then, did that just happen?? Followed by, I can’t believe that just happened! Total anticlimax. I had the opportunity, the time, the means, the everything, and I choked. Literally. On words. Which is something I’m otherwise incapable of doing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           But it doesn’t stop there. We had great seats to the Monday show which was fantastic but I also had GA tickets to the Friday show. I took my brother and for those who didn’t attend, the stage was set as a regular rectangular stage with a circular extension coming off of it, like a doughnut. Outside of the doughnut was the GA standing area, and the center of the doughnut was hollow, but reserved for VIP only. Or lucky bastards. As we entered the ACC, they scanned our tickets and the computer screen turned red and lights started flashing: apparently we were randomly selected to be VIP, and got access to the hollow part of the doughnut: the only thing separating us from the band was a small fence and a security guard (and occasionally, the swaying body of a severely inebriated, unnecessarily tall man). Being so up close was an experience and a half and somewhat made up for my shortcomings as a fan a few days prior. Now many of you may criticize me for my inaction, my cold feet, my freak out. And I have no defense. No explanation. No reason. To this day I still can’t believe that’s how it all went down. I will leave you with this video that I stumbled on a few days ago. Pay close attention, or you may miss all that was Saturday, September 10th, 2005.

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