Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thoughts on U2

I was mowing my lawn on Saturday when my wife came outside with the phone. While I hated to stop my masterful yard manicuring, she seemed persistent. What I soon found out was that a friend was calling with news of a lifetime. He had an extra ticket to that night's U2 concert in Raleigh and wanted to know if I would please take it. Hmmm.... Let me think. Heck yes!! Oh yeah, and the seats were amazing. $250 worth of amazing. For free. A couple of years ago I got to see Coldplay in CA on the X and Y tour. It was the most amazing show I'd ever seen. For me there was only one other band that I wanted to see in my lifetime - U2.

So Saturday is our normal Launch Team meetings for Story Church. My plan was to go ahead and have our meeting, cut it short, and bail out in time for U2 (though I was bummed that I would be missing Muse). The show started at 7, and my thought was that U2 would probably go on about 9pm. So we finished up with our Launch Team around 7pm, and I left the house around 7:15. The stadium is only about 20 minutes from my house so I figured I had plenty of time. Around 9pm I was still in my car, still trying to get to the stadium and find a parking spot! After a couple hours of frustration I began hearing from police officers and walkers that there was no more parking - period. WHAT??? How can there not be any more parking?? So I found a side street, and took off looking for a place to park and run back. Eventually I found a neighborhood, paid a guy $10 to park in his yard, and ran about a mile back to the stadium. By the time I got to my seats and found my friend U2 was on their 7th song - Elevation. My favorite moment of the night (and there were many) had to be the honest, simple singing of Amazing Grace by Bono, with several thousand people singing along. The pastor in me is amazed at the power of a rock star to get people singing of God's grace. It was a profound moment I felt.

The stage design was incredible, the video screens and lights and everything else made the show an unbelievable experience. This wasn't just a rock concert though. These guys are passionate about justice and have learned that their influence can really change the world. They highlighted the One campaign (join now if you haven't already), the political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, the religious fighting of Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, and there was even a word from Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

This was truly an experience of a lifetime. Don't you just love those moments where God surprises you for no reason at all - where you just get blessed with something amazing that you don't deserve?

Amazing Grace indeed.

Here is the setlist of the show:

Get On Your Boots
Mysterious Ways
Beautiful Day / C Moon (snippet)
No Line On The Horizon
In A Little While
New Year's Day
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Stand By Me (snippet)
Stuck In A Moment
The Unforgettable Fire
Mofo (snippet) / City Of Blinding Lights
Crazy Tonight / Thank You (Falettin Me Be Mice Elf Again) (snippet)
Sunday Bloody Sunday / Rock The Casbah (snippet) / People Get Ready (snippet)
Walk On / You'll Never Walk Alone (snippet)

One / Amazing Grace (snippet)
Where The Streets Have No Name
Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
With Or Without You
Moment of Surrender


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