I turned forty this year and I already had a sure plan how I wanted to celebrate it. I’d pay for a Jollibee Birthday package, the one with an appearance of Jollibee where he would dance. I’m already convinced that all Jollibee mascots must know how to dance really well. Anyway, that didn’t happen because U2 happened. When I found out that U2 was going to have a concert in Singapore, I really thought about it. Would I let that pass because I want to use my money on my Jollibee party or get a ticket to Singapore and the U2 concert at the National Stadium? I’ll forever be a music fan; until the day I die, and I’ve always had this virtual list of Musicians to Watch Live Before I Die and U2 is on it. So, after a few hours, I got in touch with my friend Ina who lives in Singapore and told her that I’m keen on watching U2 there, and she said that I’m welcome to stay at their place again, so that’s that. Last thing I know, I already secured a VIP floor ticket, which surprised me because it’s the cheapest ticket of the concert and also the one closest to the stage. In all my life of watching concerts, and trust me, I’ve been to many, it’s the first time that I’ve ever encountered this. Usually, the closer you are to the musicians, the more expensive the ticket prices get. Not with U2. I’m not sure why but I’m glad that it was the way it was.
Anyway, fast forward to me being in Singapore, what I consider as my second country, it was fun being there again. I have been to the National Stadium because that’s where I watched Coldplay two years ago. I arrived just in time for bag check and I used my bum bag so I’d be more comfortable during the show. They are very prompt in that country and bag check didn’t have any problems because they’ve allotted enough number of people to do it. The cue at the entrance didn’t take long either. We only waited for about an hour ‘til they opened the doors of the stadium. At this point, I’ve already met two Pinoys who also flew in for the concert. When the gates opened, I went to the area near the smaller platform where there was also a drum set-up. We had a longer wait before the show began but I knew that it was worth it.
I no longer want to give a blow by blow experience that I’ve had of the concert other than it’s most definitely in my top 10 concerts that I’ve watched live. I had a difficult time grasping the fact that they’re there; that I’m actually watching U2 perform live. Bono did a good job preserving his commanding singing voice and never did I heard him sound like he’s having a difficult time singing any of their songs. He kept it awesome through and through. I was so kilig when Edge made his entrance though. One of my favorite documentaries would be It Might Get Loud, that featured him, Jack White, and Jimmy Page, so seeing him in the flesh was just unrealistic and mind-blowing.
The show was just remarkable and that gigantic LED screen made it more special. I did not cry when I thought I would. I guess it was because U2 was so godlike for me that I was enveloped more of disbelief and was awe-struck most of the time. It wasn’t like the time when I watched the Foo Fighters and Coldplay that mentally it was easier for me to grasp the reality that they were there, thus the crying and me being more emotional.
I really couldn’t explain it coherently enough but that was how it was. I did really enjoy the moment that I was there singing along with thousands of people in the National Stadium, bumping into people that I know, and just loving the freedom of experiencing the magnitude that is U2. Best 40th birthday present to myself.