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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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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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