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Apodaca: U2 concert a lesson in 'loud and unruly' behavior

July 08, 2011|By Patrice Apodaca
(Courtesy Candice…)

I thought about Newport Beach's new "Loud and Unruly Gathering" ordinance when I attended a U2 concert at Angel Stadium last month.

While a connection between the Irish rock band and Newport's effort to crack down on overly rowdy partiers seems unlikely, bear with me while I tell you my story.

U2 is one of my all-time favorite bands, so my husband kindly indulged me with tickets. My enthusiasm dimmed when I realized that the tickets were for admission on the field, standing room only.

I had visions of my decrepit old body being tossed about in a mosh pit, even though I'm not entirely sure what a mosh pit is. So I gave those tickets to my son and bought two more in one of the stadium's seated areas, which turned out to be the favored spot for obnoxious, middle-aged drunks.

Our first encounter occurred during the opening act. We were gradually making our way to our seats when a woman approached and asked to use one of our cell phones — or as she put it, "Can I borrow a shell phone? I can't find my shtoopid hushband."

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My husband lent her his phone, and after she made her call she droned on in slurred fashion about her hubby's disappearing act. I started to think he might be hiding.

We finally managed to break away, but a few moments later she grabbed our arms again and announced that she had found her husband and wanted to introduce us. He stood beside her, rolling his eyes and insisting that he'd been in the same spot where she'd left him.

We took our seats in time for the main act, which was wonderful. I did my best to ignore the guy sitting right behind us, who was drunk as a skunk. As the concert progressed, he got louder and unrulier, to the point where his sober companion tapped our shoulders and apologized.

His friend had been having a very hard time lately, the man explained, and he'd been so excited to attend the concert that he'd gotten carried away. We said no problem; we understood.

The drunken guy continued to bellow out songs and shout profanities, slapping my husband on the back as if they were old buddies. He stumbled and my husband caught him, preventing what could have been a nasty fall.

That's when security showed up and gave Mr. Party the boot. I watched as he was escorted from the stadium, his friend following dejectedly behind.

We couldn't help feeling a little sad. Yeah, the guy was annoying, but we'd seen worse.

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