First the cast of characters. You see, some of my friends are professionals and perhaps do not want their identities or feats of jackassery placed on the Interwebz for your fleeting pleasure. Thus, behold the pseudonyms and descriptors:
Me: Stay-at-home mother, mommyblogger, super-hero.
The Southern Belle (SB): also SAHM, beautiful, hilarious, wears great shoes.
Pittsburgh: also SAHM, possibly the funniest person in the universe
FeartheJ: also SAHM, beyond funny, has one of the best weaves I've ever seen, and she went to Maryland (I'm attempting a geographical thing with my pseudonyms)
Philly: husband of SB, very in touch with his feelings.
The Orthodontist: husband of FeartheJ. He's like The Edge (much more on him momentarily), except that he straightens teeth and isn't Irish. Or a rock star. Or old.
FeartheJ and The Orthodontist picked me up, and while we were waiting in a church parking lot for the rest of our crew, she asked, "Is it too early to open the wine?" No, my friend, no it was not.
Once we were all in Philly and SB's SUV, we hit the road, buoyed by the dulcet tones of Def Leopard and the deliciousness of mozzarella sticks and Fastop fried chicken. Along the way, I was delighted to learn another fraternity brother handshake---I make it my goal to crack the Greek code as often as I can. (Alas, my brother-in-law WILL NOT share his Sigma Nu secret handshake with me. This doesn't bother me at all, DOUG.)
We arrived at FedEx field, home of your Washington Redskins, overpriced parking, and this evening, A LOT of white people. Older white people. People that graduated high school in the early nineties, before cell phones or high-speed internet. People who wore Guess? jeans and Flo-jo flip-flops back in the day. People who could recite every word of "Ice, Ice Baby." Those kind of people.
We tailgated, a first for me. I had never eaten spicy shrimp, hummus, and a delicious concoction known as "Golden Balls" in a parking lot before this day. As I hoisted my Red Stripe and mentioned loudly how I like to hold "one golden ball in each hand and squeeze," I instantly decided that I am a huge fan of tailgating. Huge.
We decided to hoist on our oxygen masks and load up the yak to journey to our nosebleed seats. But, before we started, we heard Philly yell, "I need to find a BMW!" We couldn't figure out why, aside from his obvious love for fine German machinery. We realized that because he had smacked his nose, HARD, (as he attempted to move a seat in his own car), he was in need of first aid. Thus, Philly immediately jumped to the logical conclusion that if first aid is required, one must proceed directly to a luxary automobile, since they apparently come with first aid kids. Who knew?
Nose patched, we walked heavenward, towards our seats. When we got to our seats, right below the ozone layer, Pittsburgh announced, with no small amount of glee in her voice, "They've got a FULL BAR over there!" The SAHMs squealed, as the husbands skulked several feet behind us.
We found our seats, my girlfriends holding two vodka tonics in each hand (they were getting an extra one for "their husbands.") In full disclosure, I must admit that I stuck to beer. I've been with these women enough to know that when it comes to mixed drinks, these girls don't play.
The opening act: Muse. Meh. The acoustics were so awful I couldn't tell you a thing about them.
As the evening continued, and my beer became more and more delicious, I found myself acting more like a thirteen-year-old girl at a Jonas Brothers concert whenever the camera flashed to The Edge. Squealing. Pretending to zip open my jacket to expose my breasts. Yelling to my friends, "I love him! When he wears that hat he looks like a GIGANTIC PENIS!"
The evening progressed, and I realized, rather quickly, that U2 was 100% a nostalgia band for me. Yes, they were promoting a new album, but I had not listened to the album beforehand, and I'm not overwhelmed with a need to listen to it now, either. I know that the real U2 fans reading this are appalled and disgusted (sorry, Dana. sorry, Amy. sorry, Josh.) It's okay. I'm owning this feeling.
I wasn't the only one because the crowd got excited when they played the stuff we loved---"Where The Streets Have No Name," "Vertigo," "One," "With or Without You," etc. There were some new twists on old songs---but since the acoustics were so crappy, I really didn't quite get the main idea. For example he was saying something about Iran, and then he played "Sunday, Bloody Sunday," while some dude in a turban sang along and swung an American Flag around on stage. I could also see that he had a song about a politician in Burma, but that was only because I could read the information on the Jumbo-Tron.
Part of the problem is that Bono insisted on speaking Irish. I'm not fluent.
Perhaps the most surreal part of the evening was when they were playing a new song, and SB and I went to the restroom. She was telling me a story, and I responded, "Wow. Just Wow."
Some stranger in the next stall called out, "Wow, Wow, Wubzy." For those of you who are unaware, Wow, Wow Wubsy is a name from a show on Noggin, a children's television network. I found it disturbing and rather depressing that we were at a rock show, and yet again, I was hearing about children's television.
So, I said, protected by my stall doors, "We aren't talking about Wow, Wow Wubzy tonight, damnit!"
I stepped out to wash my hands, and found myself cornered by the Wow, Wow, Wubzy woman, who launched into a drunken digression about children's television programs. She said, "And that Dora the Explorer. I HATE her!" She went on to call her a racial slur that often goes along with the phrase "and span."
I looked at her and said, "Wow."
As I walked away, I heard her yell at my retreating behind, "Wow, Wubzy!"
U2 sang their songs on their stage that looked like, according to FeartheJ, "a Batman Jump-a-Roo."
We were all happy, we were all twenty-three, and we enjoyed the music of these four talented Irish lads.
On the way home, Pittsburgh taught us two new phrases:
BRP: Bread Related Products. These are essential to soak up the drinky-drinks.
Steve: Also known as water, it is essential to drink lots of Steve, to be Even-Steven with the alcohol-water ratio.
We got home safely around two in the morning, fueled by BRP and Steve.
And alas, based on our weak messages and strained texts, it is clear to all that while it's fun to play like youngsters, it's far less enjoyable to watch after youngsters the next day.