Dream Out Loud: The Day Beth Met Bono

October 31, 2014 |  by  |  Bono, Show Recap, Songs Of Innocence  |  12 Comments

Everyone wants to know two things after you meet Bono: What did you say to him and what did he smell like?

With all my efforts focused on remembering how to breathe and stand and form words, I completely forgot about sniffing Bono. I imagine he and I are both OK with that. But I do remember with perfect clarity what I said to him as I pulled out of our scentless hug: “This is a dream come true.”

I think I may have lied to Bono, though.

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For the first time: PopMart Tampa kicks off my addiction to U2 live

November 10, 2011 |  by  |  PopMart, Show Recap  |  1 Comment

I saw U2 live for the first time unos, dos, tres ... catorce! years ago at PopMart Tampa on Nov. 10, 1997.

Fourteen years ago today, I got my first taste of mothersuckin’ rock and roll. (In fact, “Mofo” was the first song I ever saw U2 perform live.) I’d fallen for the band six years earlier, with the release of Achtung Baby, and ZooTV even kicked off in my second hometown of Lakeland, Fla., but I was 13 then and had no idea how big all this really was. I still cry myself to sleep every night over missing that one.

Instead, my U2 concert history started my freshman year of college, with PopMart. I remember buying 1997’s Pop my senior year of high school, after seventh period but before I had to be back to school for a play rehearsal — it was the first U2 album I bought originally as a CD. For a high-school graduation gift, my mom surprised me with four tickets to the show in Tampa on Nov. 10, 1997. My concert-going experiences up to this point included a New Kids on the Block show when I was 11, a slew of country artists (Reba, Garth, et al.) as I went through my hillbilly phase in middle school, and a Phish concert I got dragged to in high school, where I naively asked what that smell was (possible answers: patchouli, body odor, weed). Now I had floor seats to U2, but zero knowledge of the right way to see a show. Read More


October 1, 2011 |  by  |  Show Recap, U2360 Tour  |  No Comments

And the trees are stripped bare
Of all they wear
What do I care?

And kingdoms rise
And kingdoms fall
But you go on
… and on.

Fans can’t resist pushing play on the second song on the second side of U2’s second album as Oct. 1 hits and seems to officially usher in a new season. I dutifully play 1981’s October, and its eponymous track, letting the sound of The Unforgettable Fire, an album that encompasses summer for me, fade out. If time must march on, the beauty of an oncoming fall eases the process. Read More

A ‘Bad’ end to a good summer

September 5, 2011 |  by  |  Show Recap, U2360 Tour  |  6 Comments

A great summer. The perfect summer.

My U2 360 journey ended six weeks ago. And in the curious way that time works, it feels like it’s been a year, and it feels like it was just yesterday. My life has done a 180 since then. I’ve changed careers and changed homes and changed cities. It’s an overwhelming amount of transition, but U2 remains my constant as I find my way in this new place, and my 360 tour memories bring much comfort in this temporarily unfamiliar world.

I remember looking at the calendar in January, and the summer months seemed impossibly far off. Now they seem impossibly long gone. Read More

Out. Of. Control.

July 7, 2011 |  by  |  Show Recap, U2360 Tour  |  3 Comments

I got a few bottlerockets and firecrackers in Tim C.’s Alsip neighborhood on the south side of Chicago at a barbecue on the 4th of July. But on the 5th of July, I got fireworks.

It finally happened.

Out Of Control. Live. U2 played my favorite song. The one I’ve been wanting to hear on this tour for two years now. The one I’ve been carrying the same sign for to the last seven shows I’ve been to. The one I was beginning to think I’d never hear live as U2 started to settle into this leg’s setlist.

Tim C., a lifetime Southsider and a man fiercely infatuated with and devoted to his city, has been talking up the event that is *U2 in Chicago* since I met him. So, when the 2010 tour dates were announced, I did the logical thing for a girl from north Florida to do and bought a ticket to the Chicago show. I wasn’t totally convinced I’d go, but I wanted to have a ticket in hand in case things worked out. And after a long year and a half, they did. Read More

I’m not the only one staring at the sun

June 25, 2011 |  by  |  Show Recap, U2360 Tour  |  No Comments

Bono shines like stars in the summer night in Baltimore.

I’ve been a Florida girl for 93 percent of my life. But I’ve never been as hot as I was in Baltimore. The June 22 show was one day after the summer solstice, and while Bono didn’t sing the “shine like stars in the summer night” verse of With or Without You like I’d specifically requested, it was still another perfect show. Read More

And now I can breathe.

May 27, 2011 |  by  |  Show Recap, U2360 Tour  |  4 Comments

Recap: Denver, 5/21/2011. (Contains setlist spoilers.)

The U2 360 show in Denver took my breath away in so many ways. For starters, mile-high Denver is 5,280 feet above sea level. Tallahassee is 200 feet, on the high end. Between doing laps around the stadium looking for the best vantage point to peek in on U2’s sound check, charging the field at full throttle after speed-walking past security to get the best placement on the rail, and climbing up and down and up again on the many stairs at Red Rocks, I was gasping for air. I’m not in the best shape of my life, but I will safely blame it on the altitude this time.

But, the lack of oxygen only added to the euphoria of the trip. Read More