Tuesday, October 13, 2009

U2 360 Tour Part 1: Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

I had to race home on my lunch break today to try and write down the events of last night while they are still fresh in my mind. They are still so fresh that little things can't even get to me. My mind has been elevated to a level that only rock and roll can take it! I don't wanna come back down to the real world -- or should I say, the world that everyone *thinks* is real.

There was some uproar about the fact that I attended a mega rock concert by myself. I had to drive a fair distance -- 45 minutes to Arlington, TX, home of the Rangers, Cowboys, and Six Flags. I didn't have anyone to go with me, so I went by myself, simple as that. As I told one friend, there was NOTHING that could stand in my way. I had to take the opportunity to see U2, because who knows if/when their next US tour will happen?

The drive was fine -- drizzly and unfamiliar, with an atmosphere of industrialism providing the scenery. (I noticed the Microsoft building on my way. It looks very drab and square, and it made me really curious about what Apple office complexes look like?) All the sunshine I needed was in my heart, made of sheer shining childlike anticipation. I left early to avoid the traffic and try to find the closest cash lot possible. It turned out I timed it perfectly -- I found a cash lot immediately adjacent to the entrance I need for my seat! I don't know how I achieved such good fortune, but it was fine with me because it helped a little to stave off the feelings of self-pity about the fact that I was alone. Those feeling grew a little as I approached the line to enter -- fairly short lines since I was there so early. Felt like a cattle-loading dock! Everyone around me was there with someone else: friends, children, significant other, etc. That was interesting -- a lot more children than I expected for a Monday night rock concert. A lot of women in jeans and sneakers (including me, for the fact that I expected to walk a LOT farther from my parking spot!), a lot of people were my age or older. It was a family-oriented, tame crowd. I felt self-conscious for coming alone, but then I realized that nobody around me cared or noticed, and so I just sent people text messages and played solitaire on my phone. :)

Finally they opened the gates and we started filing in. I didn't bring my purse, I just put everything I needed in the pockets of my denim jacket, and the security guard who scanned my ticket was impressed with my high level of intelligence (for a woman). The outdoor entryway of the new Cowboys Stadium is super fun, with jumbo screens and grass and Tidal Basin-like pool of water surrounding by grass. Lots of tall bar-style tables sit outside, I guess for those who will enjoy the concert from the exterior of the building.

People were selling Miller Lite and MGD for $8. A souvenir stand outside the entrance immediately caught my eye and I joined the throng as quickly as possible. I'd planned ahead at U2.com and knew just which t-shirt and I needed. Had to jump on it BEFORE the concert so as not to miss out on the items I really wanted. He started yelling "Cash only cash only who's ready?" And I jumped out in front waving my wad. I wanted #12 - medium, and a black cap. We made the exchange quickly and I skipped backward as the eager crowd surged forward and blocked the table from my view.

I started wandering with my goods, wondering if I should wear them since I didn't have a bag to put them in (starting to doubt the security guard's praises...). I settled on folding them up together for the time being and went inside the stadium. I had everything I needed. Everything except. Somewhere between cattle-loading entry scan and the souvenir speed exchange, I had dropped my ticket. I had no idea where I was sitting, all I remembered was section 244. Ah geeze.

I searched pockets and sleeves, through my jacket, jeans, on the ground, in my phone, everywhere. Decided that the security guard was definitely a cruel tyrant filled with ill foreboding. Ticket was definitely gone.

I found someone who worked at the stadium and he sent me to "guest services." This was an odious task, as I was struggling mentally to figure out how to convince them that I wasn't a crazy weirdo girl that somehow sneaked into the stadium on my own, I really DID buy my ticket the very MOMENT they went on sale ... MONTHS ago. I felt like it would have been much less suspicious if I'd been there with a companion who DID have their ticket, but that was not an option, I would have to go it alone. The first lady I talked to had no idea what I should do, but she did have the idea to refer me to the "Ticketmaster guy." He was wearing a skull cap and looking particularly unexcited about helping me. He made a couple calls, got no answer, and sent me outside to retrace my steps. I felt 5. I retraced. Nothing. He made a couple more calls and asked for my I.D. This led to some good results: a seat relocation ticket, which was really just a handwritten ticket for my original seat assignment (the person on the phone was able to verify via the World Wide Web and some database that I really had paid to be there).

Ladies and gentlemen: access granted to Section 244, Row 3, Seat 25.

If you are familiar with the NEW Dallas Cowboys Stadium, you will know that this seat is actually very, very good. I, however, was not familiar with the stadium, so figured that before I start climbing stairs I would add an unsalted gigantic pretzel and cold bottle of MGD to my purse-less inventory. The only way it could've been better was if I'd had some mustard to dip the pretzel in! Next, I approached Section 244 and showed the lady Seat Relocation Pass. I expected her to direct me up a nearby flight of stairs, but NO. NO. She pointed DOWNWARD. All The Way (almost) to the very front edge of the section. The only people between me and the stage were the 100's, on a level with the special VIP boxes. Wow. Humble little me, who had scraped together my very few pennies for this experience, felt extremely grateful. Grateful to myself, that is, for jumping on the ball and sitting logged into Ticketmaster waiting for the spinny clock to wind to the exact moment that the tickets went on sale! I will say it could have been better -- I could have been on the concrete floor with all the people that had to stand through the entire show. That would have been ideal, and maybe even worth the couple hundred I'm sure those folks paid (they got to walk up on the stage and take photos before the concert started!). Next time, perhaps.

This time, I just got settled in and waited. I was seated 45 minutes prior to slated starting time, so I knew it would take even longer than that. I got to picture-snapping.

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