At the Moment of Surrender

U2: it’s happening, and it’s happening now.

Finally. It’s been a long time coming.

I haven’t seen the band since the final Toronto show of the 2005 Vertigo tour, which was sandwiched in between the seven Pearl Jam concerts I saw during that glorious September (between the 1st and the 26th I saw U2, the Rolling Stones, Beck, System of a Down, Pearl Jam seven times, and Sleater-Kinney six). You may recall that I was supposed to see U2 in Edmonton last June, but then Bono threw out his back and the show was postponed by almost a year. Later I was forced to pull out of a planned trip to Pasadena because of work commitments (the concert I missed as a result was filmed, and later released as U2 360° at the Rose Bowl). So it’s not from lack of trying that I haven’t seen U2 in over five years, but simply the continued intervention of bad luck.

Until tonight–and in Buenos Aires of all places! After seeing the U23D IMAX movie, which was filmed in Argentina and Brazil in 2006, I wrote: “I need to see a Big Rock Show with a Latin American audience. ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ was magical; watch the crowd’s reaction to the Edge’s opening guitar line!” For that reason, the one song I want to hear tonight–and I will hear it tonight–is “Streets,” which along with “Alive” and “Born to Run” forms the holy triumvirate of Best Live Songs I’ve Ever Heard. (I’m also excited to hear the No Line on the Horizon songs for the first time: the album remains my favourite by U2 since Achtung Baby.) Throw in an orgiastic Argentine audience and we’re talking serious religious experience potential.

Today, then, has been devoted to concert-going details, like arranging transportation to and from La Plata (the venue’s in a southern suburb of Buenos Aires) and picking up my ticket (my ticket guy looked exactly like Iggy Pop). But I also had my first-ever taste mate (which was delicious) and bought myself a token Boca Juniors souvenir. I’ll rush headlong into proper sightseeing tomorrow. Right now, it’s time to rock.

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