¡Viva España! III – In the Name of Love…

*Note: Rachel is in Spain for the summer studying abroad. The adventures of an American in Spain will be featured here as her trip progresses.

By: Rachel Steinman, guest blogger

Traveling Abroad Part III!

After rocking out in the rafters of Camp Nou, the FC Barcelona Stadium, I am glad to say that no matter what city you are in concerts rock! Of course that also depends on whom you are seeing. If by chance you are seeing the legendary rock band U2, you are in for a very special treat. For their newest summer tour, U2 created a mesmerizing masterpiece of concert viewing. From 360 degrees, U2 was able to rock out anywhere they pleased and all in attendance had the opportunity to see everything that was going on. Not only did U2 perform their classics, they mixed in songs from their more recent works and in true U2 fashion brought a humanitarian perspective to the crowd.

But let me not get ahead of myself, I will start from the beginning. Camp Nou Stadium is found on the outskirts of Barcelona. It is literally the second to last stop on couple of the Metro lines that flank the city. Once we arrived at our destination, finding the box office to pick up our tickets was a totally different story. People were everywhere you could imagine and no signs directing anywhere where to go. Fortunately a few of us went to the FC Barcelona Museum located inside Camp Nou the day before and we took a guess that the same place we bought our tickets for the museum would be the box office to pick up our tickets.

Marching and dodging our way there we finally were able to pick up our tickets. We then had to make our way around to our gate to enter into the stadium. Once inside we had to hike all the way to the top of the stadium. Camp Nou can hold 98,772 people (roughly only 10,000 more than Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida) and is the largest stadium in Europe and the eleventh largest in the world. So you could imagine how many stairs we had to go up to get to our seats in the nosebleed.

Starting around 8:10, Snow Patrol got the audience in the grove. Rocking out to some of their old stuff and ending with “Chasing Cars,” the song that was made famous by the hit American show Grey’s Anatomy. After they finished their set, we had forty-five minutes to relax and get our concert gear. Once we made it back to our seats again the concert started and U2 made their presence known. From start to finish U2 kept it coming with their music and surprise performances as well.

Within the first hour of the show, Bono actually talked to the astronauts on the International Space Station. Of course there were cheesy lines of world peace and coming together, but it was a very powerful image to see. Each astronaut came from a different country and really believed what they told us. Later Bono would have a mini rally for the situation in Burma, wears a draped Irish flag, and dons a FC Barca jersey.

The crowd was entertained and entertaining.

Before U2 went on stage the crowd tried to do the wave. With over 90,000 people it was a very large and unsuccessful endeavor. Once the show got underway, people went into the aisles and danced around. Somewhat annoying at first, but after a while you just had to join in. The saying “when in Rome” always helps in situations like that. Also, just like on televised soccer (or in this case football) games the crowds did the ole cheer! Hearing all those voices cheering and getting rowdy is something I’ll never forget. It was louder than any football game in the States and just as powerful. I could understand why the players would get rallied up to hear it. I’m sure Bono and the rest of U2 felt the same.

Overall the concert was one of the best nights in Barcelona I have had and the next day in class I wore my concert shirt proudly and could barely talk.

Just as anyone should be after a rock concert….

Rachel Steinman is currently a International Relations and History major, with a minor in Art History, at the University of Florida. She is the 2009-10 UF Model United Nations president and she hopes to enter law school in fall 2009.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.