cupofjoeDid you know that the average person spends approximately two years of their lives waiting in line, which conveniently provides me a reason to never, ever join a GA line for a U2 show.  Say it ain’t so, Joe!  Oh, it is so and you know why I refuse to be part of any GA line, other than a total waste of my time…..because I’m not psychotic.  ;). If you’re part of the GA sub culture phenomenon, then you know what I say to be true.

A U2 GA line is an experience that is not for the faint of heart nor is it for anyone with a job.  Have you met these people?  First of all, do they even have jobs?  If they do have jobs, how much vacation time do they have?  I’m a teacher with 400 days off a year & I  am jealous of GA’ers work schedules.  How do these freaks of the work force justify burning through 5 days of vacation time standing in a U2 GA line for a 2 hour concert?  Do the math and it all adds up to no sleep & an addiction to caffeine &/or crystal meth.  You’ll also notice that 90 % of all U2 GA lines are the same hordes of people traveling from 1 show to the next, inter-sprinkled with a couple of home town nuts for entertainment purposes.  I often wonder if they’re getting a GA Groupon rate?  Pass anyone with a few bottled waters, a case of beef jerkey, a lawn chair, a deck of cards and someone that smells like they haven’t showered in a week & you’ve either come across a U2 GA nut on their way to the next show or a hobo.

Oh sure, the GA’ers will tell you “I met some of the nicest people in a U2 GA line” or “We’re like family,” until the gates finally open and then it’s pure unadulterated…..savagery.  Strangers to best friends to “I will curb stomp your ass into the ground if you grab a spot on the rail before me,” is all in a days work for a GA’er.  All for what, to say that they saw Edge’s receding hairline up close & personal?  Hearing things like: “Oh my a God, Bono just sweated on me!”  “Can I lick it off you” are not uncommon to hear.

Have you ever seen GA’ers react when the floodgates to the concert hall finally do open?  Remember now, these are people that have been living outside in the elements for the past 3 days on sugar packets & Life Savers with minimal sleep.  It is terror, mayhem & destruction all rolled into one mass of middle age hysteria.  The “We get to carry each other” mantra goes right out the window in the skies as soon as those doors open.  It is every man, woman & child for themselves running to get as close to the stage as possible.  The only other time you usually see these people run all year is when the doors open up at Wal-Mart for midnight madness sales Thanksgiving night.  Aimlessly walk into a territory that has already been claimed by a GA’er and you’re one step closer to a serious beat down.  You can’t be sly about it either, thinking that you’ll gain some ground when they go to the bathroom, GA’ers don’t go to the bathroom once inside the concert hall.  A few GA’ers have exploded before due to this extreme measure.

I’ve been with U2 from day 1 & you will find me at shows in a purchased seat.   I will be there after a nice hot meal, usually walking in just as the lights go down.  I like to take in the whole experience as well.  Watching GA’ers attempting to body surf some 50 year old fattie across the stadium is not part of any experience I need to be part of.  No, I don’t sit down during the concert, I’m stupid not crazy, but it is my spot.  Just knowing I have a spot to sit in case of a medical emergency or if Your Blue Room comes on is enough for me.  Knowing I can go to the bathroom and or concession stand & return to the exact same spot without having to fight Large Marge in her 30 year old Joshua Tree t-shirt for space is an added bonus well worth the money.  Like Bono says, I stand up for faith, hope & love, but I draw the line at standing up in GA lines.  GA commenters, commence the bloodbath.  ;)  Where do you sit on standing?