I’m feeling like an old man at age 35

Published 10:09 pm Friday, September 15, 2017

I am an old man at 35. This fact was made apparent to me in New Orleans this week.

My wife and I joined thousands of others for a U2 concert at the Superdome. It was a trip down nostalgia lane for us and the old-timers there. The aging band played the entirety of its 1987 “Joshua Tree” album for an ever-aging fanbase.

We found our seats inside the Superdome after buying a $9 Sprite and a $20 plate of nachos, and then sat patiently and waited for the show to begin.

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It would be one of the few times we sat for the next two hours. Here’s the thing. I am a sitter. If a chair is present I will sit in it, especially if I have paid for the privilege to sit there. We paid hundreds of dollars for those Superdome chairs — and rarely used them.

Not by choice, really. The people in front of us stood, so we had to stand just to see the stage. The people behind us, then, had no choice but to stand and soon the entire section was on its feet. Not because the music was that moving, but simply because one man stood and started a reverse domino effect.

When the drummer hit those first few beats of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” we were on our feet (they also played some hits not on the “Joshua Tree” album). When they slowed things down as Bono made his way through both sides of the album, we were on our feet. No matter the mood of the music, we were on our feet.

The section to our left was better organized. They sat for the slow songs and stood when the music demanded it. I wanted so badly to be one of them.

The couple in front of us who prompted most of the standing also danced most of the time. While there is a time and place for dancing at a concert, trying to do it while squeezed into stadium seating is not it. They gyrated in unpleasant and unrhythmic ways inches in front of us.

Oddly enough, we were some of the youngest people at the concert. It was the Baby Boomers doing most of the standing and making me feel old.

More proof of my old-ness: the concert was too loud. I  know, I know, it’s a concert. But it was so loud Bono’s vocals sort of turned into an unrecognizable, distorted screech. It was painful.

I once considered myself a live music aficionado, and I have had the pleasure of hearing some of my favorite bands live, many of which are legitimate rock bands. They were loud, but not punishingly so.

U2’s concert just hurt. But the old folks sitting around us didn’t seem bothered. Maybe they had turned their hearing aids down.

Aching feet and hearing loss couldn’t take away from the magic of the show though. It was a night we will remember for years to come. Bono is far from a young man, but he’s still got it. His voice isn’t perfect and he seemed to know it. But the band still knows how to put on a show.

It’s hard to believe those songs are 30 years old. They have aged better than I have. And at this rate, that will be especially true in another 30 years. Now get off my lawn.

Publisher Luke Horton can be reached at luke.horton@dailyleader.com.