Summer Camp, Divorce, a New Courtship: Emily Wolf Has Lived It All to the Sounds of U2

A Houston Chronicle love letter

U2’s “The Joshua Tree Tour” has begun. Following kick-off concerts in Vancouver and Seattle, the band is set to play the Bay Area tonight, followed by Los Angeles over the weekend and Houston next Wednesday.

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When the group takes the stage at NRG Stadium May 24 to play the entirety of their landmark 1987 album, in the audience will be Emily Wolf, an attorney from Chicago who moved to Houston in 2009 and is currently pursuing writing. Her essay “How I Fell in Love With U2,” contributed to the Chronicle, bathes the set list of her life in melodies from Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen.

For Wolf, it started at overnight summer camp at age 9, when she first heard the tour’s namesake album. And it has continued unabated since, in so many different ways:

My 30th birthday fell three weeks before my divorce was finalized, when I was at my rawest, most scared and least sure. So my best friend, Gaby, insisted that we hire a U2 cover band to play our party. I drank too much and danced the entire night, focused not on the love that let me down, but on the love that always came through.

I watched my now-husband, Josh, intently when we were first dating and “With or Without You” came on the radio. We were stopped at a red light, the roof of his tiny convertible down. When he instinctively turned up the volume, reached for my hand, threw his head back and sang along at the top of his lungs, he told me everything I needed to know.

Wolf will attend the May 24 concert with her husband, her aforementioned best friend Gaby and her oldest child. Jacob is just six, and mom can’t wait to see how he responds to this most unexpected and magical of U2 time warps.

Previously on Fishbowl:
Rod Stewart, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Giddy Fandom