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Hi,

 

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 …

Whow!!!

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,

 

Christian

 

 

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

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Dream out loud #unforgettablegig U2 in Dublin, August 27, 1993   This is not about my very first concert (Journey, 1986), nor my very first U2 concert (Atlanta, 1992).  It is about my fourth U2 con

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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.

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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!'

 

Amazing.

 

Legend.

 

Here's the setlist...

 

Dorita

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

Strawman

Riptide

Hookywooky

I'm waiting for the man

Vicious

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.

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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

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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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