…When I met Bono
Being a massively huge U2 fan, I am the type of guy that would travel hundreds of miles to see my favourite band and have close to 30 ticket stubs to prove it.
Anyway, U2 had performed back to back shows recently (September 12th and 13th) at Soldier Field in Chicago and sure enough, I had planned to attend (when tickets had gone on sale earlier in the year) with my 10 year old son Lukas.
We managed to get within yards of the stage for the first show, and I have the Blackberry photos to prove it. Being from London, Canada (about two hours outside of Toronto); we stayed the night in Chicago for the second show. We got up the next day to do some sightseeing around downtown Chicago and found ourselves up on Michigan and Chicago avenues and low and behold, ran into U2 in around the hotel they were staying at. Autographs were given by The Edge and Adam Clayton on little Lukas' U2 T-shirt. Unfortunately, we didn’t get Bono’s autograph and Larry wasn’t present. Well, this chance encounter left Lukas extremely optimistic and downright convinced that he would get both of their autographs at the Toronto shows a few days down the road.
Last week, I went back to work telling my colleagues about our Chicago story and how great both shows were and about running into both The Edge and Adam Clayton. I’m also telling everyone how Lukas wants to go to Toronto early, expecting to get Bono and Larry's autograph. Perhaps, hoping to catch them at their hotel or arriving at the Rogers Centre for a sound check. Of course, I know that the chances of this happening are slim to none and quickly realize my conundrum of not wanting to disappoint my son yet obviously realizing Lukas’ potential let-down of not getting those autographs looms statistically large. Everyone wished me good luck and Lukas and I departed for the Toronto U2 shows Wednesday morning (September 16th) for the next three days.
Needless to say we didn’t see Bono or the band at the Toronto hotel or at the Rogers Centre for their sound check. By this time I believe Lukas was beginning to realise just how lucky we really were in Chicago and that the chances of “running” into U2 again just wasn’t going to happen. Now, having been already to three U2 shows in the past week (two in Chicago and the first Toronto show) Lukas and I decided to watch this show from The Edge’s side of the stage. Just for a different perspective. Well, this was the best decision we ever made. It was during The Unforgettable Fire that Bono made his way over to where we were standing watching the show. It was towards the end of this song that Bono crossed over one of the bridges connecting the main stage to the circular outer stage; right above us. I already had Lukas on my shoulder to get a better view of what was happening when Bono and I made eye contact. He then gestured to me to rise Lukas up and that was exactly what I did. Bono took Lukas’ hand and pulled him up onto the bridge. Bono gave him a high five, asked him how he was doing and what his name was. They then walked onto the outer stage and the band began to play City of Blinding Lights. Lukas spent the next several minutes running around the outer stage with Bono as the band played. Bono sang to him and the audience of 60,000 plus cheered them on. Bono even let little Lukas try on his sunglasses! We thought Chicago was the pinnacle U2 moment and then this happens. Truly an incredible experience!!!
Lukas still doesn’t have Larry’s autograph however