Golden Gate Bridge with Elin

Elin returned to stay with us for a few months this Fall while we look our new au pair. We stopped at the Golden Gate on the way to Tiburon to visit the Moons for the day. I dropped them off on the south side of the bridge so they could all walk across. I drove to the other side and met them in the middle.

Somehow Lucas, Olivia and I started singing 100 bottles of beers on the wall and I lost my voice by the time we finished.

Walking across the bridge was a first for us.

Ala’s Last Day With Us

Ala’s year as our au pair with us went by so quickly. We all learned so much from the experience and we enjoyed trying new home-cooked Polish food. Saying farewell is always hard, but one thing Lucas and Olivia learned from our experience with Elin is that it’s never goodbye, but see you again soon.

We wish Ala well and look forward to our next reunion.

U2 Songs of Experience Concert in San Jose (x2)

Somehow I ended up with tickets to both shows at San Jose. I originally got seats for Grace after our last GA experience. When they announced a second show, I opted for Red Zone GA, thinking I could decide which one later. It turned out that neither pair was transferrable/sellable so I got to experience both.

The first night was quite civilized as it included dinner in the BMW Lounge. Plus we didn’t have to get there super early to stress about a spot. Just like Songs of Innocence, there was no perfect place to see the entire concert, but being right in the middle I guess was the best compromise. We were pretty far away from the action, except when The Edge came close to us for Pride.

I thought the show was great. Although they didn’t play one song from Joshua Tree, we got all that last year. This show was still like a greatest hits.

On the second night, I invited my go-to concert buddy, Erich. Even though we didn’t get there super early, we were still there in time for 2nd row in the Red Zone. I could have given up our spot to move to the b-stage, but decided it wasn’t worth it as I already saw the show and knew the end of the show would be where we were standing. It was basically an Adam Clayton photo shoot because we were closest to him for most of the show.

The setlist was the same for both nights with the exception of Red Flag Day, which was their live debut on Tuesday.

  1. Love Is All We Have Left
  2. The Blackout
  3. Lights of Home (String Version)
  4. Beautiful Day
  5. I Will Follow (with “Mother” snippet)
  6. Gloria (with Them’s “Gloria” snippet)
  7. Red Flag Day (live debut)
  8. The Ocean
  9. Iris (Hold Me Close)
  10. Cedarwood Road
  11. Sunday Bloody Sunday (acoustic; shortened; car bomb… more )
  12. Raised by Wolves (with “Psalm 23” snippet)
  13. Until the End of the World (with Allen Ginsberg’s “America” snippet)
    Intermission
    Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (Gavin Friday version)
    “E” Stage
  14. Elevation (Influx remix intro)
  15. Vertigo (with “The Jean Genie” snippet)
  16. Desire (Hollywood remix)
  17. Acrobat (with “Sympathy for the Devil” snippet)
  18. You’re the Best Thing About Me (acoustic; with “Landlady” snippet)
  19. Staring at the Sun (acoustic)
  20. Pride (In the Name of Love) (with “This Is Not America” snippet)
  21. Get Out of Your Own Way
  22. American Soul
  23. City of Blinding Lights
    Women of the World (Jim O’Rourke song)
    Encore:
  24. One
  25. Love Is Bigger Than Anything in Its Way
  26. 13 (There Is a Light)
    The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) (ambient mix)

U2 – The Joshua Tree – Thirty Years Later

I’ve seen and posted a few times about U2 and it’s no secret they’re my favorite band. The Joshua Tree happens to be my favorite album and concert, so when they announced this tour, I was very excited. I loved our GA tickets for the last tour, but I feared Grace wouldn’t be up for it again, so I just got us seats with the other adults.

I had two extra seats, which I pretty much couldn’t give away. As a backup, I considered taking the kids. My thinking was that Bono turned 57 this week and if and when Olivia and Lucas wanted to see U2 when they were adults, well, you can do the math. I quizzed them on a couple U2 songs and Joshua Tree and they failed miserably, so the show would have been lost on them. Grace and I made a date night out of it.

It’s pointless to debate what album is their best. For me, The Joshua Tree isn’t so much about the music (which I still think is among their best), but more about a time and place. I’m sure music is like that for a lot of people.

On April 30, 1987 (almost exactly 30 years ago), I went to the original Joshua Tree concert at the Pontiac Silverdome with my best friends. To be exact, J.C.’s dad, Jack, and Chris’s dad, Al, took J.C., Chris, Nick, Mike, Steve and me to the concert, which we enjoyed from a box. Earlier our junior year, J.C. was diagnosed with cancer, and a result, lost his leg followed by his beautiful hair (which the girls had loved since 6th grade – feathered, of course). As such, watching from the box was more out of practicality than privilege.

Looking back, I feel those dads wanted us to experience this together as the future at that time was so uncertain. A little over a year later, J.C. passed away, which was the biggest loss I had experienced in my short, sheltered life. Now thirty years later, Jack, Al (an important figure from my childhood) and even the Silverdome are gone. But, I feel fortunate that these guys are still among my closest friends and that night remains one of my most cherished memories.

This blog is a testament to the fact that I’m the most nostalgic person you’ve ever met. Part of that is because like memories, some of our most important people exist only in the past. This blog is also mostly for Olivia and Lucas. They know their uncles Chris, Nick, Mike and Steve very well, but only know a little about J.C. If they wonder why The Joshua Tree is my favorite album, when they read this, hopefully they’ll understand why.

Thanks to Chris, who sent me a copy of our concert photo.