As long as I can remember, I've dreamed about both seeing and meeting U2.
This may be odd to some, considering U2 was already establishing themselves as one of the world's greatest rock bands before I was even born.
I'm not sure what it was, but after hearing singles of Beautiful Day, Elevation and Walk On in 2000 when All That You Can't Leave Behind was released, I was hooked. These days, you'll find a couple walls in my home dedicated to U2's framed records and concert posters.
My first U2 show was September 12, 2009 in Chicago, opening night of the U2 360° tour in North America. Nothing could have prepared me for the experience of over 2 hours of U2 rocking it out with 65,000 of my fellow U2 fans.
The Claw or what they sometimes refer to as their "spaceship" really does look like it's something out of this world. It's the largest concert stage to ever tour and 120 semis are used to move their 3 stages from city to city. The band's goal was to make a large outdoor stadium feel like you were in a more intimate arena setting. Mission accomplished, the band felt surprisingly close and the sound was one of the best I've ever heard at a concert.
Buying a ticket and seeing the band is one thing, but getting closer... maybe a picture or autograph would be another. Hours of standing outside their hotel with thousands of other fans and the biggest private security force I've ever seen didn't get any results for me last time.
Yesterday I was back on the hunt. With rumors of the band in town, I spent my lunch hour outside the Burton Cummings Theatre. There was no sign of the band (they probably weren't even in the city yet but I had hopes!). I did come across a bunch of their equipment behind the building as it was being unloaded. Boxes of "Mics" and Guitar boxes marked with "Edge" got me excited. Close yet so far away.
Every day, the countdown clock on my computer has been ticking down the days, hours and minutes to the big show in Winnipeg. As excited as I was to go see them in Chicago, something about seeing them in my own backyard really gets me excited. I remember when the countdown hit the double digits (from 100 to 99) days. Now I'm pretty much shaking as I type this. As I write this, it is 2 days, 7 hours, 9 minutes, 11 seconds to the highest grossing tour of all time to hit our city.
My hunt will continue this weekend on the streets of Winnipeg once they arrive on their private plane. I'm still hoping for those 30 seconds with one of the greatest bands ever. Bumping into Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. outside the Burt-- that would be something I would never forget.
If you're lucky enough to spot any members of the band this weekend, I would love to know!