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The masses descend upon Pasadena for U2's Rose Bowl gig

October 25, 2009 |  2:50 pm

After weeks of hype -- and multiple traffic warnings from Rose Bowl and Live Nation officials -- the U2 fanatics have invaded Pasadena. Some, writes L.A. Now, have been hanging out since 4 a.m. A record crowd of more than 95,000 people is expected -- the Rose Bowl's largest attendance since the 1994 World Cup finale. 

Concertgoers will witness the spectacle that is the Claw, a giant alien-like contraption that's generating far more media attention than any recent U2 song. The 90-foot-tall structure takes about four days to build, and was inspired by the the Theme Building at LAX

U2's 360 Tour is in support of its early 2009 release, "No Line on the Horizon." To date, the album has sold just over 1 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. A respectable number, no doubt, but it took U2 about 30 weeks to reach the seven-figure sales mark. By comparison, rapper Jay-Z hit the milestone in less than 2 months with his "Blueprint 3."

Nevertheless, U2's touring power has never really been in doubt. Tonight's Super Bowl-sized show is sold out, and will be streamed live on YouTube. Additionally, by mid-afternoon, plenty of the U2 faithful were out and about in Pasadena. 

The Times' Irfan Khan is on the scene:

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Above, U2 fans camp out in a general admission area at the Rose Bowl.

More pictures are after the jump.

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Above, Randy Madden, a 28-year-old musician from Moorpark, waits in line at the Rose Bowl. Madden was one of the early risers, telling Khan that he landed at the Rose Bowl around 4 a.m. "I knew it would be absolute chaos," said Madden. "I just wanted to make sure I got here early."

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Kevin Gray, 40, of Rancho Cucamonga, shows off his car license plates while waiting in line at the Rose Bowl.

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Jessica Montez, 23, attempts to take a nap in the Sunday sun while awaiting U2. She arrived at 2 a.m., Khan reports. The "number one" stamp on her hand reflects that she was the first to arrive on the Rose Bowl grounds.

Stay tuned to Pop & Hiss for Ann Powers' review, which will be posted no later than first thing Monday morning.

-- Todd Martens

RELATED:

U2_stage Making the U2 set so big that it's invisible

INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC: U2 360 tour: Stadium in the round

U2 to live-stream Sunday's Rose Bowl concert 

U2's 'No Line on the Horizon': Three stars

All photos Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times, except the above thumbnail of U2's stage, which is credited to Getty Images

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