what can be felt squashed between strangers.

wednesday was a really, really good day.

i shoved my acid wash jeans into my tall wooly worker socks and off i went:
to the station to pick up my train tickets (even for the tiny trip i’m taking next week, my heart was skipping through the big front doors).
to the art supply store stocked with canvases and paints and envelopes and easels.
to finch’s on west pender, most likely the cutest cafe ever invented. i had potato soup.
to the letter shop to get some prototypes printed on the hot, hot press (more on that in a few weeks!)
to videomatica down the street. a video store with thick sections for the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s. i glanced over copies of butch cassidy, bonnie and clyde, goldfinger, alfie, the graduate…
to the stationary store. came out with a stack of cardboard related to said project, and a purchase i’m sure only exciting to me.

and once the rain hit i barreled through the door, arms full, and very happy. emily announced that i had to call hailey immediately. i hadn’t even taken off my shoes and was still huffing from the uphill walk, when i get her on the phone.

“i have a friend who is really sick and is selling her floor-seat ticket tonight to U2 for 50 bucks. do you want to go!?”

never say no to these things. just don’t…ever.

i scarfed down some food, went back into the rain, piled on the bus and followed the masses to b.c. place.

and man, i really don’t mind going to concerts alone. it’s just you and the band and no fuss. just music.

so there i was, squashed into thousands of strangers a couple dozen rows of people back from the stage, when the huge circle screen starts counting down.
people went nuts.
i went nuts.
i, without a doubt, dulled the hearing of the dude to my left. this is a band that’s been around since the 70s, that produced the epic-likes of rattle and hum, that are in the rock company of the beatles and the stones. 

It’s U2. 

anything less than nuts is disrespectful. right? right.

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mr. adam clayton

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sunday bloody sunday.

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where the streets have no name. as soon as those first few notes warm the air, something else fills the room. it feels a lot like heightened hope, that there is something more than this. U2 lengthened the intro and as soon as that guitar note drops and the drum catches its stride, everyone starts jumping. i had my arms in the air, jumping, jumping, jumping, and singing.

and at every other concert, you’re singing to the air, to the band. but at this concert, o you know who you’re singing to. it’s just arms stretched to the heavens and a cry out to God, “i want to reach out and touch the flame, where the streets have no name…”

one. this song is so emblematic of my times in africa. it was always on the soundtrack. they played it as an encore with an opening video of desmond tutu explaining how the freedom fighters in the civil rights are the same freedom fighters of apartheid are the same freedom fighters of…we are those same freedom fighters.
this south african leader, this world leader, gushing about peace and then bono sits on a stool and starts “one”. it brought me back to my african family in uganda and the townships in cape town and that school in the mountains of lesotho. it went straight through the chest. and i so deeply missed africa.

feeling all that is U2 was euphoric and beautiful and felt like something that can only be felt in another world.

wednesday was a really, really good day.

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