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Helsinki Preps for U2

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Being tired of the Florida heat, my wife and I picked a cooler spot to visit. We headed to Helsinki, Finland for a week. We had a difficult time getting here due to a bad connection in Copenhagen. We also lost our luggage, but we have since been reunited with it.

Today we headed to the Helsinki Olympic Stadium to get some more information on the Suomi Ice Hockey team. The exhibit had not been updated to include the 2010 medals. However, there was a lot of activity around the stadium, so I chatted with one of the security guards.

Just call me oblivious! The guard told me, they were setting up for the rock concert. “Anyone famous?” The guard looked at me oddly, but I have been getting that reaction a lot this week. “U2, Friday and Saturday” she said, and waved me along. About that time my ride pulled up, and we headed downtown.

An hour later, we’re drinking beer at a sidewalk café. The place was on the posh side, and the beers a little expensive even by Helsinki standards. Helsinkians love their beer and coffee.

A van parked in the street beside our table, and people with cameras surrounded us. Two burly guys walked out of the hotel and up to the van.The pushing and shoving among the crowd got intense. Not normal activity for Helsinki residents; they tend towards politeness.

The side door of the van opened, the crowd went quiet, and the digital cameras and cell phones started beeping. Of course, I am holding a beer, not a camera. A gap appeared in the crowd, my mind thought maybe I should have a camera handy. But wait, the two burly guys were carrying a black footlocker marked U2. The paparazzi were clicking away. I ordered another beer. The excitement was over and the paparazzi faded into the bushes.

The famous rock band from Ireland, U2, resumed their 360 Tour in early August. Crews have been hard at work setting up the stage for the two sold out shows scheduled for August 20th and 21st at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland.

The band had canceled their earlier summer dates because lead singer Bono required back surgery from injuries that occurred during a practice session.


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About Bruce G. Smith

I'm a part time writer with a few articles published here and there. In addition to writing, I'm into nature and architectural photography.