Garbage/U2 2001 conclusion

 We left our luxurious casino suite (cough) Wednesday morning and headed east.
 Both bands were playing a repeat performance the next night in St Louis, which is
 about 250 miles away. No big deal, but we were surrounded by cold weather fronts
 and this was a show we couldn't miss.

 We got into town about 2 PM and checked into our room.
 My cell phone rang and it was that ne'er-do-well who taught me html.

 (That's why it's so bad)

 He's a radio DJ and he said he had a secret source that told him Island Records was
 throwing a "secret" party for U2 at the Downtown Hard Rock Cafe in an hour.
 So we scurried over to the Hard Rock in the 33-degree rain and it was kinda dead,
 except they had U2's recent show from Boston on their TVs.   Coincidence?

 We scouted out and secured a centrally-located table with a good view of both doors and
 noticed an unusual amount of European/Irish people with security tags hanging around their necks.
 I ordered shots of Chinaco Anejo and Patron Anejo for myself, a beer for the ne'er-do-well
 and a Patron margarita for Mrs. BartCop. Tipping generously, I asked Cubby about the "back room."
 He pointed it out to me so I turned on the camcorder and we waited.

 Long story short - his connections were wrong. It was some bus-full of contest winners from some
 radio station and I guess it was a coincidence about the concert on the TV and the Europeans,
 but the band never showed and by now it was 6 PM and the show would start in 90 minutes.

 We took the St Louis Metro to the show in the misting 33-degree rain.
 Nearing the venue, we saw a few hundred people camped out for general admission tickets.
 These poor bastards had been huddling under umbrellas all thru the unforgiving night.
 The cold, howling wind  ...the howling wind...  from Kansas City had blown easterly
 and in radio interviews we heard horror stories of some people camping out with a jacket
 or a sweater, not knowing what kind of meteorlogical nightmare it would be.

 Walking thru the turnstiles to get in, I noticed security was kinda lax, and even tho the tickets
 said clearly said, "No Recorders," one might've been able to sneak in a small
 recording device if one had such an inclination.  (cough)

 At 7:45, Shirley and the band hit the stage with Push It.
 Whoa - look at Shirley!

 She's wearing the same combat boots, the Mr. McBeevey pants and black sleeveless top.
 Her hair is still blonde but tonight, for St Louis, she's all made up.

 She had on full make-up, lipstick, painted nails, silver earrings and a silver choker necklace.
 The video screens were only showing black and white, so in the closeups, all dolled up.
 Shirley looked like Grace Kelly or Marilyn Monroe.   Meow!

 Maybe it was the make-up, or maybe St Louis is less of a cow town than Kansas City,
 but the reception Garbage was getting tonight was much warmer than last night.

 "...My head's on fire, my body aaaaaaaches...."

 We got the same set tonight as last night, which is OK by me.
 The band was kicking and it looked like it was going to be another one of those nights.
 The now-thawing dudes on the floor were responding to Shirley's up-close flirtations.
 I'm not sure why, but I kept seeing giant redwood trees whenever they played a new song.
 Great set - great night.

 After their set, the lights came back up for the change over.
 We had the same All You Need is Love/Sgt Peppers intro, then U2 hit the stage.

 Koresh, that rush when the band hits the stage is really something.
 You can feel that years-of-anticipation release from the crowd when the band explodes.
 Bono was war-whooping for Elevation and the floor was hopping!

 In Beautiful Day, Bono threw Shirley a tribute:
 See the world in green and blue,
 See Shirley Manson right in front of you...

 So far, we were getting the same set as last night.
 When they played Sunday, Bloody Sunday, another American flag made it's way to the stage.
 This time, Bono held it like it was a woman and slow danced with it - his left arm extended and
 his right arm cradling the flag. I'm not sure, but I think he meant to say he loves America.

 They continued to play last night's song list (Click  Here) until Bono spotted a guy wearing a green
 football jersey sporting an orange "40."  If you know your flags, you know what green and orange
 means to the Irish, and the number 40 is something of a good luck charm for them.
 I don't know if the guy held a sign, or if this was pre-planned, but Bono looked at him and said,
 "You wore the right colors, Dude. Come on up," inviting him to the stage.

 We saw them do this in 1987.   Bono asked him if he played guitar and he said "Yes," so Bono took off
 his guitar and gave it to Football Dude and they huddled for about 2 minutes while Bono was whispering
 chords and keys and whatever other stuff a musician might need to play with the world's biggest band.

 So now U2 is a five-piece band, and they played Dylan's Knocking on Heaven's Door.
 Of course, the crowd is going crazy, knowing one of their own was playing with U2.
 Well, Football Dude could actually play guitar (it's three chords, I think) so he gets into it
 and starts running around the heart!    ha ha     He must've had the sense that he'd never
 get an opportunity like this again, so he ran with it, so to speak.

 So the band is playing, and Bono pulls some other guy from the crowd and says,
 "You play keyboards?" and the guy nods "Yes" so Bono has the security people pull him
 on stage and he ran to The Edge's piano. I don't think he wasn't paying as much attention
 to Bono as he should, so Bono started yelling, "It's in G," trying to get him to focus.
 After one sour chord, the guy became a team player and now U2 was a six-piece band.

 Sure, this could've been pre-planned, but I've seen this go badly for them, when the guy who
 claimed he could play guitar was a beginner and Bono had to show him where the chords were.
 And they remained a four-piece the night before, so maybe it was planned - maybe not.
 Either way, I thought it was a cool moment.

 When it was over, Keyboard boy jumped off the stage, while Football Dude stayed there, smiling and
 waving to his friends. So Bono leaned over to him and teased, "We have a show to do - so fuck off."
 Football Dude and the crowd laughed, and the show continued.

 Meanwhile, Mrs. BartCop came back with a supply run (wine and beer) and said she saw
 Jack Black buying beer in front of her.  Is he from St Louis?

 Pride was another highlight, with a visit from Dr. King.
 Bono was grabbing his heart and tossing it to different sections.
 Funny how people will beg to be thrown a heart, isn't it?
 Bullet was another high-powered peak, Bono stabbing people with his big, bad spotlight.

 Then a surprise, Who's Going to Ride Your Wild Horses?
 They did What's Going On and right before New York, New York, Bono was saying it was nice
 to be touring America "at this time," and the crowd broke out into "USA, USA, USA!"
 It was my first time to witness that in person.

 When it came time for the ultra-emotional One, Bono was trying to set up the moment
 but I think the crowd knew what was coming.  As he was trying to introduce the song,
 he choked up and couldn't speak, so he waved his hand to signal the band to start.
 I had the binocs on the videoscreen closeups, and his eyes were filled with tears.
 It wasn't a put on.

 So One started and the names started scrolling and it was all moving & stuff.

 "These are our sisters, these are our brothers...
   We're one, but we're not the same, we have to carry each other, carry each other..."

 Hey, don't laugh.
 If you had been there, you would've been crying, too.

 It was a helluva show.
 Bono brought some of that New York spirit to the midwest.
 If U2 shows are anything, they're emotional.

 So, that's my Garbage/U2 report for 2001.
 I realize I wasn't able to convey even one percent of what happened in those two rooms
 but it felt good to tell you about them.

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