A bitterly cold winter may have encased much of North America in ice and snow, but the U2 machine is heating up in anticipation of a new album and tour expected sometime this summer and fall or winter respectively. Hopefully, U2's two appearances
on the first episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is just the beginning.
Watching U2 perform on one of my favorite television programs, on a rooftop no less, was pretty special, it was even more incredible to see it in person. No, you (sadly) won't see me if you watch the performance of Invisible over again, as the footage that aired was shot on Monday, like the Ordinary Love performance was. I was in attendance for Sunday's
taping of the song.
To explain how I somehow managed to attend the live debut of Invisible, I'll start from the beginning. U2.com sent out an email on Thursday to local subscribers, providing us with a simple sign-up form and asking which day we would like to attend, Sunday or Monday. All that was said in the email was that it was a "very special performance" and we should bundle up.
So I obviously signed up and I was sent a confirmation email on Saturday night, 24 hours after U2.com said in its first message that the winners would be contacted.
Sunday afternoon, my guest and I travel down to Rockefeller Center, the NBC headquarters. I had already seen some tweets showing what might be a stage located at 70th floor observation deck on top of the building, commonly known as the Top of the Rock, but I still didn't really know what to expect.
After waiting in a short line for about 30 minutes, we were pulled into a room by Tonight Show staff and made to sign non-disclosure agreements (hence the article's publication two days later!) before getting two different wristbands. From the best I could tell, those who signed up via U2.com got two bands, while those who managed tickets through the Tonight Show, I presume, were given one.
After about two more hours of waiting, elevator rides to the top of the building and more waiting, we were finally herded outside onto the roof shortly after U2 finished sound checking Invisible.
Because I was in the second wave to be led out to the (very) small stage, I was able to stand directly under Bono's microphone, while the first group was centered in front of The Edge's kit. In very short order, the approximately 75 people had been packed in and Jimmy Fallon appeared, speaking for a moment before recording his introduction for U2.
The band followed shortly after, and I don't really need to sum up what you saw on TV. But know two things, it was FREEZING on the top of the building, and Invisible ROCKS live. Both takes that were filmed on Sunday were loud, lively and energetic, and while the band played more towards the cameras than the audience, Bono did stare and smile at my girlfriend!
In about ten minutes, the band had wrapped up and we were able to enjoy the most incredible view possible of my home city before being shuttled back down to the street.
From what I could tell, only U2.com members were allowed in front of the small stage with the band, while those who got tickets through other means were allowed to watch from the other observation deck three floors below. And that was a good choice, as us U2 fans had tons of energy. I know this because my calves still hurt from jumping up and down.
All in all, I am very grateful to U2 for allowing some fans such intimate access and giving us a memory that will last a lifetime. It's truly something I will never forget. I'm sure I speak for all of us at U2gigs when I say that I can't wait for the boys to hit the road again sometime later this year.