My road trip across California for Mumford & Sons and U2 in concert
Nothing makes me happier than traveling to see incredible concerts from my favorite artists. This past week I was able to see Mumford and Sons open up for U2 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California as well as see U2 again at The Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, California a few days later.
After making the 6 hour drive from Orange County to the venue up north and waiting around the venue for 4 hours, Mumford and Sons kicked off the evening. Mumford and Sons are my all time favorite band, so getting to see them open for another one of my favorite bands, especially with U2’s iconic status made me feel so proud to be a fan.
Along with their mega-hits such as “I Will Wait”, “The Cave”, and “Little Lion Man”, they also played fan favorites such as the hard-hitting anthems “Snake Eyes” and The Wolf.” One of my personal favorite moments was getting to hear one of my favorite songs “Below My Feet” added back into the setlist. I even have a nice sized bruise from dancing into the chair in front of me to prove it! Also, finally getting to hear their new song “Blind Leading The Blind”, which will be on their next album, live was a fitting treat. With lyrics such as, “Let’s raise our hands for a moment and leave it all behind, don’t be afraid for a moment…” would go on to mean so much more to me in a week’s time.
After Mumford and Sons set, my dad who is also a massive fan and I were able to talk to the people around us about music, concerts, and life in general. Some of the greatest people you will ever meet can be found at your favorite artist’s concerts. The next time you attend one, take a moment to make a friend. Our world needs it now more than ever.
After a quick break, U2 took the stage to an audience already on their feet waiting to be entertained. U2 started strong by opening with “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, rocked through more hits, then right into The Joshua Tree album in its entirety for the 30th anniversary of the record. It was a beautiful experience getting to hear the album in order, in full, and in a stadium, the way it was meant to be heard. After the album, more hits were on the way including “One” which Bono dedicated to anyone who has lost someone they love. After the concert ended a few songs later and we left the venue, I got on my phone to catch up on social media where I then saw the tragic news of iconic rocker Chris Cornell’s passing. I’ll never know if Bono knew about Chris’ passing when he introduced “One” that in that way that night, but I know I’ll always think of him and that moment when I hear the song from now on.
A few days and an awesome trip to San Francisco for more concerts & hanging out with family and friends later, it was back to Los Angeles to catch U2 again; this time at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. They kept most of the setlist the same, but took extra time to get even more political and interact with the crowd. One of the many things I love about U2 as a band is that they’re unafraid to speak out and stand up for what they believe in whether it’s women’s rights, refugees, the fight against AIDS, spirituality, or just sharing love, empathy, and compassion for others. Bono preached to the crowd like a pastor sharing the good news with his congregation through quotes such as, “It’s a Beautiful Day when human rights overcome human wrongs,” before breaking into their song “Beautiful Day.” Little did we know how important that message would be and how much the world would need to hear it in the days that followed.
Two days after the show, a tragedy took place in Manchester, UK. 22 innocent lives were taken when a terrorist brought a bomb into a crowd leaving an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena. As hearts shattered around the world and we continue to all grieve for the victims and their families, I can’t help but think about those words, that feeling of hope, unity, and peace at the U2 concerts I had just experienced. Concerts feel like home for so many of us. A place where we can go to forget about our problems and the troubles of the world for a few hours and connect with music and our peers. We now live in a world where “safe places” no longer feel safe. While it terrifies us and breaks our hearts to miss and mourn those who were lost, we will never forget them. They are part of the universal concert family. This community of both music lovers and music makers who long for a world that feels as euphoric as being at a gig does. I truly believe a better world is possible and that music is a means to love and understanding. I’m thankful for the memories that art brings and wish for the safety of everyone who walks through venue doors and performs on their stages. Human rights WILL overcome human wrongs, and someday, when it happens, it truly will be a Beautiful Day.
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