I went to the U2 concert Tuesday night. My Jr year of high school, our choir was on tour in Decorah, Iowa so I couldn't go to their concert in Minneapolis. Been waiting to see them ever since. Wish I hadn't waited so long.
If I could, I'd cancel my meetings for tonight night and trek down to Charlottesville to see them again. I've now pledged to never miss another tour. Two days later, the concert is still playing in my head. The music, the visuals, the lights - it was all amazing.
But the best part was being there with other people. It was thrilling to be part of the echo for Bono's "oh-oh-ohs" and hear the sound rise up from the tens of thousands of people all singing together. There was a point when Bono led the crowd in a fast clap and even the most rhythmically challenged had no problem clapping along.
A high point was during one of my favorites, "Beautiful Day." Bono had us shouting "soul" over and over again. When he sang out "Touch me, take me to that other place. Teach me, I know I'm not a hopeless case," most people stretched our arms up to the open skies. I realized afterward that I was praying.
During the U2 hymn "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" the audience took over the singing. It morphed into "Stand by Me." Delightful. See it on Youtube.
I sang through the whole concert at the top of my lungs, grooving away - totally lost in the music. I contrasted that with my timidity at singing the hymns in worship last week (I helped pick them out - not blaming anyone here). We all sang those with luke-warm enthusiasm.
Music can pull people together like little else. But it's sometimes very hard in our worship services to generate that sense of oneness in music where you transcend your own little voice. U2 are masters at involving the audience. One woman in our church who went said she felt connected to the whole world during the concert.
Would love to be able to foster that sense more and more in church. Maybe we should start by all sitting next to each other, rather than all spread out?