Sunday, December 13, 2009

2009: A Beautiful Day and Night, U2 and ONE at the Rose Bowl

It's been storming here in Fresno for five days; maybe not the longest storm on history but the longest in my memory...

As our family prepares to head off to Amsterdam for Christmas, I figure now is a good time to look back on some 2009 highlights. It's been an eventful and wonderful year, poor for volume on the blog but rich in meaningful experiences from the birth of my son Micah (more on that later) to our adventures in Missouri to our experiences with ONE.

One of the coolest and most rewarding highlights was the U2 show at the Rose Bowl. Possibly the largest worldwide streaming event in the history of mankind, Tim, Bekah and I had the privilege of roaming the tailgate areas and parking lots, signing up people for ONE's declaration to end extreme poverty.

That night, our team of volunteers signed up over 3,000 people, which is incredible. The show itself was quite good as well, though, we were a little too tired to really get crazy. Having been to each, I also would say that overall, I tend to go for stripped down Elevation-era U2 over massive spectacle Claw U2. But what's most impressive is the way the band managed to connect emotionally with nearly 100,000 people using (in spite of?) all of the excesses of the moment. Nothing I can write captures it quite like this clip I shot on the Nikon Cool Pix. You can see what an incredible vantage point we had from the inner circle.

The day was memorable for a couple other reasons. I had never heard the songs "Boom Boom Pow" and "Gotta Feeling" until the Black Eyed Peas played them live. I also saw a lot of celebrities milling around due to the fact that there isn't a proper backstage area at the 360 tour, just an area where the general admissioners mix it up with the ONE campaigners and the VIPS. (unless they just hang out in the friends and family tent or RED zone) Best Celebrity sighting? None other than Mr. David Ruis. His recent work in LA and lifetime commitment to the homeless and the oppressed are a true inspiration.

Also the picture of Tim is just before he almost got in a fight with a guy who was upset about our late arrival to the near-stage area...

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