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A Sort Of Homecoming


Late autumn was cold in 1984, but snow was yet to gather on the streets of Oslo as my friend Bjørn and I threw down our sleeping bags on the ice cold pavement outside Imerslund Musikk at Arkaden. His unkempt hair made for great insulation against the chill breeze, whereas my James Dean once removed haircut did not. At that point nothing really mattered. We were among the first in line. Tickets were assured. 


Bjørn pulled out his pipe – the sweet smell of tobacco mixed with expectations and youthful energy whisked away whatever cold remained. 


A bit later, Marie showed up. Quirky, smart, beautiful Marie. We’d had a thing going for some weeks that fall and I was on cloud nine that she’d be going to the concert with me – and bummed out that her mom had refused to let her stay the night on the street with me. The waiting in line for tickets in the cold was a rite of passage, one I wanted to do with my girlfriend. She lingered a bit, and about an hour later, somewhere outside the crammed but oh so lovely cover of a shared sleeping bag, I heard a worried voice.


- Marie ... Are you here?


She sat up – her blonde hair dishevelled, composing herself.


- I’m here, mom.


I had the pleasure of meeting my girlfriend’s mom feeling like a sexual predator and kidnapper, although she had stayed because she wanted to, and all we did was make out. A quick, embarrassed hello and a kiss goodnight and I felt like the world had collapsed. All of a sudden the cold got to me.




Drammenshallen is not a pleasant venue by any standards. An oversized tin can with aisles of bright green plastic chairs. We found our seats, and the waiting began. Conversation was stifled by the lull of expectation and the awkwardness of a recent break-up. I was oblivious, fidgeting with my camera, looking around, trying not to look at her.


When the lights dimmed and the band took the stage, 5000 people threw caution to the wind and leapt forward. Forward and upward, clinging to the backs of friends and trying to find balance on top of a chair. The feverish energy of the singer did little to dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm. It was cold outside – it got quite hot in there.


The tin can ceiling of the hall did the thumping bass no favors – and the shimmering, echoing guitars rang crisply and painfully in my ears for weeks afterwards. The singer seemed intent on bringing every kid in the hall into his embrace, as he climbed the scaffolding supporting the PA in order to reach those standing on the sides. His energy was more than mere posturing. It was as if he was desperate to give more of himself, as if his short stature was somehow limiting and he needed to be grand. Not for his own sake, but for ours.


As the beautiful lullaby to a fallen hero came to a slow end and the familiar opening of the symphonic tune that would remain a favorite for years to come pounded down on the crowd, I realized that this moment would remain unforgettable in my memory.


When the concert came to an end and mysterious sounding vocal harmonies over the PA finally drowned out the crowd’s repetitive chant of the concert’s last song, the hall looked like a war zone. Broken chairs, empty bottles and 5000 people making their way out into the January night.




Oslo Central Station was under construction, a new wing supporting long distance trains having been built as an extension to the historic station hall. I had lost one of our friends on the train from Drammen, so my friend Tom and I made our way to the information office in order to page him. 


The slight, noir figure at the end of the hallway caught my attention. Dark hair. Long, black coat. It was him. It was them. Well, three of them, plus a fourth guy who kind of looked like someone working in an office somewhere. We approached them cautiously, as if walking on sacred ground. Tom lit a cigarette and started talking to them in his action movie American accent. I guess they sensed our sincerity, as they jokingly referred to the unofficial nature of the posters we handed them to sign. The guy who looked like a manager asked Tom to put out his cigarette. I tried my best to act as if I knew what I was talking about, referring to the fact that the bassist and guitar player had swapped instruments during the final song.


- Yeah, we're so talented, the bassist smiled. 


The singer, still all sincere, asked about growing up in Oslo, what it was like. We tried to answer, but I was distracted by the James Dean haircut and denim jacket I glimpsed through the window of a phone booth down the hall.


Marie and I never got back together. Nonetheless, that evening still marked the beginning of a life long relationship.



Edited by fredmanskow

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" vivid memory of an early gig And the show that changed my life "

Well here we are …….. it was my first U2 gig back in Paris France on a Monday, June 1987, the 15th.

I took the train for the 1st time travelling alone from my small town to the Capital City of Lights.

Been A U2 fan for 4 years … I was lucky enough to get a ticket from a penpal called Pierre met in the U2’s Propaganda grapevine for this small concert hall, Le Zénith .. among 7000 other U2 Fans who were standing up on their chairs during all the show –something i will never NEVER see again in my life-

U2 …….. Live. The dream come true … what a night !! !

And What A Dream Set :
Where The Streets Have No Name // with the red screen … Larry’s drums, Edge & hat oh my god ! Adam and at last came Bono & hat, my Bono !
I Will Follow // if you walk away walk away don’t want to walk away !
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Exodus (snippet) // western spirit in the building ! !
MLK // sleep mlk tonight and all your dreams …
The Unforgettable Fire // amazing live 1987 with great Edge’s solo too
Bullet The Blue Sky // Bullet à la 1987 with the spotlights ! / Hallelujah Here She Comes (snippet)
Running To Stand Still // i guess i’m Still runnniiiiinnnngg ! !
Sunday Bloody Sunday // can’t beLIEve i’m here at The U2 gig !
Exit / Riders On The Storm (snippet) / Van Morrison's Gloria (snippet) What a trilogy : EXIT, Jim Morrisson’s/Bono & Van The Man ‘s gloria ... it was just HOT
In God's Country and We need new dreams tonight, indeed
Trip Through Your Wires // U2 set my desire
Help !
Springhill Mining Disaster // already heard the year before at the late late show it was just a dream to hear it again, Live
Bad Ruby Tuesday (snippet) Sympathy For The Devil (snippet) What can I say ? my first "Bad" plus great Bad snippet as seen on the Rattle & hum movie
October // so quiet on the piano .. before the Explosive :
New Year's Day // my first U2 song this was just Unforgettable Edge piano/guitar piano/guitar piano/guitar
Pride (In The Name Of Love) //, what more ?
Party Girl // with some champagne shared with the crowd and the Lone Justice’s Maria Mc Kee
Sweet Jane (w/ Maria Mc Kee) / (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (snippet) All Along The Watchtower (snippet)
Gloria , the U2 One : G L O R I A ! ! !
With Or Without You / Shine Like Stars / Love Will Tear Us Apart // WOWY best ever snippets !
40 // How Long ? How Long ? to see them live again and again ?
The Joshua Tree was released just about 3 months before the gig, I guess I knew all the Lyrics I was so Prepared
No photo of this show with my mates (cameras were absolutely prohibited)
You can mock my weird hairstyle of 1987 …. The 80’s ……anyway
So there were no meeting with the band after the show, not this time … (I have to wait until 1992)

After the show …….. oh gosh it was SO HARD that this had to finish ! ! ! ………. I took place at the back of a Citroën 2CV with 4 or 5 mates, and we travelled around The Paris ring road, le périphérique (as seen on the Linear film …) the night was young …and I had to take the Train back home later in the morning, with some EXTRA Great memories of My Very First U2 Show in my luggages.

2 years later I took my sister sev-erin to her Very first U2Shows the "LoveTown" shows in Paris Bercy.. but that’s another story ! ! !




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I will talk about my first U2 concert, the 16th of May 1992 during the ZOO TV, when I was just 16, in my hometown of Barcelona. This was the first time that U2 played in Barcelona, and the expectation was really high. Tickets for the concert had sold out in hours, and a second concert was also scheduled.


I went to the concert with my girlfriend and my two sisters. All the tickets were for GA, so we got to the arena early morning. After several hours waiting outside, the doors opened, and there was a huge chaos, as everyone pushed to get in. We run as fast as we could and got a good place on the floor, just in front of the stage. But as soon as the support band started playing, the atmosphere was so tense that we couldn’t stay there and had to go to the seated area. This was a low point for me, as I really wanted to be in front of the stage, but we had a good view anyway. In fact, we were beside the VIP area, and could see Martin Gore and Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode there.


Obviously the concert was amazing, and I have a few moments recorded in my mind. Bono talking briefly in Catalan (“Esteu bé?” or “Sou collonuts!”), Larry playing the drums during Who’s gonna ride your wild horses, Adam putting a hat that someone gave him on the B-Stage, Larry giving a spin to the mirror ball trabant that was above the B-Stage, the audience singing With or without you so loud, Bad, …


I don’t know if that concert changed my life, but I do know it opened my mind.


entrada-92-1.jpg 16-fly.jpg


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It was late 1985 or 1986 and I had just moved from Boston to Denver. I got into music in High School and sang a lot in church. Music was the reason I met my husband. Music was the reason for most things including life. Some friends of my husband invited us to go to a concert at the famous Rainbow Music Hall in Denver. Amazing musicians performed there including U2 in 1981. Small, intimate venue with fantastic acoustics. We went to see Russ Taff who had been with The Imperials but this was a solo tour. For those of you who don't know him he can WAIL and on the guitar he can SHRED! Seats were first come/serve and we sat in the front. The lights went down and it was silent. Russ stepped forward in a single spotlight and sang, "Unto The Lamb" acapella. It felt like the building shook as the notes swelled. He finished and all was silent for a few shocked seconds. Then the crowd erupted. We stood on our feet applauding and yelling forever it seemed. The rest of the concert was amazing and the memory still lifts my soul and sets my heart racing 30 years later. Sadly they demolished the old Rainbow turning it into a Walgreens, but I will never forget that night. I still love Russ Taff and he still tours. I hope to see him again some day. Please listen to that amazing song on youtube. It isn't the acapella version I heard but still impressive.

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My apology for this not being a U2 memory, though there are some of those...


I grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  I was about eight years old and a band from Calgary called the Stampeders was hot on the charts with a few songs.  "New Orleans" was memorable, as was "Hit The Road Jack", featuring Wolfman Jack


I didn't know or think about hot big a group was, just that they were great.


My parents took me to Pioneer Days, the local fair and they were playing live.  I remember being up in the grandstand for the show which was down near where my parents worked at the church restaurant during the exhibition.  Here I was, seeing this band which was on the radio all the time playing right there in front of me at such a young age.  In addition to stripping the grooves on my LP; the cover of which was labled in marker, property of Carl McKay -  I remember even the store where we bought it in North Battleford, Saskatchewan on the way to Maidstone in the middle of winter and listening to it in the basement of our relatives home on the cold prairie. 


Not only was "New Orleans" cool, "Hit The Road Jack" with the might Wolfman was powerful too.  These Canadian guys actually had him in their song! 


Oh ya - highlight of a lifetime, seeing The Cars play the Paladium in Los Angeles about three years ago, I became an editor because of their work on Heartbeat City and the song "You Might Think".


I know it isn't a barn burner of a story, but it really made a solid impression for me and the luck of being able to attend a show.  I don't have pictures but I have the luck of a vivid memory.


Two of the worst shows sadly, R.E.M. at the Forum in Los Angeles, mid nineties and Van Halen at the Staples center two years ago.  R.E.M. didn't treat the fans very well and Van Halen didn't play or sound like Van Halen; Mr. Roth went rogue on the lines and sounds.  Major bummer.


Well here's to hoping for a shot for good old Vinyl.


Carl McKay


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I thought that nothing could make a bigger impression on me than Meatloaf did in Brussels.  An epic show. 

But then in july 2008 in a park in Bruges I was overwhelmed, swept of my feet by none other than Leonard Cohen.  It was almost magic how a crowd of thousands went quiet and stood still to enjoy the poet. 

Don't have pictures because we all turned of our cell phones not to disturb the silence.

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My first gig was the Michael Shenker group at the SFX hall in Dublin in 1982. It was LOUD.... That is all I remember of it... I was 12 :)

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ZOO TV Milan 1992. Second show in Milan. It had to be the first night but some trucks didn't make it on time and it was postponed. We had to go back home and come back two days after. It didn't change my life but surely changed the future of concerts. Nothing similar before. Too many copies after. #Unforgettablegig. beLIEve! EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG

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In 1987, I was 15, went to the Cardiff Arms Park to see U2, the Pretenders and the Alarm, amazing night , first time that I had ever travelled away and the one thing that stuck in my mind to this day:


Thank God the Edge does not play Rugby!!!!

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My first U2 concert; Right here.



It was a balmy Dublin weekend at the end of June 1987. Traveled by train from Ballymena, Co.Antrim - joining the mass exodus from 'the north' to join our U2 countrymen on a U2 ADVENTURE.

It's a fantastic memory for me as a young 19 year old guy, with a bunch beer supping free spirited like minded individual people all aboard the love train from Belfast central to Dublin Connolly St station.

Such a laugh, such a fun weekend - in the old Croke Park too. I'll never forget it.

A few stories from that weekend that will always be with me. All good.

We didn't really do health and safety that well back then. :D

Edited by yardie

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I was working for round about 15 years (since I was 18) as a concert-security-guy in Munich. I worked for many many concerts. Concerts of the greatest artists in the world. Maybe 100 concerts or a few more.


Which artists? The greatest: Michael Jackson, Sting, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Take That, Status quo, Saxon, Britney Spears, Tina Turner, Eros Ramazotti, Gary Moore, Depeche Mode, Prince, Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker and so on.

And of course German acts like Nena, Peter Maffay, PUR, Grönemeyer, Die Toten Hosen, Die Ärzte, … and – do you know Die Kastelruther Spatzn or Patrick Lindner – … puh, you don‘t miss it, if you have not seen them.


But in every concert there was one thing similar every time: before the concert starts there’s testing the phones, the lights, the sound and so on, there is music from CD and you wait and wait, the croud is loud and louder, there goes a wave through the hall or the stadium, there is power short before the artist begins the show, and the securities are so cool, me also, nothing can shock, be cool, even you know the rules … and then there is always one moment, now … you hope, this is the last song of the CD before it starts now … and that’s it … the magic moment – the lights go down – the hall is dark – the show begins finally and the croud is loud with power to see the star.

Every time you knew this run as a security. Always the same. But once, just once, there was the Band from Dublin … and it starts like every time … but now, whats that … crazy: the Band is on stage – all 4 – but the lights, securities are nervous, the lights ar still on power, full light in the Munich Olympiahall the 15th of July in 2001, full light, the company forgot to exit the lights??? And U2 starts with elevation … that was unbelivable. It was like they are playing in a big living room at home. That was unbelievable – and it was one of those rare concerts I didn’t work as a security. I was just a guest, but my security friends have been shocked to see, that I have tears in my eyes, only because Bono begins to sing and jump. And within this first minute of the concert there`s one second – boooooom – and the lights go down and all the crowd in all the hall is out of control …


I was in the heart! And a few later Bono is slipping around the catwalk and he’s touching some people of the crowd, he goes down to us – I think it was „Until the end of the world“ and he reached for my right hand I streched up to him. What a powerful moment. It had been better not to wash the right hand for 13 years now … well I did nevertheless.

I never forget this.

This was the excitingst moment of all the hundred concerts and for beeing a fan of U2 one of the greatest moments.


Many greetings from Munich,





Great security guy Christian with great sunglasses in the greatest U2 Shirt all the time


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 So I was at the filming of the Elevation, Live From Boston and during the 3rd song, Until the End of the World, Bono grabs my arm, and starts pulling me towards the stage.  An unbelievable moment. I had a picture taken from behind, but didn't think much of it.  Then one day at work, I get a call from a co-worker, who I took to a few shows and he became a huge U2 fan.  He tells me that I'm in the video, where Bono grabs my arm, and that it's about 3 shots, and anyone can clearly see that's it's me.  The story gets even better.  A couple years later, Bono is doing a fund raiser in Philadelphia, and is doing a meet and greet, but won't sign autographs.  I pull my arm out again, I'm rather tall, and yell out, "Bono, sign my Elevation DVD Picture"  To the dismay of others in line, he smiles at me, takes the photo and says, " You sure know how to make an entrance, dontcha"  He signs the pictures, shakes my hand and walks past everyone on line.  Amazing U2 moments for me.  Autograph photo attached.

Edited by judas1

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At the beginning of 1998 I was 15 and wasn’t allowed to go to big rock shows in stadiums yet. That’s how I missed the first time U2 played in Brazil… I begged and cried rivers but it didn’t work. Two months later my older brother decided to go to Rolling Stones concert with his friends but he didn’t tell anything, he knew I would be angry because I was much more a rock and roll fan than him and I’d love to go. My parents held this info for a week, they didn’t know how to tell me. So one day when I arrived from school my mum told me. Of course I got mad! “Why I couldn’t go to shows while my brother could?” My house shook that day with my reaction, I was furious and couldn’t stop crying because I missed my favourite band’s show just short time ago and now my brother could go anywhere… that was not fair. My parents were feeling sorry for me and made my brother take me with him but he and his friends had to promise they would take care of me. The opening act was Bob Dylan. Wow! A rock and roll legend. My favourite moment of the show was when Stones called Dylan to join them in the stage and they played together ‘Like a Rolling Stone’. It was such a historical moment and I’m happy I was able to be there. I found a video of this from the show in Rio.


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The Vertigo Tour was a very special one for me. My first U2 show occurred in Vancouver BC, which is a two hour flight from home, that being Saskatoon SK Canada (in the middle of the flat part of Western Canada. It really is quite nice in the summer, but I digress). Not long after that show, U2.com was promoting a tour package to see the band in Sydney, Australia. So, having only ever been a 2 hour plane ride away from home, decided "why not?" and booked a package for myself to Sydney. I was very excited to see a new part of the world. I had never even been to the US, so this was a very big deal. As many Zootops may remember, the Australian portion of the Vertigo Tour was cancelled (later rebooked, but I'll get to that). This was with about 3 weeks or so to go before I was due to leave. Well, I couldn't do anything about the plane ticket, so I took advantage of the hotel portion of the ticket package and took the 17 hour (!) flight to Sydney (not including an 8 hour layover in Vancouver) and had a nice week and half vacation. This was in May of 2006.


Not even a month after I got back, and U2 announces the Australian leg is back on! I get notified by the company that handled the ticket package that my tickets were still valid if I still wanted them. Hell, yes I still wanted them! So, I promptly booked a second flight to Sydney. Over the course of the next few months my life was turned upside down. I lost my job and met my wife two months before I was supposed to go! This was a very strange time. November rolls around and I am trying to find work, so with some of the last my severance pay (and small loan from my wife, love her) I board a plane for Sydney in a much different frame of mind then six months prior. After another 17 hours, with that 8 hour layover, I found myself back in Sydney. It was one of the more surreal moments of my life walking down the main drag in Sydney on a few hours of sleep wondering what the hell I am doing there. The ticket package was originally for two shows, but a third was added, which I bought my own ticket for, and the first show was the very same day that I landed. I got myself to the meeting point for a ride to the stadium (a nice pub in central Sydney) and people from all over the place and we went to the show.


The show itself was a brilliant. Kanye West did his best to rev up the crowd but the real fireworks happened during the show. Oh, and one more bonus came out of hanging onto the tickets, wrist bands! I ended up second row along the arm of the stage that Edge, Adam, and Bono frequented during the show. Extraordinarily thrilling! The show started with a bit of rain, then let up as they played Beautiful Day, which led to Bono singing a snippet of Here Comes the Sun. Indeed, it was alright! I was amongst 70,000 people for the first time ever and it was such an energetic experience looking out to the crowd, a sea of cell phone lights at one point. Where I was at in life, this was such an excellent moment. After the show, I was with the group back on the bus, and slept most of the ride back to the pub. I didn't last long at the after-party. In all, I was in Sydney for 5 days, went to 3 shows, celebrated a birthday (by myself, but it was ok) and caught the travelling bug. The first show was the important one because of the journey to get there. After that, I went back to school (still there, working on a thesis) and started travelling with my wife, which we have done extensively. But those first steps were taken on my way to U2 in Sydney.... Hope this makes sense.

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The first gig I went to was Lou Reed on the Hookywooky tour at Manchester Apollo back in '96. I was 16 and together with my two best mates we stood front row, just right of centre (in front of Adam if it was a U2 gig!). We loved every minute of it as the former Velvet Underground frontman ripped through cuts from Set The Twilight Reeling, interspersed with classics and fan favourites from his back catalogue.


The first U2 record I bought was Rattle and Hum. I quickly saved my pocket money and bought everything else they released. I remember feeling very giddy when Zooropa was announced! My father said I was too young to catch them during ZooTV or Zooropa 93. But my dreams came true when we saw them in Rotterdam and at Wembley on the PopMart tour. Seen them multiple times on every tour since (plus Live8) all around Europe and always looking forward to the next time.


I've now seen 100s of gigs, ranging from Springsteen to Stereophonics, The Killers to Kanye West, Fun Lovin Criminals to Kendrick Lamar, George Michael to Jay Z, Gaslight Anthem to RHCPs, Arcade Fire to Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay to Keane, Oasis to Dexys and even Peter Frampton! And more more more!


I have tried to keep the ticket from every concert and I am planning to do a collage with all tickets mounted with pen pics, setlists, memories, etc.


Almost all music I'm in to stems from U2. As well as those mentioned I have thousands of different albums by hundreds of different artists across dozens of genres. Which brings me back to the recently and dearly departed Lou Reed. I loved what U2 did with him when I saw ZooTV Live From Sydney and was wowed when I looked back on Live Aid footage of Bad. Lou clocked me and my boys several times during the concert and I think he was genuinely pleased that lads like us had bridged the generational gap and were embracing his art, enjoying his music and entusiastically rocking to him and his band. At the end he looked me in the eye and said 'that's New York rock for ya!'






Here's the setlist...



Sweet Jane

NYC man

Dirty blvd

New sensation

The proposition

Set the twilight reeling

Doin the things that we want to

Hang on to your emotions

I love you suzanne

Video violence

Trade in

Egg cream




I'm waiting for the man


Pale blue eyes

Walk on the wild side

Satellite of love


Here's the ticket...


Stupid iPhone won't let me insert the picture of the ticket!


I'll share a copy of my collage when it's done. It's gonna showcase my first 15 years of gig going. And I'll do a sequel in a decade or so!

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Well... I have three #unforgettablegig to share, not one, but there is an explanation to that, because in the end, there will be only one but I need to explain why that gig was so important to me.


I live in Madrid. The first time that U2 came to my town was 1987, on July 15th., during The Joshua Tree Tour. I was only 11 years old and my parents didn't let me go, even when my elder siblings went to it, because they thought that I was too young to be in a big show in Santiago Bernabeu Stadium with almost 100.000 people. With U2 there were playing UB40 and The Pretenders... What a gig, right??? So, I spent all night crying until my brother and my sister came home and told me everything about the show... And I cried more, of course!


The second #unforgettablegig was in 1992, during Zoo TV Tour. That was one of the most painful days of my life, because U2 was in Spain, but not in Madrid (they came to Barcelona and San Sebastian), and it was my birthday, on May 14th. and I wasn't able to go to see my favourite band in the world... And it was my birthday!!! So, once again, all night crying...


Finally, one year later, in 1993 on the Zooropa Tour was the one and only #unforgettablegig. Even when the gig was in May, the tickets went on sale on the early days of december, so my sister bought it to me as a Christmas present and as a birthday present, because the show was only a week after my birthday.


I understand really really good what "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)" means for U2, because that day, 22nd May 1993, I felt the same... And Joey Ramone was there too because The Ramones were the Guest Artist!!!!


The feeling that I will never ever forget was the shiver that ran through my back during the begining of "Where The Streets Have No Name"... Even remembering it now, tears comes to my eyes full of emotion... And of course when "Zoo Station" started and Bono appeared on the stage smoking a cigarrette and kicking the air.


I still have the ticket of that show, and when I look at it... the shiver is back.


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At first I thought to myself "don't use a U2 show for this, use Billy Joel where you met him backstage because you bought fake scalped tickets or the young guy who went to see Paula Abdul cause she was so hot and tried to sneak backstage after the show" but alas, there is absolutely nothing in the music world that has had such an effect on me or changed my life in such a way as what I am about to describe.

It's October of 2001, just 6 weeks after the horrors of 9/11 and U2 have returned to the U.S. for the second U.S. leg of their Elevation tour. I live in N.Y. and outside of the benefit concert no one else was putting on a major show in the city, and boy did we need this!! I get to the arena with a new found friend 2 days before the show as we are determined to finally get front row. We spend the next two days going from random diners, coffee shops and a quick shower at another fans hotel room to sitting in front of Madison Sqaure Garden fighting the cold and the colorful city inhabitants.

Well the time has finally arrived! They begin to let us into the venue and boy is security tight! Due to the recent events there are NO bags allowed in and NO cameras at all (which is why I have no pic to upload). Our effort paid off and I am front row on the rail!!!! Finally I have reached the promise land. The lights go down...ahhhhhh no they didn't, this band explodes onto the stage full lights, it's glorious! The music begins and I am now in another place, a place that only exists in front of this band, a place where emotions run the gambit and physical exhaustion is impossible! I jump, I sing, I cry and most of all I listen, I hear, I connect. Not just with the band, no, but with every one of the thousands of souls that are in attendance with me. So here I am in a general admission sea of people pushed up against the front rail and it is getting hot, so, I take my shirt off. As people start to see around me I have a number of U2 related tattoos including down my spine a replication of the 'One' Tee where there is the word 'One' listed in 18 languages followed by 'but not the same' at the base. During 'Stuck in a Moment' Bono is singing right in front of where I am standing. The girl behind me (who helped to change my life and I never got her name...if your out there Thank You can never cover my gratitude...)tells me to turn around and show Bono my back. I figure why not and turn around, sit up on the rail and show the Man! From the expressions on those I am now facing I can only imagine he is truley taking in what he is seeing and no sooner that I turn back to face the stage there is the most glorious gesture with an outstretched hand calling me up to the stage!!! I join Bono on stage and suddenly there is no noise, no music, I am in complete and utter disbelief. Bono continues to sing and while doing so, I find out later, is posing me so the camera can pan my back and I am on the big screen above the stage! He sings with his arm aroind me, gives me a huge hug and I return to my spot on the floor, but not to the person I was. I am forever changed. These 4 guys who were as close to me as my stereo and the images on my bedroom walls were now something more. They have been in my life, in my heart, in my head for years but now, for just a short bit, I was in theirs.

I will never be able to thank this band for what they have given me from the music to the experiences to the friends made. This particular night took it to a whole other level. U2...us too, we are in it together.

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I was far far younger back in 1984. Just a few years out of school. Radio back then was AM. Stereo ?? Years away. I had started to follow this band of young guys around my age out of Dublin, Ireland. I had a few of their records. News broke on radio that they were to tour Australian finally in September 1984. I wanted to be there. Ticket sales back then were well in advance of shows and usually announced with days warning. As a young guy I had no money ready when tickets went of sale. They sold real fast for the four Sydney shows.


Devastated, I couldn't choose ebay - It was still years away. I could chance a scalper but that meant turning up on the day with cash and hoping I could buy. Not guaranteed and at what price ? Then I heard the car radio....Possibly 2SM back in those days. They had some U2 tickets to give away that day. I turned for home and rang work - Sick. Then stuck to the radio beside the phone.


Be the third caller they said. I was first caller. FAIL. Be the second caller - I was third caller. FAIL and so on it went. Then after what seemed hours I expected the usual hang-up when my call was answered..."Hi - Whats your name...Paul I answered....Well Paul your are our lucky final caller. That word jarred me - Was I about to succeed ?..Then the words rang in my ear and I still hear them today. "We have two tickets but if you want to take a risk we can make it four front row seats" (Its was all seats then !!). Hell...What do I do? I assumed I might just have a chance.....I know the band and their albums. "OK - I will do it", I said.


Ad break....Why do they do that ? "OK Paul...Here you are for the chance for the final tickets to U2's first ever Australian show. Front row seats for four. Name the band's first record"....WTF...What do I say...First Album..Boy. First single. First ...First WHAT....He said "record". He said RECORD... And I said it..."THREE". Then he said ..."Oh Paul sorry the first album was Boy" screamed in my ear down the line. NO I said. "Their first record was a limited release EP called Three. Boy was their first album. Not their first record." Silence............. " let me check with my producer"My heart was pounding....OK Paul seems we have a problem. So they said - You are definitely a fan and we agree. You get the tickets.


Tuesday 4th September 1984 my GF (now wife) and two mates (not U2 fans but keen on music) fronted early to the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Queued for a few hours and finally ntered and ran to our seats to fend off the squatters who would try to claim our space. How simple it was...No staging. Little lighting. Small PA. 4 lads and some amps. Bono and a mike stand. BB Kings band had instruments that were polished under the single spotties. (See pic)


As concerts go it was a disaster. Gear failures. Bono got the shits when his mike kept quitting. Then he and Edge had a disagreement over his amp and it cutting out mid song. Timing was a mess. They played on and kicked it. Great music and the talent was great then and has just got better. All the mistakes on the night summed up when Larry starts the encore with Gloria. A song played earlier in their set. Bono spits it again and says "Fuck get it right this time".


On the way out we bought tickets to the Thursday show...Far more polished. As has every show since. Best one ??? I still have a soft spot for Lovetown almost 5 years later to the day...Bono on the drums and Larry singing solo to Stand By Me. What a fun night...All recorded on a official VHS video I still have. Love Rescue Me was played that night on stage and NEVER heard on stage anywhere again until the 360 Tour -  December 2010 Sydney in the presence of Dylan Geldof and Oprah.


Edited by ozziepaulgerrard

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#unforgettablegig #U2SongsofInnocence Linda & I wanted music to be a big part of our wedding day so we planned our wedding day to be on 8/23/14 after already having 5th row tix to see Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers play Chicago that same night. It would end be our 7th Petty show together (we have 3 U2 shows together so far, 11 for me overall). We already had the Petty tickets for months. Wedding + Rock Concert = Best Idea Ever! :) We danced & sang throughout the entire show! Better this than the Chicken Dance or The Electric Slide! The wifey snagged a setlist too. We also had musicians perform an instrumental version of All I Want Is You during our intimate garden wedding ceremony of which only had 30 people in attendance. Our wedding invitations were printed & put onto vinyl 45's which we designed with it's own record sleeve. See our photos in this post. You can see what I mean just how much music means to us. The only way the day would've been better is if there was a double-bill of U2 & Petty. One can dream out loud... here's to hoping we get chosen for the rare SOI vinyl. If we win, it will be a gift to our future little U2 fan, Evelyn Grace Crabtree who we're hoping will enter this world on or around Valentine's Day 2015! Thanks for the chance! If not, it's fun to share this with everyone. @U2 @U2comZooMods








Edited by kevfly82

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I have to go back to my very first U2 concert. It was in 2005 (yeah, i know it wasnt that long ago and yup, i was 29, a huge fan and never been able to get to a show in Melbourne (OZ)) Anyhow, we were in Anaheim, on the final leg of our holiday from Australia. We found out U2 were playing at the Staples Center in LA on our last night there. We took the risk and bought 2 very overpriced tickets on ebay and got them delivered to our hotel (luckily they did arrive). Then we proceeded to take the bus, which took well over 2 hrs to get to the Staples Center. We had upper level rear view seats that i thought might be crap, but turned out to be fantastic. The all girl band Exit played and were awesome btw. Then the Larry Mullens Band began with City of Blinding lights.. WOW what an awesome opening to the show!!.. Hit after hit played,  It was just fantastic. ..Oh, there was only one hiccup, the buses dont run back to Anahiem from the Staples centre that late at night!! :(  So, i would like to thank the 2 guys that we sat next to at the show who went out of their way to give us a lift (in the back of a 2 door car..were we worried? yes, thought we'd end up dead in the desert or something). They drove us all that way back to our hotel!


So there you have it, my most memorable U2 concert ever. you never forget your first! :)

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The Iron Lady is elected, innocence is shattered in Enniskillen, The Simpsons are born, Anton Corbijn can’t pronounce the latest record by 4 lads from Dublin, AZT is released, some drug called Prozac gets sold for the first time and I’m 11 years old. Michael Jackson is still Michael Jackson and not yet the self-proclaimed King of Pop. In 1987 he was bigger than that - he didn’t need to manufacture status, he simply was that status. The most popular entertainer of the time, maybe of any time..


I was lucky enough to win tickets to see him at the end of yellow brick road Perth, Australia. MJ being MJ though cancelled the show due to “security reasons”. Which a young version of me was not cynical enough to realise really meant lack of interest, cost cutting or slow ticket sales. Unbelievably though the promoters flew us to Melbourne to see him. I remember getting picked up from a school camp early so we could fly out to the show. I was an 11 year old rock star. I was the King of Pop at my school.


So we end up ensconced in a suitably cheap Melbourne motel where even the fleas realised they were staying there at their own risk.  If the walls could talk, they probably would have advised not to spend the night. But to the 11 year old me, still full of wide eyed innocence, it was a palace. You could even ring someone and they would bring you food. Incredible. We had pizza in the room which I thought made me a king.   


We get to the gig and it is the massive stadium. Making our way in and people start screaming and pointing upwards at “Michael”. Well, someone who thought they were Michael – but to the 11 year old me I thought he was actually the man and not a lookalike. Innocence is a place you can’t return to once you leave.


I remember being at the back of the stadium, yet feeling like the stage was right in front of me. The energy in the stadium, like a visceral punch. Then he appears out of the smoke, pumping out the tunes I had been spinning on the amazing technology that was cassettes. Nothing will replace such a hi tech medium. MJ at the height of his powers. Dancer, singer, performer, showman. Like a gospel preacher and yes, you can feel it. I still remember that bass – thumping into my chest. What mysterious instrument could perform such musical voodoo? Billie Jean, how is he doing that walk? How is he leaning that far without falling? I was enthralled. Michael highlighted the joy of music – I was sold.

It was like a circus without animals. Thriller – yes it was. Zombie dancers and at one point he “disappeared” only to magically reappear at the other end of the stage. He was a musical magician. I soaked it all in. I came out of that gig wired. Bouncing off the stadium stairs, filled with tunes and a desire to bust a dance move.


We jumped on a bus back to the motel but I spotted a guy selling posters and begged for a chance to get one. I made the poor driver wait while I darted off to get my Bad World Tour Poster and programme. That poster hung proudly at home long after Michael became Wacko Jacko and uncool. Then I became conscious of cool and the poster got hidden away, the records gathered dust but the memory of that gig fired my musical passions. It led me right away from the shiny disposable pop of Michael to this band of earnest fellows from Ireland. Who lead me down a whole other path – but that is a much longer story. Bad became Rattle and Hum.


In a strange way Michael led to U2  -which came full circle when I was boarding a plane to the Barcelona show only to hear Michael had died. On the way to the first 360 U2 show we saw the tribute pictured below in a random part of town. I flashed back to that show and remembered Michael as he was. I was shocked at how it impacted me. Then Bono pays tribute to Michael under the 360 space station. Another stadium turned into a club. My music journey had gone 360.  


Michael might have been the drive-through, instant oat meal version of surface pop. But you need that. You can relish his tunes on a level that is pure enjoyment. Slide down the musical surface. He had the songs of innocence before I moved on to songs of experience. You need both – just ask the 4 lads from Dublin. 



Edited by inztantkarma

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Mio fratello di cinque anni più grande di me, chiuso in camera sua ascoltava musica… ad un certo punto sento dalla mia stanza una voce che parla al di sopra della folla e  dice:"this is GLORIA”…io dalla camera mia, mi fermo e sorrido…mi avvicino alla porta della camera sua e continuo ad origliare…”GLORIA IN TE DOMINE GLORIA EXULTATE GLORIA GLORIA OH, LORD, LOOSEN MY LIPS” allora penso: ”ma che sta sentendo le canzoni della chiesa!”
Incuriosito rimango ancora ad ascoltare, sento altre canzoni, non capisco niente il cantante canta in inglese però l’energia è molto coinvolgente così rimango fuori alla porta seduto sul pavimento a sentire i colpi della batteria e la chitarra coinvolgente che sento da dietro la porta e mi chiedo ma chi sono questi?
Più tardi quando mi fratello uscì dalla sua stanza gli chiesì: “Chi sono questi?”  e lui:”U2” ed io:”U…chi?” e lui: “lascia stare...hai solo 10 anni!” Già all’epoca (dicembre 1983) avevo solo 10 anni!
Il giorno dopo approfittando dell’assenza di mio fratello entrai in camera sua  e trai i vari vinili cercai “U2” l’unica parola cha ricordavo…misi il vinile"UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY"sul giradischi e…fù subito amore!
Ad aprile 1985 deejay television, una nota trasmissione televisiva italiana, trasmise per una settimana intera, uno special sugli U2, un documentario sulla realizzazione del loro 5 album “THE UNFORGETTABLE FIRE”, ogni giorno dalla 14.30 alle 15.00 guardavo questo special tra l’eccitamento completo,  e  da allora cantavo per strada, fuori al balcone, a scuola: "IPPE NIVE OV LOVE UAN MOR IPPE NIVE OV LOVE!”(IN THE NAME OF LOVE WHAT MORE IN THE NAME OF LOVE) i miei 11 anni si notavano!
A scuola,  con miei amici,  mi vantavo di essere un fan degli U2, avevo il diario pieno di frasi e testi degli u2, avevo foto etc etc.

MARZO 1987…
A pranzo come ogni giorno io e mio fratello guardavamo deejay television, un bel giorno il presentarore annuncio in anteprima esclusiva  per l’italia la messa in onda del video della nuova canzone degli U2…"WITH OR WITHOUT YOU" per  4 minuti e 56 secondi rimasi col fiato sospeso!
MAGGIO 1987…
Nell’autobus di ritorno da una gita scolastica decisi che con i risparmi avanzati dovevo assolutamente comprarmi il nuovo album,  non potevo averlo solo in musicassetta…tornato a casa il giorno seguente andai al negozo di dischi della mia città e li  c’era una ragazza che quando mi vide entrare mi guardo un po’ sospettosa...(avevo 14 anni) ed io senza batter ciglio le dissi:” ciao hai THE JOSHUA TREE...IL NUOVO DEGLI U2?”…e lei sorpresa e divertita mi disse “aspetta che te lo prendo”….14000 LIRE lo pagai fu la più bella spesa mai fatta prima!

Dopo circa una settimana gli u2 arrivarono in Italia per tre concerti, sulla strada che percorrevo per andare a scuola c’era un bar che aveva la locandina del concerto: -“U2 THE JOSHUA TREE TOUR  ROMA 27 Maggio 1987”- ogni giorno che ritornavo a casa dicevo a mia mamma che volevo andare a Roma a vedere il concerto deli U2 e lei mi diceva che i ragazzi di 14 anni non vanno ai concerti rock!
Il 27 maggio 1987, andai a scuola percorrendo un’altra strada perché quella mattina non volevo passare davanti al bar e vedere la locandina del concerto …ero troppo triste perchè non potevo andarli a vedere dal vivo!
Purtroppo mio fratello aveva gli esami di maturità e quindi nemmeno lui ci andò, io ho sempre creduto che se lui ci fosse andato avrebbe portato anche me…(ingenuità adolescenziale!)
MAGGIO 1988…
Notte rock una trasmissione che andava in onda su rai uno in seconda serata trasmise uno special sulla tournée americana degli U2 negli Stati Uniti… si intitolava ”OUTSIDE IT’S AMERICA”... quando lo vidi rimasi folgorato…da allora gli U2 furono e sono tutt’ora, dopo 31 anni il mio gruppo musicale preferito!
Sono ancora qua!
Da allora ad oggi ho spesso circa 40000,00 euro tra concerti, cd, lp, 45”,12”…ogni minuto della mia vita, ogni evento, ogni gioia ed ogni delusione è accompagnata dalla LORO musica!
il primo concerto a cui ho assistito è stato quelo di  Milano nel 1992, avevo il biglietto della prima data il 20 maggio, ma lo show fu rimandato quindi ritornammo a casa e poi la sera del 21 ripartimmo di nuovo in tre giorni ci facemmo circa 3000 km...











Edited by 10dobrasil

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It was 1984 and my bands were, Midnight Oil and INXS, both Australian bands. Midnight Oil were Australia's version of U2 and INXS were an exciting charismatic act with some great early career songs ('Don't change' from "Shabooh Shoobah" was my favourite). I followed these bands closely and also followed another band from Ireland, due to a couple of songs called "I Will Follow" and "Out of Control" which introduced me to the band. At the time of their release I worked with a very attractive Irish girl who also gave me a gift one day (U2 Live at Red Rocks) and of course I've followed them closely ever since. Anyway back to the GIG, it was September 27th, 1984 and I got to see one of my favourite bands in INXS which of course was awesome. I also invited this Irish friend along and I felt like I had returned the favour in introducing her to a great Australian act. She loved them ... and Michael of course. Just like my other 2 favourite bands I knew INXS were special and this concert included a powerful version of 'Don't Change' that has never left me. Looking back I like to think of those special moments and cherish them as a shared memory with another person. I loved that concert and I knew I was in search of another great 'live' act and my excitement was building as I knew something very special was just around the corner. 'The Unforgettable Fire' album was due in a few days (Released October 1st 1984). I had started a journey and had no idea I had made such good choices in 'Who to Follow' and of course 'I didn't change'.


All the best, thanks for reading and here is a Gig Poster for the night.... INXS Live at the Perth Entertainment Centre, on September 27th 1984


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06/25/2014, Vienna: 

The gig that changed my life is my first Pearl Jam show in Vienna this year. I went there from Germany by bus the day before and queued up from early morning on. At the show I stood in front of Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament in 3rd row and now, a few months later I still can't describe how powerful and intense this three hour show was. You had to be there to believe it! Sadly I don't have a picture of me before or during the gig, so I post a picture of Eddie climbing the vine.


Edited by jaykay20

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my first concert with an irish band was, i think, in 1993, with hothouse flowers, in koblenz, germany.

the opener was the cranberries. 2 great bands in one ewening   :)

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