I hardly know where to begin. I wouldnâ€™t even be writing this letter if my friend didnâ€™t think it would be a good idea (And he HATES you guys.) But I wanted to tell you my story, since I have seen you 23 times already, and will have seen you 31 times by the time the 360 tour is laid to rest. I have not always liked your shows, in fact I hated you the first time I saw you, for Zoo TV in 1992, and there was a real clunker show (St. Louis) in 1997, during the Pop Mart tour. But Iâ€™ve stuck with you, and have been so richly rewarded. I have never written or spoken to you, like most fans, but I wanted you to know my story, and how your work has made my life far better than I ever could have dreamed, or imagined.
I follow you and consider it to be my privilege to see you because every concert I have been to, the ones Iâ€™ve loved and even the few Iâ€™ve hated, have made me a better person. Ultimately thatâ€™s why you are able to fill stadiums in city after city, all over the world, and still have plenty demand left. Its because your shows heal people, your shows change lives. I donâ€™t know how or why, and I donâ€™t care. Last year we all had to face the prospect that there would be no more U2 shows. We all know this day will come, the day when there are no more U2 shows. And for that reason I will see you every chance I can, because once it is gone, it is gone forever. But 50 years from now, fans and the children of fans, and the grandchildren of fans, will be jealous that they have never had the U2 experience. Oprah is right, it is a bucket list item. I will be there with you, God Willing, in Moncton as you bring your show to a place that it has never been. It boggles my mind, that this will be a concert in front of people who have never seen a U2 concert, and many will be able to do it for $40 bucks. I get chills thinking about it. It could be the last concert I ever see, and I am at peace with that, because it will have taken a lifetime to get there.
You have done the impossible. You have brought the 360 experience to the stadium, something that everyone had viewed as impossible, like putting a man on the moon. Thatâ€™s the connection. When I am at a U2 360 show, I am participating in something that was impossible until you guys did it. You paid the money, you spurred the invention of the technology that makes this possible. Your music is the soundtrack that will attract the millions of people that fill every night of your sold out stadium tour. And the friendship that the 4 of you have shared radiates, and makes U2 360 not only something spectacular that you see, but, most important, something that you feel, deep down inside. The greatest thing about the 360 tour is that, unlike previous stadium attempts, this show is designed for the stadium, it could only exist in a stadium. Sure thereâ€™s enormous traffic, and dealing with thousands of people. I saw you at the Rose Bowl, and the crowd of people at these shows is not to be taken lightly. It took me a full hour just to get my ticket scanned. I missed the Black Eyed Peas and was fearful I would miss the beginning of your show. That said, though, there is no other concert that gives the thrill of seeing it with 97,000 other people. Your show actually is more dependent on the fans, not less. There is nothing worse than seeing this show with a lifeless crowd, which happened to me in Boston on the second night. The cheer at the end of With or Without You at Soldier Field on the second night of the North American launch, it was deafening. And seeing all the cell phones before Moment of Surrender, that may be the greatest lighting effect ever, and its totally free.
I saw your you tube vids (God bless them) from Africa, and being African American, it absolutely gave me chills. Seeing the entire stadium of 110,000 people in Johannesburg bathed in yellow, as you gave them a customized intro. I love the remix of Get On Your Boots, and it just sounds triumphant. Finally, U2 360 comes to Africa. Your cry of Africa was so stirring. Its like the first show for the Vertigo tour. Your cries of Africa were so moving and chilling. The reworking of Streets with the flags blew my mind. I can't imagine what that felt like in that stadium. The reworking of Pride as a tribute to Nelson Mandela. Had to have been incredible. I know lives were changed that night. For some it will always be the greatest experience of their lives.
I will see your American launch of U2360 in Denver, I will be in Edmonton, I will welcome you back to the U2 360 stage after what I know will be a triumphant Glastonbury festival, to Michigan State University. I cannot wait to see your triumphant post 4th of July show in Chicago. Chicago, where you told me and millions of others how you fell in love with it, listening to Miles Davis. What an incredible show your 2005 birthday show was (though, in truth, the next night was even better), what an incredible time I had as you launched this tour in 2009. What a privilege, to be a part of only 2 cities that are rewarded with repeat performances in 2011. At one of the greatest shows of my life, Sept. 13, 2009. with tears in your eyes after Moment of Surrender, you told us you would never forget us, and you have not. Toronto will be my second Canadian U2 experience, and I canâ€™t wait to see you in one of my favorite cities in the world. Philadelphia, that is where I will celebrate my birthday, and will see you for the 29th time. You are usually in Europe during the time of my birthday when youâ€™re on tour. You played in Amsterdam on my birthday in 2009, and I was so jealous I could not be there. This will be such a treat. I am seeing it with two of my oldest and closest friends, brothers, who have never seen a U2 concert. And, if things go well, Iâ€™ll also be bringing a fraternity brother I have not seen in 15 years. Your concerts bring people together, because, unlike any other band I can think of, with the exception of the Grateful Dead, the real stars are the fans, not the artist. Minneapolis, a place Iâ€™ve always wanted to go, and, originally, the final leg of the tour, will be the next stop on my road to Moncton. That will be so incredible. Iâ€™m going to this show by train. I have tickets for Pittsburgh, but I probably will not make that one since Iâ€™m seeing you in Moncton. I fly into Halifax, Nova Scotia (because all Moncton rooms are booked) and then, after that last show, who knows. I havenâ€™t a clue, but Iâ€™m excited about the possibilities. Your shows have filled me with enough memories to fill a book, (which I am currently writing). Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your hard work, your faith, and your friendship, because, in the end, it is the friendship that you 4 share and have remained faithful to that makes everything possible. That is a lesson I try to live everyday, to try to be a positive force for the people I meet, and to be a friend. You are my friends, and I canâ€™t wait until I see you in Denver.