Update: The Irish came. Unbelievable sound from our Prospect Park back yard. We hosted an impromptu party with friends (adults and teens) who were going and parked at our house, then listened from a distance (but still crystal clear) to great shows by the Black-Eyed Peas and the great U2. Here’s the best local’s report from my neighbor Lian Dolan, blogger at the Chaos Chronicles. She’s not in love with Bono at all, no way.
And here’s my pre-game report:
Molly the dog and I made the most of the gorgeous Saturday afternoon by taking our customary walk from our Prospect Park neighborhood down around the Rose Bowl. The usual suspects were out enjoying the day: golfers, joggers, AYSO kids, cyclists. But this was no ordinary Saturday: The hum of activity at the Rose Bowl foretold today’s Event of the Decade: U2’s only appearance in western North America as part of their world tour.
From Armada Street behind my house, you can clearly see the traveling stage, designed to give concertgoers in even the largest venue unobstructed views of the band; it was built at a rumored cost of $25 to $35 million. From Armada, it looks like something from the Jetsons rising up from the football field. Down on the great lawn fronting the Rose Bowl, a VIP village centered on three huge geodesic domes has risen. Over by the box office, a gang of fans was camped out in beach chairs, apparently hanging around in case Bono popped out for a stroll. (No such luck, I suspect.) And over in the big parking lot where the flea market lives were more 18-wheelers than at that Ontario truck stop at rush hour (on his blog, David Byrne of the Talking Heads estimated that it takes 200 18-wheelers to move the stage.)
Taking this all in made me partly regretful that we turned down the offer of tickets — 100,000 people being about 95,000 people too many (except perhaps for that one time seeing Bruce at the Meadowlands). And it reminded me to get all errands done Sunday before 3 p.m., when west Pasadena will come to a halt.
But mostly it made me happy for our small city, to host such a big event, to put some money in the Rose Bowl’s needy coffers, and to give my family the chance to sit in our backyard tonight and listen to one of the greatest rock bands of all time.