I've been a U2 fan since the moment I slow danced with my crush-of-the-month to "With our Without You" at my first elementary school dance. We didn't much understand the depth of the lyrics we were dancing to at the time but we knew we loved it. Over the years my understanding of who the band is, but maybe more importantly WHY the band is, has made me deeply appreciate their music. But last night was the first time I had seen them live.
The day after the show was the part I was most looking forward to. U2 is a legendary live band that acknowledges the need for a relationship with the same God I do. They often even break into worship of this God during their show. So I was curious what would stand out the day after "The Claw" spaceship took off out of The Big Smoke with my 200 bucks for 2 nosebleed seats?
After a day of walking around downtown Toronto and lounging on the urban oasis beaches on Queens Quay, we went to grab a beverage before settling into our seats. We met a woman named Kelly who was volunteering for Bono's ONE campaign. She was getting signatures in support of international action to help curtail death via preventable disease. As we were signing the petition on the fancy Ipad, she place a hip wrist band on me stating that I was ONE of the people would commit to making a difference with my one voice. Krissy and I began to ask her her story.
Kelly is a refugee single mother from Capetown South Africa would chooses to care because she's lived most of her life looking over her should because of the violence and oppression that surrounded her. Kelly told us all about her former life in South Africa and how her heart breaks for many friends and family, but also about the marvelous freedoms and beautiful spirit of the people she's found in Canada. Later in the night, Bono would agree by complimenting Canada's national idealism as well as the pursuit of the freedoms of others. But Kelly is scheduled to be sent back to Capetown with her daughter on Wednesday. With only a few days to go, she spent tonight's show on the street and in the tunnels contending for others prosperity. We told Kelly we'd be praying for God favor on Wednesday at noon so she can stay. Take a minute and pray for this wonderful lady would you?
This encounter speaks volumes about what I love about U2. They are ABOUT something and BASED on something. It goes without saying that technically, musically, economically ... U2 Live is impressive by all accounts. But twice I got "those"chills that I've come to recognize as God tapping me on the shoulder and saying, "I'm here. Look and Listen. I want to show you something about me."
Once was an expected moment. When The Edge begins to play the guitar for "Where the streets have no name" I've heard the band talk about how realize that they've tapped into something a little deeper and a spiritual event is happening. It's almost like a manifestation of the Leonard Cohen lyric: "I've heard there was a secret chord. That David played and it pleased the Lord." It happens at every show, where people's 'beings' jump up to another level. It happened last night and it was a wonderful rush to sing this beautiful song with 60,000 others.
The second "chills" moment wasn't as expected. Bono began sing the terrific song "Beautiful Day". It's a very simple song set to a hooky rock landscape. It says pretty things like:
See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
And see the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors came out
It was a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
I realized that the message of this band is ... "Life is Beautiful. Find it. Love it. And where it doesn't exist yet... make it so"
What they can do is create music. They have used it to stir MILLIONS of souls to consider GOOD things and it's opened powerful doors of influence to give their "God's-Love" motivated hands to serve at a high level.
Music that means something to people is connected to something else. It evokes an emotion because you remember a time where the guitar chords resonated with a date you were on. A song spoke the words about justice and freedom that you were attempting to express and it made you come alive a little more. It stays with you because it defines a time, place, moment. It may have even made you think about a concept you'd never considered before. But music that lasts ... MEANS something MORE. Something true and purely pretty.
What sticks with me about last night's show, is the reminder of something that I already believe. That there is more to do and it's our job to press on excellently.
"I have spoke with the tongue of angels but I still haven't found what I'm looking for"