I was there when U2 held the fourth night of its five night residency at the Los Angeles Forum (I’ve never heard it called the Inglewood Forum in my life, but that doesn’t mean anything), and I have to say, I went into this one with expectations wide open. After night one on the 26th, I was ecstatic; after all, Bono pulled a well-deserving fan and U2 tribute frontman I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing out of the crowd to come onstage, an event that ended up making national news. What could top that? Oh I don’t know, maybe U2’s beloved tour manager passing away unexpectedly that very night, triggering a superior show the following night when I was NOT in attendance. Indeed, the audience on night two got basically my top three favorite U2 songs: first Out of Control, then Bad…and bad went to worse when they got 40, in a moving tribute to Mr. Sheehan. No way! How long to sing this song? Fortunately only one more night, because it would appear from the setlist that night three on the 30th was just another show (but if you were there, feel free to set me straight. I took a break and didn’t listen very long). Now on to Sunday night, night four, AKA on the interwebs as #U2LA4.
I’m going to start by sharing a tip with you guys. This is big; this is huge. You don’t actually need to stand in the GA line all day to get close to the e-stage rail! That’s right; you heard it here first. Because of a family commitment that was more important than sitting in a parking lot getting sunburned and fretting about wristband distribution all day, I arrived at the show at…wait for it…10 minutes to 8:00. That’s 8:00 PM, everyone! And stood in line for a drink, and used the restroom without running people over for my spot. In fact, I believe my husband and I sauntered onto the floor at about 8:05. Fortunately, he held our place so that I could join the gradually expanding throng of people gathering by the back of the room near the door from which Bono would emerge. How did we know he would come in that way? That’s the advantage of attending multiple nights. Well, that and the security detail guarding the door as if the President was back there meeting with the Pope and Prince William. It was so fun to catch a glimpse of Bono creeping into place, sticking close to the wall to avoid being seen – and then he emerged, walking swiftly but cheerfully up to the stage. He did a bit of a victory dance, and to our cheers (except for mine, which could described more like a five-minute long slasher movie scream), he looked our way and said, “The most beautiful sound in the world.” AAAAAH, did he just say that? Since my video cut that part off, you’ll have to YouTube it.
That was just the beginning, though; I mean, you’ve seen the setlist! Night two got Bad and that’s obviously good, but we lucky night four fans got the IE Tour debut of All I Want is You. This was a big deal for me and my husband, and I’m sure many other couples in the crowd. Now, I’d love to say that LA is a place where not a single person is naive enough to think that when Bono says “goodbye” after With or Without You, he really means it – but I would be lying if I did. So, so many morons (yes, that’s how I feel) started filing off the floor after WOWY was over. People, the lights are still down. Have you never been to a concert before? Well, more room for us; we moved up for the encore, and I knew we were about to hit the jackpot when Bono began to talk about Dennis Sheehan again, just like he did on night two. So yes, we got 40 and after the week I’ve had personally, that was a true blessing! I closed my eyes and tried to pretend like there weren’t more morons leaving during what is arguably one of the most significant elements of any U2 show (yes, there were people leaving as we chanted “how long,” with all four band members still on stage. Ugh). Thankfully, there were enough of us chanting to drown out their idiocy and hopefully the guys didn’t notice. In short, I’m SO glad to have been at night four in LA! One more to go on Wednesday; I can’t wait to see what the show is like from the seats!
A few more observations:
- The “free yourself” chanting in Iris is falling flatter every night in LA, to the point that Bono actually said, “That’s it” as if he was scolding us. So embarrassing! I’ve sounded off on this type of thing too many times, but basically I’m saying he should not even try it Wednesday.
- There are other fans besides fresh-faced Gap model types who would like to be called up to hold the iPhone for the Meerkat song. Give us a chance! In fact, this girl was called up for Mysterious Ways and stayed through Angel of Harlem – must be nice!
- I am loving that boys are being invited onstage, though; night one was a sweet teen boy who I have to imagine reminded Bono of his sons, and night four was basically the cutest little U2 fan you’ve ever seen. If I had multiple pairs of $5,000 Armani sunglasses, I wouldn’t think twice about giving mine to him either.