stateless: (streets)
[personal profile] stateless
so we got a call this morning letting us know that bono had told some people hanging outside the sports arena that they would likely be inviting such stalker-like scragglers as ourselves into the rehearsal today. things like this just happen; somehow i'm used to it. i knew we would get in. we waited around for a bit and when scott appeared it was solidified. we lined up and were filed in and around to the section on edge's side. i thought for sure the contest winners would be let in onto the floor but they had already filled two sections across from us on adam's side. and so that was it, four sections of people total, not many more than about 500 of us.

the stage, it's circular-ish, with a target thing going on. and there's a big grey ellipse/egg, just like the heart. as we were finding seats we were all staring at the stage in shock and ally actually fell down the stairs. like, tumbled. and kinda didn't stop. it was a bit horrifying and i know she's sore now despite saying it was, of course, worth it.


city of blinding lights
electric co
an cat dubh/
into the heart
beautiful day
miracle drug
sometimes you can't make it on your own
love and peace or else
stuck in a moment
bullet the blue sky
running to stand still
zoo station
the fly
all because of you

i don't know how i can possibly describe any of this. song by song, i guess.


city of blinding lights. drapes of beaded lights falling from the ceiling, different colours, seemingly resembling the skyline of new york. what a way to start a show. bright white lights and a perfect chorus. confetti falling, covering everything. fucking shock. just fucking surreal.

the cover of boy up on a small screen above the stage. "going way back." electric co. you're FUCKING KIDDING ME. 'the cry' intro yet not quite the words it used to be. edge singing the backing vocals yet playing a les paul. bono with the fuckin shades. bizarre mix up of time and space. bono lifting the mic stand and acting as if he would throw it as a javelin. and over the end, the fucking who. "i can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miiillles....."

an cat dubh? what the shit is going on? bono making a bird with his hands. flying. weird arm movements. jerky. he's someone else, someone he used to be. into the heart, lying on the ramp, head up, looking at the band. back to the stage. sucking his thumb.

beautiful day. touch me - different. full on. so powerful. nailing the higher walk up on "reach me". he's got a sheet of lyrics in front of him for the 'see the..' bits. careening into something over the end, words, just tumbling. kind of shit sound, what is he saying? out to the sea, out to the sea... 'blackbird', he's singing 'blackbird'. over the end. edge is playing the last chords, up and down, repeating, and bono is fucking up the words to blackbird. edge ends in the wrong place. "nice one, the edge."

"so. nothing's changed, really. .. ready to start a new adventure. .. this song is about a boy we went to school with. it's a story. .. but you know the story, cos you're that kind of crew. turn on your machines, edge." miracle drug, the riff playing the whole way through bono speaking. bono out on the egg. (will i ever get used to saying 'egg'?) larry not singing the bit in the middle, bono doing it instead. bono turning to edge for his verse, holding his arm out to him. edge's guitar cutting out. coming back. in science and in medicine, i was a stranger, you took me in.

"is there a problem in the lab? houston, we have a problem." anaheim 3 flashback. bono making sure edge is set. yes, edge has the rickenbacker. "hewson, we have a problem. this is for bob hewson." dear fuck. sometimes. the screens down, the shape of a man walking portrayed. bono alone in a spotlight on adam's side of the egg. nailing the fucking opera bit. fucking NAILING it. i had wondered before how the hell he'll be able to sing this song every night. i think i know now, yes. i think i know.

deep rumbling. grey and white swirling on the long screen above the stage. darkness. love and peace or fucking else. this is everything. larry, what the fuck, he's out at the fucking tip with a tom and a cymbal. the backing track, the drumloop, it's heavy, it's shaking the floor. red, it's red. larry's pounding. god, it's heavy. bono, he's swinging his hips. edge, he's got a sparkly guitar. is it a telecaster? can't see. but it's like the gibson bono had for 'gone' on popmart. i need some RELEASE, RELEASE, RELEASE.. bono's got the mic out to larry. larry's singing that with him. holy shit. big, huge, fucking raucous, fucking relentless. bridge. larry's walking back to his kit for the end of the song. bono grabs his sticks and takes over on the tom. his arms are fucking flying. he's not just hitting them, he's got extra rhythms, so much force. i'm just gaping. there's a line that's been crossed. the key to a hold on clarity or sanity thrown away. wild.

straight into elevation. edge playing the opening riff, bono singing the first verses with just edge. rest of the band not in. strange. empty. edge's guitar not switching to the light tremelo sound for the bridge, distortion still. whoops. the break, the "i believe in you" bit. edge, he plays some strange walk up that nearly resembles 'in a little while'. bono, he's singing to edge. says his name then, "out on the ledge... reg... reg..!" funny as fuck. we know they've not quite got their footing. but there are moments, yes there are.

edge at the keyboard. bono with an acoustic like the one edge plays in 'the sweetest thing' video. adam and larry in the shadows. wow, it's just bono and the keyboard. beautiful. bono's picking the the guitar, it's got a great, ringing tone, but he's fumbling. he sings, "spend more time on the guitar." hee. rough. adam and larry in at the end briefly, too briefly. it soared for a minute, edge repeating and repeating his end lines, without bono. something about fucking up. "well, it is a rehearsal."

edge with the acoustic now. it's yahweh. quiet, just acoustic, too empty, weird. larry's in adam's place with a mini keyboard. two fingers. bono, he doesn't know the words at all. mumbling. screen in front of him but he's not looking or it's not helping. but the chorus, it just breaks open. his voice full and wide. edge, low backing vocals. edge, breaking in with the 'wo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ah', just him, then bono joining in. band dropping out. bono going over to adam. "you never get to hear adam clayton." it's just adam, with bono staring at his hands, giving him rhythms, singing the last verse just with him. "take this heart.. take this heart..." i can feel what's coming next. it's purely instinct. my god, it's going to be...

bullet. red. fucking bullet. second verse is made up on the spot. i wish the sound wasn't mush. london flasback. what's he saying? it makes sense, whatever it is. that i can feel. guitar solo. it's different. spacey. more drawn out. edge is exploring. can't fucking wait to be down there and see his fucking fingers. whack-whack-whack. space. "i'm not sure what i'm saying here. tell a story? recite a poem?" rambling a bit more about that. his face, fuck, his face. he looks twenty again. the glasses are off. the end building, building, screaming, bono is screaming, fucking yelling, fucking going off, fuck, what's he saying? "RISE UP.. RISE UP.. RISE UP.. RISE UP..!"

one chord and i'm shaking. blue. one light on bono, one on edge at the keyboard. bono with a gretsch. i knew it. this, i fucking knew. i've been saying this for months. running to stand still. thank you. fucking thank you. "step on tube train, step out of the irish rain." this is everything i need. larry in on the toms and they're hitting me in the chest. hallelujah... edge harmonising. soft and yearning. on the screen then, universal declaration of human rights. 1948. a man reading, then a woman. on and on. article after article. movement on stage.

backing track. i know this bloody backing track, but yet i don't believe what i'm hearing. it's not making sense. it's not fitting together. i'm waiting for the guitar to burst in now and it's just hanging there, smoke is rising from the sides of the stage, i'm just anticipating and bam, zoo station. the lights are cutting through the smoke which is creating a backdrop for bono. he lifts his arms and kicks. is this really happening? "i'm ready, to go on tour. i'm ready, for san diego." edge, he's out on the ramp, he's got a headset mic and he's singing above bono, so high. they're playing with each other. arms out, pointing, walking past, crossing each other, then singing into the same mic. just fucking surreal. and the band, they're up on the light screens. edge walking backwards through larry's face, careful not to get his guitar stuck.

the fly. are you shitting me? edge, he's got what looks to be a telecaster but i can't tell, and it's black with red circles. vertigo. fucking. guitar. and it's the fly. and the bead light things have lowered again and words are flashing, what year is this? sexy. baby. everything you know is wrong. the end, building, edge, adam, larry, fuck. chills everywhere.

i know what's coming by instinct once again. except the drums, they're fucked and it's confusing. straight rock beat. but it is vertigo. the lights start running around the egg, around the target on the stage, larry's riser, and they're red. the light screens are red too, with target shapes and swirly designs. edge's guitar at the end is so trebley, and his single notes are standing out. bono's singing something i can't quite hear, "so far away"? the song ends but bono brings them back in and it's weird and not quite there but after a moment it finds its feet and it's fucking stories for boys, that's what it is. hello hello. all the while adam playing the vertigo bass line. it's rough but.. fuck. it's there.

they've gone for a bit. dark. i see dallas with a sunburst strat and i know what's next. pride. break before the 'april 4' verse whilst edge converses with dallas. bono says they're gonna hold on til he gets sorted. "the whole civil rights movement was waiting on you, edge." martin luther king. "martin luther king had a dream. not the american dream, a dream for the whole world. asians. africans. americans. europeans. everyone." dallas has the black strat in his hand which means it will be one of two things but i highly doubt the other and so it's..

streets. i was wondering where this would go. the light screens are dropping again, but they're not red, there are no red lights, where is the red? they're flags. different flags, so many of them. "AFRICA. AFRICA. AFRICA." i'm anticapting the bright white lights but they don't burst on and i'm left feeling like i'm missing something. except... the bridge. they're there. and instead of the regular 'oh-oh-oh's .. melodies. beautiful melodies. dancing melodies. back into the regular bit with edge above and with those white lights now this is it, this is all. glorious. "this is our fight. this is our prayer."

"so i'm thinking... this is where i'll ask for your help.. on this africa thing." pointing to the screen above, saying they'll have people text messaging. the message runs above us, 'UNITE,' and a number. "phones are really cool." he wants everyone to be holding them up, like lighters. ".. human rights. the right to live like a human. like we are. you are powerful.. we are powerful.. when we act as one." one finger up, as always. strings starting in before the guitar. and the end, it's gone. just a melody now, a walk down. wow.

"we're from ireland, we're called U2." fuck yeah. ".. happy easter. enjoy the eggs." all because of you. no yell in the middle. edge messing up slightly on the solo. the energy, it's there. but it's stifled and weird, as is this whole thing (not to mention surreal) and i know it's going to be so different when the building is full and the excitement has overtaken everyone, including the band. oh yeah, but it's still fuckin rockin.

giant coffeehouse type lights lowering. blue, then off, then gold. gold screens. edge on bass, adam on guitar. it could only be one thing. ok, this song had been spoiled for me. but from the mouth of glen hansard, so it's ok. and i didn't know if it was just tacked into something else or if they really would be closing with it. so surreal. bono quieting them near the end cos he wasn't gonna get another chance to say goodbye. "we have to go down there and go over all our mistakes." the music still going, softly. "i hope everyone understands... i hope everyone understands... i saw a shirt at venice beach, it said, 'there is no rehearsal'. so this is it, the first show of the vertigo tour." fucking hell. all the videos, all the bootlegs, everything, yet this was not something i'd ever experienced in person simply due to age - the entire crowd singing long after the band had disappeared. adam first, then edge, then larry. darkness. and.. it makes sense. it's still disjointed, but this makes sense.

how long.
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February 2013

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