Monday, September 14, 2009

U2 TnT Chicago Friends

Saturday morning Reena and Phil drove over to our place around 10amish, Tara and I said goodbyes to the boys (and a tearful farewell from Emma...), and we were off for Chicago! We checked into our Hyatt hotel and admired our view of the Chicago lakeside.

Here you can see Soldier Field - the orange pointy thing sticking up is part of the stage for the concert. From this perspective it's hard to imagine what kind of stage we're looking at.

After we finished admiring our view, the four of us headed out for a loooooooong walk down Michigan Avenue. It was a beautiful day...we decided to not let it get away!. Our hotel was by the McCormick Center, and our goal was to walk to the Hancock Tower.
We had miles to go in our sandals. Tara - God bless her - wanted to find a Starbucks. Somehow I got photographed in front of the store!

Reena, Tara and me - Phil is the photographer!

We were getting very hungry - and we wanted to find a local restaurant. No national-chain restaurants. Being adventurous, we wanted to find something interesting. We saw a sign for some Louisiana fare - and went for it.
Always cool when you have to ride an escalator up to the restaurant.

Phil and Reena are famous for their affection of habaneros. Here's one stuffed with cheese, deep fried and served with a dare: no customer has ever finished one! Not being ones to pass on a dare, our neighbors carefully dived in. Alas, the habanero won! Reena explained about the membranes of the pepper being the source of their evilness (I mean hotness...). Tara and I stuck to something safe - crabcakes. Not picture worthy, but yummy.

After our fantastic bayou-feast, we waddled over to a shopping center. Then a tour of the John Hancock Building - what a view...of the Lake! Stupid clouds hovered right around the windows facing the city and all the cool stuff. What a gip. Oh well, it was neat being 91 stories up above the earth! After our descent we stuffed ourselves into a taxi - no way we were walking back to the hotel. We relaxed for a bit, put our feet up, watched some football, and then walked over to the stadium. My oh my - what a place! Soldier Field is impressive. And so were the U2 wares being hawked. Of course I had to get a program, both Tara and I got some sweet shirts!

Snow Patrol opened for U2. They were okay. For whatever reason, we sat around for almost an hour (or so it seemed...) for the stage to get resent. Lots of time to be over-awed by the stage. And to take pictures of ourselves waiting. And smiling!

The show is finally getting ready to start! First smoke, then the showmen, and then the music! Interestingly, they started off with Breathe. No Line on the Horizon followed. What great stuff!

Tara and I were particularly thrilled by their rousing concert version
of Get On Your Boots and Magnificent.

For the song Unknown Caller, they were nice enough to put words up on the screen to sing along with. Of course this was overkill, since most people were singing along to all the songs anyway. But it was a nice touch. Except for me - I've listened to U2's songs hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times...and I still don't know many of their lyrics. I'm terrible at remembering those kinds of things.

Bono insisted I shout, which I enthusiastically complied. Oh the joy...

By my face I'm guessing we were singing It's a Beautiful Day (I know part of the chorus...), or we were singing Elevation (again, a bit more of the chorus on that one), or maybe it was Vertigo ( ability to sing along on that song...). However, I can sing along to almost all the words to I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - my favorite one of them all.

Adam Clayton driving the songs forward with his brilliant bass playing.

Larry Mullen Jr on the big screen.
The Edge.
Did you notice the screen - the impression is that it's not that good of the screen 'cause you can see all these lines throughout the images. Well, later on they do something amazing with the screen... these guys are so impressive!

The expanding screen.
Look at that screen all stretched out! How cool is that?

The concert is winding down - I have no idea what song is being performed here - maybe it was With or Without You - which he ended by tagging on a few lines of 40. Or maybe this was the acoustic set of Stuck in a Moment (a beautiful song done live acoustic).

What? All done? Already? Please...keep singing...
No? Alas, I guess I'll just have to come back another time!

Hanging out after the concert - enjoying the moment.
Phil and me marveling at how amazing these Irishmen are when it comes to performance and music and inspiring...

Reena and Tara were movin' and a groovin' to the music all night! And why not, U2 music was made to get your hands up and your feet jumping!

Four very happy friends. One joy-full show!


Kratz said...

Great pics, Tim! I'm jealous! The expandable screen looked awesome, but awesome is to be expected anymore from U2. Glad you had a good time! Oh, and I'm glad you got to sing with Bono.

Anonymous said...

Great post, I also hope to see them in Chicago 2011. Did you stay at the Park Hyatt hotel? That was the same one I was eyeing.