ELEVATION: The Tour Diary ("For my sanity and your entertainment," M.) - Page 3
... and I will follow!
All right, the bags are packed and I'm takin' a New York minute to file one last update from Times Square.
It's been quite a ride, exceeding all my expectations! I managed three U2 performances: The Garden, and BOTH nights in NJ! It was stunning how it all played out so smoothly! It truly blows my mind, looking back on it all.
However, there was a price to pay. Thursday we got drenched in the rain and Friday we toasted in the sun while taking in the beautiful surroundings of the Meadowlands parking lot!
By the way, if you ever find yourself camping out at the Meadowlands, stop by the race track for some cheap entertainment. I was highly amused to be there in the middle of the afternoon, looking for an ice-cold soda to beat the heat, and finding myself surrounded by all these men playing hookie from work (or, perhaps, working - there was a certain Mafiosa feel to the banter). There were old folks with nothing better to do and young guys with... apparently... nothing better to do! The woman at the deli poured my soda and was puzzled by my Bonoman "emoticon" T-shirt. I explained who Bono was and what the #8-)3 meant. She said it was weird.
Well, right back at ya!
Anyway, all the exposure to the elements was worth it! Oh yeah! Big time! In attendance at the NJ shows were the likes of Baz Luhrmann (director of Moulin Rouge), Michael Stipe, the Beastie Boys, Paul McGuinness (THE manager), and some guy Bono referred to as "Bill from Arkansas"! (Of course, all those guys, except Paul, were NOT on the floor and were not on line waiting for prime GA floor space!) One night in NJ was spent inside the heart, the other night was spent outside, at the tip, where a considerable amount of activity takes place. Having taken it all in from such incredible vantage points, I am all the more in awe of my band.
What a tour! Incredible stuff!
Following Friday night's show, we went on a Guinness run to Mulligan's, an Irish pub in Hoboken. The people were really friendly, it's just that... well... it was so funny when they played "local heroes" Bon Jovi's It's My Life and Living on a Prayer - the place exploded with everybody singing along! My friend knew the DJ, so we got treated to some U2 as well - and Elevation found the pubsters doing the Ooooo oo - Ooooo oo thing! Very nice!
SO. Here I am. Waterlogged and badly sunburned. I got an Elevation Tour baseball cap at the Garden that will most likely have to be surgically removed from my head; it's been there the whole week! And I have a couple rolls of film to develop. We'll see if anything turns out worth looking at... Everybody keep your fingers crossed!
As for last night, it was a stop at The Bitter End in the Village. One band from Long Island, called "BLOO", was a happy little pop band. The lead singer guy commented they were at the U2 show the previous night. He said their show "was insane" - "We suck, U2 is good." There was also a really good band from Australia, called The Waifs. I hope to see that trio again while out on the road!
Sadly, I noticed one of my "old haunts" from the IBM days, Triumph (a greasy-spoon diner down in the Village), is now out of business! Bummer!
Anyway... What a week! Phew! Now, my attention must turn to planning the Dublin trip. It's going to be a fantastic journey! Gotta get in shape for those Guinness Olympics. Then, Jamaica... or someplace equally restful...
Talk about stretching out a vacation!
I did a little unwinding in Central Park yesterday, feeling a bit of a cold coming on after all the over-heated subways and over-refrigerated venues, plus the heat, rain, sunburn... So, I mosied my way to the subway, then to the M60 bus for LaGuardia. I've done this a few times in the past. But, for some reason, it seemed to take unreasonably longer this time!
I couldn't believe that bus trip! The dude did everything to stretch it out - it took ages to get to the airport and even then there were a couple "hangar stops" en route to the United terminal (the LAST one on the route, natch).
There was even some ridiculous dilly-dallying just yards from the terminal stop, so he could stop directly in front of the bus shelter! My tapping on the yellow tape to open the door was to no avail and I found myself doing a very convincing impersonation of those old O.J. Simpson/Hertz commercials as I ran through the terminal to the VERY FAR END to get to my gate.
The flight was at 6:30 and I got to the gate at 6:27! They held the plane for me and had to take one of my bags for luggage check because all the overhead bins were full.
Some guy loitering around the gate desk noticed my Larry Mullen, Jr./Hitman t-shirt and asked if I was from Denver. I said something like "Yeah." As I rushed to the ramp, he advised, "Leave your uzi at the door." I said something like "OK."
Then I got the ONLY available seat remaining on the plane! They had "already" given up my prized window seat! Sheeesh! Talk about cuttin' it close...
Last night was the first real night of sleep I've had since prior to NY!
It was some kind of incredible adrenaline rush that kept me going through the week, but I finally pooped out. It was surprisingly hard to sleep after getting home Sunday night (and not having slept a wink on the flight, highly unusual for me!). Then there was an A.I. screening Monday night (Monday was an imperative sick day, but offered little rest, just a short nap).
And the engine kept running right through to last night, after picking up the photos and cranking out the A.I. review! Wow! The system just got too used to being on the run, up late, and pacing around Matthattan! Now to get rid of the cold that's been hanging around me...
You can still see the "98" sunburned into my left hand; it was my number on the GA line for Friday's show and was written on the back of my hand in black marker. Hmmm... good sunblock that magic marker!
Finally, at long last, the U2/New Jersey pictures are up. I was a little disappointed at first, but they've grown on me. This concert photography thing is not easy... It also helped when I went to U2.com (the Official Site) and saw some of the pictures they had. I'd dare say some of mine are better! I wrote them, offering for them to use some of my pix for free. We'll see if Bono takes me up on that offer.
Some of the NJ pix are actually pretty good, there are a couple especially nice shots of PJ Harvey (the opening act) and there's one shot of Bono that makes me smile big time! It even provided my front page with a new "face lift."
Anyway, I've been working on ways to get out of this work rut. It's really cramping my style! One thought I had, for making my millions, came while I was in New York: The Disposable Telephone. Yeah! Just like disposable cameras. This would be especially handy when you're traveling in foreign countries - just go to the market or wherever and buy a disposable phone. It'll be good for a certain number of days upon "activation" and that way the phone numbers can be recycled. Hmmm... It'd make my life easier when I'm out there, I know that!
The other big news is that U2's second show at Slane Castle was made official on Monday. They announced it at 1 p.m. in Ireland, 6 a.m. Mountain Time. And, on the advice of the police (no, not Sting's former band), tickets were immediately put on sale. With no advance notice whatsoever, it had sold out by the time I had gotten to work, logged on, got the e-mail, and boogied over to Ticketmaster.IE. I was stunned!
But, I thought I did pretty good to at least be at Ticketmaster before they shut the site down for requesting tix. So, another 80,000 tix sold out in 94 minutes, based solely on word of mouth coming out of Ireland.
All was not lost, however. While farting around the 'Net today, I went back to Ticketmaster.IE and, ignoring the "Sold Out" notice, plunged ahead since the site was allowing users to request tickets again. I tried - and got a ticket! Well, I have a confirmation number, but the ticket won't be in the mail until August. I'll be a believer when it's in hand!
The second show has an even better opening line up than the first. The first one has Coldplay and Red Hot Chili Peppers, plus a couple local bands. The second one has Moby, Nelly Furtado, Foo Fighters, and a couple local bands... Yeah, I got only one just because it seems so final to request one ticket and get a message that says "Request cannot be filled; try a smaller number of tickets"! I had no idea it'd go through! Trying again, it didn't matter if I requested 4 tickets or 1, the show was sold out "again"! When things like that happen, ya just gotta wonder about a Higher Power and Destiny! I would consider this to be Divine Intervention.
I'll say it again: Nothing is impossible!
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