This is not a post that is going to reinvent the wheel. Any one who has spent any amount of time in the GA line will have had the same experiences. I was hoping that if folks do read this and may have lost their perspective of what being in GA is all about, then maybe they might find it in themselves to recalibrate a bit.
I just came back from DC #2. The GA line was run by a super nice guy named, Brad, and a host of others(including my brother, Tim) who were truly nice people. They decided to jump in and volunteer to handle night #2 after getting a crummy response from the guy who was running night #1, who unfortunately exemplified the worst element of the U2 GA line. Those who attend scads of shows and have deemed themselves the experts. He deliberately was evasive about plans for night 2 and actually said that Brad and company weren't fit to run the line as you need a "veteran" to do so. That is a GA code for "I want to be in charge and have a single digit on my hand." Thankfully he was ignored. This same man has run numerous lines I have been involved in and is just not a nice guy. Rude, bossy and friend-less.
Standing in the GA line is not a profession, it's a passion. It's about the camaraderie of spending time with fellow U2 travelers, sharing stories of shows you've been to and yes, wanting to get a great spot on the rail. But getting that spot on the rail shouldn't include forsaking your dignity and trampling others' in the process. The smiles and friendly interaction that give way to elbows on a stairwell and pushing someone out of the way to get a wristband. Seeing those same folks across the catwalk, singing along to songs about love, looking so saintly as the band goes up and down the arena leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If you are going to follow a band that talks a lot about respecting people and choosing to be compassionate towards your fellow man, well then a good place to practice is with your neighbors in line.
I will continue to enjoy going to U2 shows and being a part of the GA process. To the folks like Brad, Kevin, Jeff and Jaime who I have met over the years and have had great experiences while they were running a line, thank you. To those who seemingly have lost their perspective on what the GA line is all about, I hope you find it. For your sake and ours. All the best.