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On stage at FedEx Field...WOW.


ampbains
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So I've had a whole bunch of people ask me about it, what it was like, how it went down, etc. I figured just writing a quick post about it would be easiest. I swear I'm not being a megalomaniac, and I'm completely ok with my 15 minutes of fame being up. :)

 

For background, Bono pulled me up during the Vertigo tour in New York City. It was during With Or Without You, and anytime I tell people that, I get weird looks. No, I didn't slow dance with him...I love the guy and have enormous respect for him, but there's a limit. :) So instead, we were arm in arm and just singing. It was totally random and totally spontaneous as far as I know.

 

Tuesday afternoon, I caught up with him before the show as the band was arriving at Fedex Field and just jokingly said to him, "So when are you going to let me sing with you again?!" He looks up, smiles, grabs my hand, and asks me "So what's your favorite tune this time?" I reply, "I've been waiting 17 damn years to hear you guys play Ultraviolet!!" At that point, I showed him my flag and said, "Just keep an eye out for this during Sunday Bloody Sunday, it's going up." He pauses as if to go into deep thought and asks me, "Do you rap?" Apparently it seems like Bono has been on a bit of a rap kick as of late...don't know why. I looked at him funny and said, "Uhh...no." He smirks a bit and says, "What about the last verse of Sunday Bloody Sunday?" I'm sure my eyes got really big at this point; he got a bit coy and says, "Yeah, we'll do it one day..."

 

So I'm there at my usual position along the front railing and I happen to be just stage left of center. He comes back onto the main stage during SBS and was looking down and scanning the crowd. After seeing the flag, he points and beckons to me. I waited for a moment for him to step forward and I tossed it to him so he could hold it up (throwing it up and having it just land on the stage would have been poor form in my opinion; I waited so he could catch it). That was actually all I was hoping for.

 

I'm well aware that flags at U2 shows are attention-getters (I had it with me at the first Giants Stadium show as well). Yes, to some degree I was trying to make a statement at both shows. I think in New York, though, he just didn't see it. The stage is about 9 feet high and unless you're looking down and concentrating, you can't see much of the front pit. Anyways, the statement was that if you scrape away a few superficial things, we as humans are a lot more similar than we are different. The other part of it was that I am as American as anyone else. Pretty basic and simple stuff, but no better place for it than NYC or DC.

 

Few people know how to make a statement and how to create a moment better than Bono. I had already made mine, but he wasn't done with his. So he's holding the flag and he points down AGAIN and I'm thinking, "Oh it's on now!!" Climbing that stage is no joke, and I'm no lightweight. Bono put his hand out to help but I didn't grab it for fear that I'd drag him down. Pulling him down off the stage as I'm going up would probably have been a bit suboptimal (just saying). My landing wasn't exactly graceful, but it was a hell of a lot better than when I landed on my ass at Madison Square Garden.

 

For everyone wondering what he was saying to me, it was nothing earth shattering. :) For obvious reasons, he wants to be in control of the situation when he brings a fan on stage. He said that he wanted me to sing the last verse with him and that we'd be sharing the mic, also mentioning that he had a teleprompter at hsi feet (for those of you snickering and about to leave a smart ass comment, just stop right there!). :)

 

I'm there standing on the middle of the stage in DC in front of 80,000 people with a flag behind me and the wind blowing against it during an old school U2 anthem To call that moment poignant would be a gross understatement. I did have a brief deer-in-headlights moment before the words to the last verse popped up as Bono put the mic in front of me. I saw his mouth start moving to sing, however, and i was good. It was so loud up there that I couldn't hear the crowd's reaction (nor do I have any idea how I really sounded, but if it was like crap, I apologize). People in the pit said that everyone was going nuts while friends I had in the stands said the reaction was a bit mixed. I don't really care what the initial reaction was, I'm just glad that people are thinking and talking.

 

The most incredible part for me actually turned out to be looking into Bono's eyes from just inches away while singing that last verse. You can easily tell that even after 26 years, there is still a fire in him and the intensity just drips off as he belts out those lyrics. The hug afterwards was a close second. Speaking of which, if anyone has more photos, please please please get in touch with me!

 

I'm sure I'll have more thoughts about it as time goes by. It's been a few nights and I'm still in a daze about it, still wondering, "Wait, did that REALLY happen?!?" I keep using the same words over and over to describe it, because that's all I can come up with: utterly intense.

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Nice post, that must have been amazing for you! I wouldn't have the balls to get up on the stage never mind stand next to Bono and sing!embarassed.gif Bet it will be something you will remember for the rest of your life.

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Ampbains, I give you kudos on your treat at the show, well deserved!!

I saw you at both Boston shows and as a matter of fact, we showed up at the same time in the parking lot for Boston 1.

Nice convertable you have! I was in the truck. The was in a in black JT shirt and wearing original flyshades. Maybe you remember? Small world it is...

 

Anyways, congrats to our zoo brother!!

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Ampbains, I give you kudos on your treat at the show, well deserved!!

I saw you at both Boston shows and as a matter of fact, we showed up at the same time in the parking lot for Boston 1.

Nice convertable you have! I was in the truck. The was in a in black JT shirt and wearing original flyshades. Maybe you remember? Small world it is...

 

Anyways, congrats to our zoo brother!!

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Ampbains, I give you kudos on your treat at the show, well deserved!!

I saw you at both Boston shows and as a matter of fact, we showed up at the same time in the parking lot for Boston 1.

Nice convertable you have! I was in the truck. The was in a in black JT shirt and wearing original flyshades. Maybe you remember? Small world it is...

 

Anyways, congrats to our zoo brother!!

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Amp!

Congrats! That was spectacular. Funny for me, too. Imagine this: I met amp last August, at the final show of The Police Reunion tour. We stood right next to each other on the barricade at the show. He told me what a big U2 fan he was, and I said I hoped I'd see him when U2 toured. I told him I was from DC, and he said he'd probably go to that show.

 

I forgot all about all this until the last verse of Sunday Bloody Sunday on Tuesday. Bono pulls a guy onstage, and suddenly the whole conversation flashes back to me:

 

"Holy COW! That's AMP!!"

 

My first U2 show ever. And the guy pulled onstage by Bono is someone I've actually met.

 

Small world, indeed.

 

Thanks for sharing, Amp!

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