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'Vinyl Special' U2.com SOI Limited Edition Giveaway


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En remolinos (In Swirls). In honor of Gustavo Cerati.

 

In the 80s´ Argentina lived an atmosphere of joy and wonderful creativity. I grew up in a newly discovered environment of freedom that came from the hand of democracy.

 

Many rock bands were born in those days, but my favorite one was for certain, Soda Stereo, the band leaded by Gustavo Cerati.

 

In the summer of 1989 I was only 14 years old and I was on holidays with my family at Mar del Plata (a nice coast city about 260 miles from Buenos Aires). My sister, who is 6 years older than me was planning to go to a Soda Stereo concert. When I heard that Soda was going to play in Mar del Pata, I couldn´t believe my years! From that minute on, I devoted myself to get my sister take me to the concert with her (and believe me, it was not an easy task to fulfill! Not only did I have to convince my sister to take me with her, but also get my parents to allow me to go). I went.

 

I was nervous. I didn´t know how to behave at a concert. But when they played the first chords, and played “Juego de Seducción” (Game of Seduction) it all became clear: I was sensing freedom in a way I had never felt before. My own personal boundaries had magically moved thousands of miles away in a blink. 

 

I am 40 years old now and the music is still as important to me as it was in that moment; maybe even more.

 

A few days ago Gustavo Cerati died after spending four years in a coma, or as some may prefer to believe, “in a strange and magical cosmic state”. A circle closes, while others open. Maybe that's just the gift that music gives me to understand that something that ends always leads to something new to be revealed. An infinite world in swirls.

 

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In 1988 I was serving in the military and on Sunday afternoon I was in the housing of my company with nothing to do, was listening to music on local radio, was when he played New Year's Day, was the first time I hear a song from U2 Band I turned fan. 

Some time later I met a girl, started studying together in the same classroom, we started dating and got married. 

Concerning music, had very different taste, but had a common band was U2. 

We buy all CDs, all DVDs, all magazines and all related articles U2 have had access to, but never had the opportunity to take in a show band. Feed this desire for years, decades and only realize our dream 23 years later, in 2011 when we went to the U2 show at Morumbi in São Paulo, Brazil. 

The U2 was part of my adolescence, youth and inspires me today. Surely this band added something more in my relationship with my wife and her music that moves me, make me go, make me happy. 

Thank you U2.

 

Edivaldo E Juliana 12

 

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The year was 1989 Dublin. I was 17 years old. I was a U2 fan for just over two years having discovered them via the Joshua Tree. From there I was hooked , I bought all the previous albums and thought they were amazing. I was hooked on bad live on wide awake in America , I used to listen to it everyday when I came home from school. Anyway back to 1989 and the word got out that U2 were going to play new years eve at the point depot in dublin and myself and some equally dedicated friends left school and headed to the point depot car park to queue in the cold for hours and hours to get a ticket. The atmosphere and singing in the queue was unforgettable. I managed to get a ticket I think it was 16.50 pounds and waited patiently for new years Eve to arrive! There wasn't much to look forward to in dublin in those days but the anticipation of this gig was like waiting for Santa to arrive as an innocent child. New Years eve came as it always does and we headed off to the point depot. I remember being close to the front near a red barrier , covered in love hearts the came down from the roof as a welcome to the fans to the love town tour . The atmosphere was hot and sweaty , cups of water were thrown on us by the crew to cool us down , I remember just being lost in the music and the intimate size of the gig , in some ways before hand I felt the band might be almost too big for such a small venue in relative terms but they pulled it off like it was natural for them to be up close and personal. It was like they were at home. I will never forget that night , the best New Years eve I evey had , broadcast on radio to millions around the world including for the first time some eastern bloc countries and in some small way the band made me feel like I was part of history. That long walk back to the City centre of dublin from the point depot was like floating on a magic carpet, the musicial experience like an anaesthetic to other parts of life .....

U2 have stayed with me since then on my journey through life and I've been to countless other U2 gigs but none as pivotal as that one at that time in my life , I guess those songs on that night made some sense out of my world ......

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My favorite concert memories are from May 4, 2001. That was the first night I got to see U2 very up close and personal, from the front row at Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY. The story really starts a few weeks earlier, though, so let me set the stage a little bit before we get to the night of the show itself. See, I was living in Cincinnati, OH at the time, about 90 miles north of Lexington. I didn't have a car and money was tight. I'd been a U2 fan for a while at this time, and although I'd seen the band before, I had yet to enjoy the intimate, personal interaction I so craved; the kind that comes from having the greatest band on the planet just a few feet away while they rip through a set-list full of the kinds of songs that legends are built on; the kind where you're able to look the four men who formed that band 25 years earlier in the whites of their eyes and they return your gaze full on, nearly as eager to complete that connection as you are. That's what makes U2 the amazing live band that they are, after all - that great relationship that the band forge with each individual member of their audience on a nightly basis - but you already know all that, so I digress.

Anyway, I was desperate to see U2 from a vantage point like the one I described above, and I knew that the innovation of the heart shaped ramp at their Elevation tour shows might be the best chance I'd ever get, so I set all my will toward making that dream come true. First, of course, I needed a ticket to the show. I worked at a record store at the time, so I had some small connections in the city, both with those in the music industry and also with other professionals who could help me. All this time later, I'm embarrassed to say that I can't remember exactly how I came by the desired ticket, but suffice it to say that some kind soul really came through for me at a time when I really needed it.

The next step toward bringing my dream to fruition was transportation. I normally made my way around town on foot, and as I said earlier, Rupp Arena definitely wasn't within walking distance. I decided that if I could get to Lexington, the city that the band were playing in, I could get to the venue under my own steam, and I decided that the best, most cost effective method of travel for me would be to take the Greyhound bus. So, I spent several weeks saving every penny I could until I had enough to buy the needed bus ticket. At last, everything was now in place! My dreams were going to come true.

Looking back, it's a miracle that things came together as smoothly as they did. I'm sure you've all heard that old expression about "best-laid plans" - well, this was one of the rare occasions on which everything came together perfectly, and I'm so glad that it did. On the morning of the show, I got out of bed while it was still dark out and made my way down to the Greyhound terminal. If I remember correctly, the bus left the terminal just as the sun was starting to peek out, and the trip to Lexington took about two hours. I spent my time on the bus immersed in one of several mix-tapes I'd made specially for the day - all U2, of course. I specifically remember leaning against the window, watching the scenery whiz by while Bono's 1988 collaboration with T-Bone Burnett, "Purple Heart", played over my headphones.

Once I disembarked in Lexington, I bought some breakfast from a local McDonalds, then took a moment to get my geographical bearings. This was before GPS, of course, so I had taken some time the night before to mark my path from the bus terminal to the venue on my map, which I had carefully folded into the pocket on the leg of my cargo pants. Even knowing what road to walk, though, I still had to be careful to go in the right direction. After a couple of false starts, I found myself at Rupp Arena at about 9:45 in the morning. There were a few people there before me, but not many at all. If memory serves, I was number 12 in line that day.

I'd never been in a position before where I was surrounded by people with whom I shared a passion as dear to me as U2's music was (and still is) and I will probably never forget the people I met that day. The spirit of kinship was strong among the U2 fans that day, and I remember talking with various fans about a variety of topics - all revolving around the band - from past setlists to favorite concert videos. I recall that at some point during the day, someone bought several pizzas and shared them with everybody in the line. I also remember leaning back against the wall under the hot sun and drifting off to sleep after being there for several hours - I hadn't gotten a lot of sleep the night before!

We were all standing on a sidewalk that looked down onto a loading bay on one side, and at one point in the afternoon, someone shouted that Bono was coming. I ran to the railing and looked down, and sure enough, one of my heroes, wearing his camouflage green cap, was slowly walking up the hill from the lower stadium entrance to where all of us fans were gathered. Once he reached us, he stood and chatted with us for a few minutes, shaking hands and signing autographs. I snapped a few pictures from a distance, but was literally struck dumb when Bono shook my hand and spoke to me. I couldn't think of a single thing to say, so I just smiled and shook his hand vigorously.

Several hours later, we were finally let into the arena. I remember the mad rush to get inside, all of us jockeying for position. I ended up right against the railing, on the front row, so to speak, directly in front of Adam on the right side of the stage. PJ Harvey opened for U2, of course, and I enjoyed her set, but all I could concentrate on was that every second brought me that much closer to U2 taking the stage.

Finally, the time arrived and U2 walked out on stage to the strains of the pre-recorded Elevation remix that intro'd each show of the tour. Now, we know that that remix was called the Influx remix, but at the time it was unknown to me and I remember thinking that I had to get a copy of it somehow. I have several memories from the show but the two overriding ones are these: First, at one point during the show, in between songs, Adam, who had been watching me throughout the show, amused at my over-the-top enthusiasm, I'm sure, stepped back and whispered something to Larry, who then leaned out from behind his drum kit and looked at me, smiling. Maybe it was just the thrill of being that close to the band, but I've always thought that they were talking about me. Adam must have said something like "You've gotta check this kid out - he's going nuts with every song, having the time of his life" - and I absolutely was! The second strongest memory that I have of the show is of being moved to tears during "Bad". Such majesty and beauty that all the hardships of every day life, coupled with everything I'd gone through to get there and the joy of spending the day with others like myself just overwhelmed me and I stood there while the band played, tears streaming down my face, openly weeping. It sounds trite now, when I talk about it, but that probably remains the single most affecting moment of music in my entire life.

After the show, I was lucky enough to snag the set-list from a kind man who was starting the work of dismantling the stage. I then had about an 8 hour wait until the next bus back to Cincinnati. I spent the night walking up and down the streets of Lexington, listening to more of my mix-tapes, reliving the amazing experience I'd just been given over and over in my head. When the bus at last pulled into the Lexington Greyhound terminal the next morning, I was so exhausted that I fell asleep almost immediately upon boarding and finding a seat. I remember very little of the trip home, but it was a deep satisfied sleep that left me feeling refreshed and alive when I awakened just as the bus pulled into Cincinnati. As I said above, it's nothing short of miraculous that everything came together as smoothly as it did. For the next few days, whenever anyone would ask me how the concert was, I had one response that I gave over and over: "It was like being inside joy".

 

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The first concert of my life was you (U2) in São Paulo, Brazil 

First, second and third! 09/10 and 13 April 

It was a hard time have got to go to those concerts, I was afraid of not getting a ticket, was the dream of my life, thank God everything worked out. 

Slept in line to buy a ticket, which sold out in just minutes, and also slept for 4 days at the door of the Morumbi stadium, to see them up close! 

And if to do again, I would surely, all for the love of U2. 

The band that guide my life since I was born. 

I can only thank for you there. 

Thanks, Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry for everything!

#unforgettablegig #U2 #SOI

 

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my first concert was in 1981 at the Montreal Forum and it was Queen... that nignt i felt like a was in heaven at only 15 years old i'd never listen to music like i was before. sorry but no pictures at that time...

Patrick Lartigue

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Well my first concert was U2 War Tour at The Tower in Philly.  I was 16 and my then boyfriend dragged me to see you guys.  I was not a fan at the time as I was really into the Police. He was rabid about you.  However, as the night progressed a funny thing happened, I started to really like what I was hearing.  Bono was such an exceptional front man and the entire band was so good that the moment I heard I Will Follow it was all over.  The next day I drove down to the record store and bought everything available from that young band from Ireland.  I have seen U2 at least once every tour since that tour.  Boyfriends come and go but U2 is forever. 

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The year was 1984, Silent Running were a band coming out of Belfast and making a big impression with their debut album 'Shades of Liberty' They were playing in a venue in Glasgow called 'Night Moves' & myself and some friends decided to travel through to see them. We were barely teenagers at the time & money was limited so in orderto assure my child fare on the bus through to Glasgow I took my birth lines with me, The venue was licensed so we then had to act all mature and 18 to get in, ridiculous looking back with us thinking wmaturity was lowering the tone of your voice to a deeper scale & talking about girls and drink loudly whilst looking the age we actually were....and rather silly.

 

By hook or by crook we got into the gig (our age was immaterial the venue just wanted our money) The band were superb, the gig has long lived in my memory. I met Mick McNiel of Simple Minds (at that time) fame and got his autograph on a small piece of scrap paper & was delighted, Then out of the blue Silent Running appeared & obviously I wanted their autographs but i had no paper....So i handed over my official birthlines which caused much humour with the band, however as they asked me my name, in the chaos someone shouted 'WALLY!!' (which kind of means idiot) at someone in the crowd of autograph hunters who was pushing from behind me & they thought this was my name so signed my birthlines, etched for all eternity as ' To Wally..'

 

As you can imagine when i got home & my parents discovered my defaced birthlines they were not best pleased (but did see the funny side re 'Wally') the downside of this is anytime i have to produce my birthlines for any official purpose I am nearly always asked 'Who's Wally?' ....life can be cruel

 

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I've got a story from the first time I saw the band in Sydney in 1989.  There was a small group of us from school who'd travelled to the concert and we decided to wait outside the arena after the show to (hopefully) meet the guys.  After 30-40 minutes, the door opened and out they came.  The crowd of fans was probably only about 50 people and security were letting us through the gate in small groups to meet them.  Of course, you couldn't get anywhere near Bono, but I found myself chatting to Edge and Adam along with a couple of other people, one of whom was in our group.  We'd made some small talk about the show and the Australian tour and my 'friend' (who fancied himself as a guitarist) blurted out to Edge that he had "dropped a chord in Bullet the Blue Sky"!  To Edge's great credit, he apologised and said it was one of those things that occasionally happened when playing live.  I was so embarrassed I wanted the ground to swallow me ...

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October. Now isn't that fitting.
I was a kid. Fifteen years old. This was 1987. I was best friends with my cousin, Ann. She was in college at Mizzou (Columbia, MO, USA). I went up there all the time to visit- we always had a blast. There was a record store in town, Streetside Records. Back in the day it was THE place to get all your tunes and tickets to shows. I had been really, really (Really) into all things U2 since the first time I heard the single "With or Without You" earlier that year. After I heard that song (as soon as I could get to Streetside Records), I bought up everything I could find from this mesmerizing band from Ireland. For a broke high school girl, purchasing Boy, October, War, The Unforgettable Fire, and any bootleg and B-side I could find all at once was a major endeavor. I bought CDs, I bought cassettes, I bought vinyl. And so it began. I couldn't get enough of this music.

 

Ann and I heard about the upcoming tour, and we were on a mission. We tried to get tickets to the concert in St. Louis the conventional way at the time- on hold with Ticketmaster. This was pre-smart phone, pre- Stub Hub. Well, the show was sold out in a matter of hours. And we didn't get squat. We next stood in line at Streetside to get a lottery number, which, if we were lucky, would be a low enough number to get tickets from THEM before they were sold out. Again, we got nothing. I was bummed, to say the least. Well, what do you know- the college kids working at Streetside saw my misery, and clued us in that the little smoke shop down the street had purchased a block of tickets. Hope was alive again. We ran over there, and we got two seats on the bus. And two tickets to see U2 live at The Arena in St. Louis. It was a freakin' miracle.

 

So, on the afternoon of October 25, 1987, we hopped on a bus with about 50 people we didn't know. But they weren't strangers. They were comrades. They were fellow U2 fans. I had never been so excited in my entire life. I still remember how cold it was that day. I remember the (very strong) smell of weed and patchouli. That bus ride to St. Louis was one hell of a party. We laughed, we told stories, we plotted ways to meet the band after the show, and we sang. We sang every U2 song we knew. Loudly and badly. But it was beautiful.

 

We got to our seats- lower level, about three sections back from the stage. Sweet! We got a treat with the opening band: The BoDeans. They were great and the crowd loved them. For me, it was all I could take to stand there waiting between sets for "my boys" to take the stage. We're talking six months of anticipation here. This was HUGE. All those who saw the Joshua Tree Tour will remember: The house lights went down. Next, the stage lights and background screen went red. Then the first chords of "Where the Streets Have No Name" blared out. I had goose bumps. I was screaming. And then the four boys from Dublin walked onto the stage and the place erupted like nothing I'd ever heard before.

 

The show, needless to say, was beyond awesome. Ann laughed at me, because I literally did not take my eyes of the stage from the time they started playing until after the encore. I was so transfixed, I almost didn't dance at all or sing along. I was soaking. Soaking in this wondrous first live experience with my favorite band in the world. The band that is still my favorite, after all these years. The band that I've seen live at least twice with every tour since that night. The band that got me through most of my adolescence; that got me through high school, and break-ups, and realizations of surrounding dysfunction, and loss of idealism about the world. Streetside Records is gone now. The Arena has been torn down. Ann isn't my best friend anymore. Things change. But my love and respect for this band, their music, their principles, and their actions, remains.  Forever.

Here are pics of my ticket stub and a poster I bought that October night:

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