British Columbia

'Just incredible': U2 fan of 30 years bumps into Bono at Vancouver cafe

Tanis Robertson has been to five U2 concerts. On Saturday, she met her "rock 'n' roll idol" for the first time.

'It was the most incredible experience that you could have ... I'll never forget it'

Tanis Robertson said Bono offered to take a photo with her, "snuggling" right in for the picture. (Tanis Robertson)

Tanis Robertson has been a U2 fan for most of her life.

She's listened to all 13 studio albums, been to five shows and met her husband online under the username "sweetestthing23" in the '90s. 

Last weekend, she had a chance meeting with Bono, adding one conversation she'll "never forget" to the list.

Robertson and her husband flew from their home in Saskatoon, Sask. for the first show of U2's Joshua Tree Tour in Vancouver on Friday.

Tanis and Ross Robertson travel all over for U2 concerts. They were in Edmonton for the U2360 Tour in June 2011 (left photo) and in L.A. for the Innocence and Experience Tour four years after that. (Tanis Robertson)

The couple went for a late lunch at a restaurant in the city the day after the concert. As they were getting ready to pay their bill, someone strolled in the door with sunglasses and a security guard by his side.

"Next thing I knew, my husband's face kind of changed and he kicked me under the table. I looked up and Bono walked right by," said Robertson, 41.

"I just freaked out."

Robertson asked the musician's security if she could get a photo, but the guard said he couldn't make any promises. The couple's best bet was to hang around until Bono was on his way out.

'Bono himself just walked up'

They chose to stick around, thinking Robertson might have a chance at a handshake and photo. While they were waiting, the Edge strolled by and smiled at the couple.

After few minutes, Bono rose to leave. The restaurant was relatively empty and the musician could have made a quick exit.

Instead, "Bono himself just walked up to our table and shook my hand and said hello," Robertson said.

She said she'd been practicing what to say, but her lines went out the window.

Robertson said Bono gestured to her phone and offered to take a selfie. (Tanis Robertson)

"I just wanted to be able to tell him, 'Thank you for the music, thank you for the joy, it's been the soundtrack to my life for 30 years ... But he talked to us for a solid three to five minutes. I didn't expect it at all," she said.

"He turned to me — arms crossed, hand on his chin — and asked what I thought of the show. He even asked for my top three moments."

They talked about the show, the stage, the setlist — even marriage came up. Bono offered to take a photo and shook Robertson's hand one more time.

Then he was gone.

"It was the most incredible experience that you could have meeting someone who was your idol, your rock 'n' roll idol, who's been there through your whole life. To have him ask my opinion on the first show of the Joshua Tree Tour — just incredible," Robertson said.

"I just can't imagine anything else he could've done except give us a ride to the airport."

'Made my decade'

Robertson posted the story on U2 fan boards online after she got home. Since then, she said fans from as far as Italy have contacted her to ask about the experience.

"People have said to me, 'That's such a bucket-list item' — but that was nowhere near my bucket list.

"You think of a bucket list as something you can control and things you can try to do ... just meeting Bono and having a five-minute, cool conversation with him is not something you can have control over for the most part," she said.

"It's made my year, it's made my decade. I'll never forget it."

"He said thanks for coming, it was nice to meet you, shook my hand and he was out the door," Robertson said. (Tanis Robertson)