So it was just me and my dad who went to the gig. We ventured forth at about five o clock, got the luas into town, and got some tasty-awesome dinner at Yamamori's, on the quays. We then started the long trek to croke park. The opening band was the Kaiser Chiefs, and I could hear them singing "Rub-ay rub-ay rub-ay! ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ahhhh" as we approached the stadium. "This", I thought to myself, "Is gonna be sweet.". And sweet it was. We shuffled our way through the stadium, and as we went up the stairs into the opening, I saw it. it. The claw. THE CLAWWWWW. What I saw was beyond words, because it is too awesome to be adequately described. There is a picture of it here. You'd have to be there to fully experience the sheer prescence of this titantic metal monstrosity. It did a great manner of kickass things as the night progressed, which I will expand upon as I go. Upon first seeing it though, I was convinced that it would actually uproot itself and go on a rampage of destruction, like something out of "War of the Worlds".
Kaiser Chiefs were quite good, they played a good few songs from "Employment", my favorite (and only) album of theirs. Ricky Wilson, the lead singer, really brough a heaping dose of energy and exitement to the stage, jumping and swinging about like some sort of rock orangutang, he did this nifty thing during "I predict a riot", where he jumped up and down, but to maintain a good vocal read with the mike, actually swiveled his head around the mike as he jumped, it was quite interesting! He was actually rendered breathless at points. Then they walked off, and we waited a good 45 minutes for U2 to show up.
Now would be a good time for me to express my opinions towards U2. I like them, but I don't love them. I'd listen to them, but I'm not so enamoured by their music that I'd replay whole albums repeatedly. I prefer their older stuff, to be honest, but I know that most everything they've done is great. They're just one of those bands that I know are really good, and clearly they have talent, but they just don't sway me the right way. As for now, the only bands I could really say I loved are Relient k and Regina spektor, but that's another story. I like U2 though, and Live, they are amazing.
The show started off with Larry Mullen banging the drums as the rest of the crew came on stage, and started playing. The 360 video things was awesome, and I do mean awesome. It extended down for "City of Blinding lights", almost encompassing the band as they whammed away on their instruments, with multicoloured lights whizzing around them. Aweome. Bono almost seemed like a worship leader at times with some of the songs, I'm always suprised when I rediscover how spiritual their music is. It's pretty nifty. The concert was great! I can't really say much more than that. Well, I could, but I'm not going to. Music was great, and the giant claw was just a fantastic piece of engineering in the truest sense of the word.
About halfway through the concert, my dad recieved a text from Dick, asking if we would like to attend the afterparty. Obviously we answered yes, and after the concert was over, after much ka-rocking, we mosied our way over to the round room, where the party was being held. Me and my dad just sat around, in relative obscurity in a room full of people we didn't quite know, my dad would occaisionally point out people he was friends with before he moved to america, old acquaintances. We toiled away in obsurity taking advantage of the open bar, until my dad struck up conversation with one of dick's brothers, who then introduced us to his wife, and his other brother, and his wife, and they discovered that they attended the same sailing club, and a gay old time was struck up talking about boats and whatnot. I was shyly pleased with myself to be introduced with pride by my father as "My son", he seemed to relish introducing me, each time as though to point to some achievement and say: "I am responsible." It was an endearing experience.
And then Dick came up to the afterparty, walked directly over to us, and said: "Hey, would you like to come with me?". We certainly didn't argue. We walked around the park, found an elevator, and descended into the inner workings of croke park, through what appeared a bleak industrial complex. We walked past fancy black hummers, shining with importance, though I couldn't help feeling somewhat endangered by the sparse surroundings. We walked through a wooden door, and like Narnia, we were instantly transported into a place of wonder and whimsy, what I can only describe as a real "Backstage" kind of experience, with perfect lighting and crystal-styled chandeliers. I surveyed the room, my eyes hungering for celebrity.
And then, I saw the Edge. I freaked out, in my own mind, to some degree. I believe that the occurance of celebrity is overrated, the concept of people being so intensely popular for impressive, but often disproportionate reasons. However, that was all bollocks to me at this stage, my brain going: "Ohmygawditstheedgeheplaysthosesongsyoulistentoonyouripodsometimesandhesbeenaroundtheworldandplayedforfancypeopleandholycrapisthathowhereallydresses!"
I realised, and then enquired hurriedly and quietly: "Dad, I can't remember the real names of any of the band members, what do I do?"
"David is the Edge, Paul is Bono, Larry is the Drummer, and Adam plays the base.", he said, understandingly.
We stood around and chatted with more of my dad's old friends, I learned the story behind his nickname, "Tiger Hunter", apparently they all had nicknames back in the day, ie: The edge and Bono. In short order, David came over to me and my dad, and eyed me with some reasonable amount of notice, as he and my dad talked. My dad introduced me to him, and I shook his hand, sputtering: "I'm Lorcan, I really love your guitar playing, it's beautiful!!!!" (durrrrr). He and my dad continued talking, and The Edge would occaisionally glance at me with interest, I must have looked pretty starstruck, I suppose! We talked for only a few minutes, he asked me about school and the like, my dad informed me that I was planning to stay in Ireland, and he said of that: "Well, That's a good vote for ireland." He asked me if I enjoyed High School, and I told him about our school's policy against long hair, and he spake thusly: "Well, that's a pain in the arse". If our school re-attempts to change the policy on long hair, I guarantee we will use this quote in our campaign. He then had some important-looking person come up to him, whisper something in his ear, and then bid us farewell, off to do something awesome, one would presume. I bore a slack-jawed grin to my dad, and he went: "Yeah, pretty, cool, ain't it?" I then shuffled off to use the bathroom, and washed my hands. Then I realised I washed the hand The Edge shook, with some small note of dissapointment. I went back outside, hung out with my Dad and his friends, occaisionally looking over to see The Edge talking to somebody else, relishing the proximity to a celebrity, trying to form a lasting memory. He was funny, but normal. The kind of man I suppose one would be able to have a good time with, a "mate". But, interestingly, not hilarious. He was just like any other friendly, funny person you'd meet, except he is freakin' awesome at guitar.
In the taxicab ride home, my dad explained how he grew up with them, and explained to me how The Edge got his nickname: He was a shy young man growing up, usually remaining on the periphery of social groups, always on the edge. What a kickass nickname for such an unremarkable trait! I imagined swords, knives, living life on the edge, but the truth was much more interesting and endearing. My dad explained: He had always been a nice guy, and noted: "Did you see any of the other band members talking to other people?" "No." (The edge was the only one even there.) "Exactly. He's always been a good guy." In retrospect, that really was an incredibly kind thing to do, to hang out and take an interest in someone of little importance to you, because it would make their day. Pretty nifty guy all around. It was nice to hang out with my dad and get to know him better too. And the music was awesome too, but in honesty, for me, all three events were of equal importance: Music, meeting the edge, and getting to know my dad. It was a good night.
"Well, that's a pain in the arse" - David Howell Evans "The Edge" on the subject of The High School Rathgar's policy against hair beyond collar length for boys.