LORELAI: I have earned the right not to be quizzed about my social life by my sixteen-year-old daughter.
RORY: I thought I was your best friend!
LORELAI: When we’re at a U2 concert, you are my best friend. But right now you are my sixteen-year-old daughter and I am telling you I do not want to have this conversation.
U2 are an Irish rock band, earlier mentioned. It was formed in 1976 and consists of Bono (Paul Hewson), The Edge (David Evans), Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. Their debut album was Boy (1980), and their first #1 album in the UK was War (1983), with singles such as Sunday, Bloody Sunday and Pride (In the Name of Love) establishing their reputation as politically conscious. By the mid-1980s they were globally renowned as a live act, and their 1987 album The Joshua Tree made them international superstars; it remains their greatest commercial and critical success. Their most recent album from Lorelai’s viewpoint is All That You Can’t Leave Behind, released in 2000. One of the world’s best-selling musical acts, U2 have won 22 Grammy Awards, more than any other band, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. They are famous for their campaigns for human rights and social justice.
This establishes Lorelai as a U2 fan. U2 gave a concert in Hartford as part of their Elevation tour on June 3 2001, although in the Gilmore Girls universe it seems to have taken place around mid-May – this was the concert that Tristan offered to take Rory to on a date (with PJ Harvey as the support act). It doesn’t seem plausible that Lorelai and Rory attended the concert, although it is just possible, particularly if they went to the real-life concert rather than the fictional one in the show.
U2’s previous concert in Hartford was as part of their Zoo TV tour, and it took place on March 12 1992 – this is the only other U2 concert that Lorelai could have taken Rory to. Unfortunately, the concert would have been when Rory was eight years old, and later Lorelai says that Rory thought she “discovered” U2 when she was ten; Rory could hardly believe that after attending an elaborately staged concert by the band two years before. It is possible that Lorelai is referring to a purely hypothetical U2 concert.
Lorelai lets Rory know that the idea of them being “best friends” is something of a fiction, being entirely at Lorelai’s convenience. As long as Rory is doing exactly as Lorelai wants, they are best friends; once she deviates from that, they are back to being mother and daughter.