The first event I’ve yet to attend at TCF Bank Stadium, I attended from the outside. It was a Saturday night, and a few friends and I had plans to get ice cream at Crema Cafe and then catch the Aquatennial Festival Fireworks. Unfortunately, Ranell and I were late getting back from the Mall of America (To find out what noteworthy event held us up, read here). We had mentally noted exactly where we parked but a few hours later were entirely unable to find my car. After an hour of searching and fearing grand theft auto, we enlisted the help of a mall bike cop who tracked my car down in minutes (We had only just sat down with our order of Villa cafeteria-style pizza). Turns out the car was exactly one floor below the spot we’d been madly circling for the past hour.
Meanwhile, while in wait at the rendezvous point, Victor and Lauren encountered Nate who was on his way to buy U2 tickets from scalpers. They called to consult the committee, we emphatically urged them to join forces with Nate, and we raced toward a night of Irish rock! We felt guilty about the lost Crema Cafe refreshments, so we decided to stop in at Sewards to get ice cream for the group. Unfortunately, I believed I knew exactly where Sewards was in relation to the stadium. Which meant that I chose not to pay strict heed to my GPS, and we got hopelessly turned around and ran even later.
Finally! we parked and found Lauren, waiting with blankets in the rain, while Victor and Nate stood watch at the stadium. Three hours earlier, the sky had been a cloudlessly sunny, but it had gradually decided begun to sprinkle and was threatening to monsoon. We ran toward the stadium, blankets and ice cream in hand, to find Nate and Victor standing on a small grass hill across the street from the stadium, in company of a handful of other onlookers sitting leisurely on the grass. Turned out all the scalpers were asking exorbitant sums, particularly considering that we could view and hear the concert perfectly from across the street for free.
We no sooner lay down a blanket and divvied out the ice cream than the skies opened torrential. None of us ate more than a few spoonfuls of the soggy ice cream before we gave up. We stood and listened to classic U2 song after classic stroke of genius U2 song, Bono occasionally breaking up his set list to favor us to acapella renditions of “Singing in the Rain,” The Beatles’ “Rain,” and Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
Ranell and I decided our concert companions were being far too sedate and that we, at least, could no longer hold in the rhythm. We broke out into mad dancing. We were alone for a few songs, but one by one the rest of the crowd joined in until it was a merry field of dancers. The rain didn’t discourage any of us, despite each occasional reprieve being followed by an even more determined downpour.
There were two high points in the dancing. First, when the introduction to “Where the Streets Have No Name” started playing, a bearded, shirtless man came running from no one knows where behind us, through our dancing with a gleeful “WOOOO!” We all cheered and danced our hearts out. The next high point was when a fellow in a green shirt who had applauded our dancing from the beginning but sat unmoved throughout over an hour of our grassy revelry finally looked back at us, cheered, and leapt to join the dancing throng.
U2, ladies and gentlemen. No one else could have pulled off such a perfectly enjoyable combination of community spirit, unstoppable music, social activism (Amnesty International, this time!), all in the presence of a frigid deluge. My hat off to you, mates!