Tag Archives: Noelle

Fists and Falsetto: the Baltimore U2 Concert

Note: pictures and video follow the story.  It’s worth it

I admit it.  We went a little crazy with 360 U2 concerts this season.  But each one’s unique, and the show is so awesome it is worth it.  In May we saw U2 a mile high with Myntha; it was a passionate, crazy show.  We were on our feet jumping and screaming the entire time, even though we were at the top of the second tier of the stadium.  The energy at that show was CRAZY, probably because Denver waited for over a year, its first date cancelled due to Bono’s back surgery.

I looked forward to this show because we were going with my sister (in-law) Noelle.  She has just beaten down lymphoma, and we were looking forward to a kind of celebration.  For months I wasn’t sure she would feel well enough to go.  This time we had GA tickets and got there when the doors opened.  We were about 5 people deep from the outer loop (we didn’t have RED tickets, the extra cost of which goes to the RED charity foundation).

The show opened with Florence and the Machine.  I have to say, I had heard a couple of songs but didn’t really know them.  Now I am a fan.

The weather was hot and sticky and the crowd was definitely Baltimore. People kept trying to push in front.  I had to go back out and get some water for Noelle ’cause I thought she was going to pass out (she was tachy, sweaty, pale, etc.).  I was chosen for my expert crowd-moving abilites.  Which was good, the crowd almost didn’t let me back and I got lost for a moment.   Meanwhile people kept pushing to the front and we had been up there standing for 3 hours…waiting.

Then the mood suddenly shifted.  These two drunk dudes were trying to weasel in and finally the upfronters just weren’t having it. They were moved and moved by crowd dynamics with yelling, swearing, and jeers.  One of them landed in front of Noelle.  Literally in-front so his heels were touching her toes and his back at her chest.   It was extremely uncomfortable for her (U2 wasn’t even up yet) and it was just going to get tighter.  She confronted him about this and he INSISTED he was there the whole time.  But he clearly wasn’t…because well….we were there the whole time.  Suddenly his mood changed and he turned around and got in her face, violent like.

It was tense.

The guy next to her (who was like 6’6″ and built) leans over and says to squirrel dude, “You need to chill out.” Then squirrel dude pulls his fist back aimed at Noelle…or the other guy.

And then POW!

I don’t know exactly who punched who but I heard the sound looked over and saw blood, punches and suddenly where there was no space was a huge hole.  I grabbed Noelle and Tompaul and I put her between us and bear hugged her.  We tried to shield her (and us) from the fight.  But we couldn’t absorb into the crowd. Squirrel dude had a brother, who was also drunk, and they tried to tackle the other guy.  It took forever for security to come.  FOREVER.

Punches, Tompaul and I bear hugging Noelle, more punches.

Then all three got taken away. Much to the dismay of the crowd the tall guy was also lead off…and then the concert started.  Noelle felt bad, because this guy was just trying to protect her … and so she LEFT to go make a statement.  She also didn’t have her phone…meaning we didn’t know what had happened.  Because the big guy came back to the concert.  But no Noelle.  We asked and it took 20 minutes for security to find where she was.  Remember she was weak looking, and recently finished chemo.  I won’t lie…neither Tompaul or I could focus on the concert.  FINALLY security came back and said they couldn’t get her back to the front where we were….but this is where she was sent:

She was at the feet of Bono, front row RED ZONE.

Our view wasn’t to shabby either…and the sound was fantastic.

The stadium was full capacity (over 80K).

Nashville you are coming up….

One of the early songs was The Fly, which is Tompaul’s favorite…to things strike me: 1. EVERYONE is singing along, which I couldn’t hear with earplugs in. 2. HOW Amazing the sound is…the camera doesn’t even capture it.

Here comes Bono (I wish they allowed better cameras in so I could have focused better). The “59” on the hand means that person showed up 59th in line before the show.

Come back…what kind of hair gel do you use???

“You were talking like it was the end of the world . . .”

These bridges move by hydralic lifts.

Emoting.

I love the Crazy Tonight opener

I’m on the Edge of glory.

A rare up-close performance by a man who’s otherwise tethered to his drumset: Larry Mullen.

Each of the members walked on by, including Adam Clayton.

Bono says, “Hands OFF!”

I said, Hands Off!

“Ultraviolet” for the stunning encore. The show dazzled from start to finish–just like Bono’s jacket here.

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