U2 is one of my favorite bands. I don’t care if you judge my music taste for being “too mainstream;” I like what I like, and I love U2. I’ve been dying to see them live ever since the 360 tour started, so when I saw they were coming to Santiago I got a ticket as soon as I could. The tickets were expensive, but I hardly ever go to big concerts like this, and so I treated myself and justified it as a Christmas present to myself. 🙂
One of the reasons I never go to big concerts is that I hate crowds. Strangers make me crazy, especially when they act stupidly and I have to touch them. It grosses me out. But I love U2 more than I hate crowds, so I resigned myself to making this sacrifice (plus standing for 7 hours straight with no water and no bathrooms) to see my favorite band. It’s a once in a lifetime kind of thing, so I sucked it up and went to the concert with a good attitude.
The line to get into the Estadio Nacional stretched almost half a mile around the stadium, so I knew right away that there was going to be a TON (70,000, to be exact) people inside. And there was. At times I felt claustrophobic, like when U2 took the stage and everyone surged forward, and then they started playing “Beautiful Day” and people started moshing and I got trapped between to very large men. But, I was with a friend of a friend who happens to be pretty strong and he grabbed me and we moved back a bit to where people weren’t jumping and pushing. I wanted to remind all of those crazies that this was U2 we were watching, not Iron Maiden, and U2’s music doesn’t really lend itself to moshing, but somehow I thought they wouldn’t really listen to reason.
Overall, I thought the crowd control was pretty poor, but in the moment I tried not to think about it because I knew it would just freak me out. I saw at least four people who had fainted or were on their way to fainting, which also didn’t help calm my nerves, but my concert companion kept telling me we could leave the heavy crowds whenever I wanted which did help calm me down.
So despite all the crowds of people working against me, I didn’t really feel that claustrophobic and really enjoyed myself. They played all of my favorite songs (except Running to Stand Still, but that’s a little depressing and not very concert friendly) and there were only two songs I didn’t recognize. It was truly an impressive audio-visual show, with lots of cool video and special effects incorporated. He also sang One Tree Hill with the Chilean musician Francisca Valenzuela and everything he said was subtitled on the big screen which were nice touches.
And, I think I really might have passed out if this had happened to me, but purely of bliss. And not to mention this is one of my favorite songs that I was really hoping they would play!