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David Bowie


Montreux Jazz Festival


July 18, 2002


 


My friend Isa and I headed to Montreux to see David Bowie perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival. It was the first (and only) time I ever saw David Bowie in concert, so I didn’t know what I was in for. Expectations were high to be seeing such a legendary performer in such a legendary setting, and there was an incredible buzz of anticipation in the audience when we arrived at the venue.


 


We actually arrived quite late, but the doors were still closed. The Stravinsky Auditorium is the main venue at the Montreux Jazz festival, and it has multiple doors on all sides. Just after we arrived, the crew very unexpectedly opened only one door into the auditorium, which was precisely the door where we were waiting. Seizing this opportunity of a lifetime, we moved quickly and ended up front row center along with the lucky few who had been standing and waiting at the same door.


 


What happened next is impossible to describe in words. The concert was mesmerizing from beginning to end. David Bowie’s performance was otherworldly, and his stage presence was electrifying. I had seen numerous concerts before, and many more since then (including many incredible U2 shows such as the tiny Man Ray club show in Paris in 2000), but that night will forever top them all. Everything was perfect - location, sheer luck, sound, performance, set list. In fact, after a full two hour set, Bowie returned to perform the entire “Low” album as an encore. One of his most cherished records, and of course one of his Berlin albums from the late 70s, recorded at Hansa studio, which was to become a pivotal location for U2 a little over a decade later.


 


This concert was so incredible that we forgot to take pictures. Though we managed to get a setlist from the stage after the show…


 


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Well, my best memory is about the last U2 gig in Sao Paulo, Brazil, April-2011. I met great friends while in the line around the Stadium before the show, and after three years we're still good friends, despite the distance between us (If you don't know, Brazil is a continental nation, and some of them live thousand miles away from me).
 
Hours before the second concert, the unforgettable April-10 (Out of Control, Zooropa, North Star... if you know what I mean...), at sunday morning, me and other two friends (one of them I met the day before) went on a helicopter and ride above the beautiful city of Sao Paulo... AND the Morumbi Stadium! That was insane!!!!!
 
Just one thing I can't understand, from those days til' now, WTF my girlfriend agreed to keep our relationship, even after I was in public with my MacPhisto costume. It was quite embarrasing, I know...  

 

mosaico_zps4f147b38.jpg

 

Vagner Giacomazzi

Tietê, São Paulo - Brazil

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October 15, 2012. It's my last day in Glasgow, Scotland, and the concert I traveled across the Atlantic Ocean is about to begin. How did I get here?


My freshman year in high school was concluding, but my love for a particular band had only begun. I discovered the two girl indie duo BOY on Facebook, when I pressed play on a YouTube video that would change my life. It was their single "Little Numbers" that I couldn't stop replaying. It was just so catchy, and fun to listen to. I loved the song so much, and I just wanted more of their music.


A month or two passed, and they released their first album Mutual Friends in Europe. I went on eBay to purchase their new album the first day I saw it was up for sale. Once it finally came in through the mail from Switzerland, I received an album I couldn't resist to stop playing.


BOY's album Mutual Friends gave me a whole different way to look at all the things in my life. Valeska Steiner's beautiful voice graced my ears, along with Sonja Glass' lovely backup singing voice. The lyrics they wrote were down to earth, impacting, and sincere. Their music struck me like no other band has done before (other than U2!), and their music changed my life by building me as a more nicer, soothing, calm person I am today.


One day, I was looking through their tour dates, for I was dying to see them play live in concert. They were playing a few European gigs, but opening for the lovely Georgian-British singer Katie Melua in many European gigs. I noticed a gig that stood out the most to me: The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, Scotland. I looked up some pictures of Glasgow, and the city looked beautiful. Then I thought to myself 'how amazing would it be to see BOY in Glasgow, Scotland?' Sure, it seemed like the impossible, but I thought I'd ask my father for the heck of it.


I went to my father sometime in late June, and told him the concert date, and where it would be taking place. He couldn't believe I was asking him such a question, but then he even thought to himself "that would actually be pretty cool." October 15 is close to my birthday (October 23, 1996), and I told him that it would be the best birthday present ever. After days and days of discussing about it and doing research on how to get there, my father decided to make my dream come true.


He booked a plane ride for the just the two of us leaving to Glasgow, Scotland on Friday October 12, 2012, and purchased the tickets through the internet. We would leave the day after the concert, making it a 3 day stay in Glasgow, Scotland, and ending the trip with the concert.


Here we are in Glasgow, Scotland. We landed safely on Saturday, October 13, and we spent that day and Sunday running around Scotland.  On the last day, we went to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to see BOY open for Katie Melua.


Their performance was excellent. It was just Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass playing their beautiful songs with two acoustic guitars, and a MAC laptop playing the drums. They only played for a half hour, but it was one of the best 30 minutes of my life. Katie Melua also played a lovely concert.


Once the concert concluded, I hung around the lobby of the concert hall. I bought another copy of their album, hoping they would come out to the merchandise counter to sign some items.


Moments later, they did.


They signed a few autographs for fans, and then I approached them. I told Valeska and Sonja I came all the way from the United States just to see their opening gig, and how big of a fan I am of their music. They were so kind, and were thrilled to see one of their fans come from such a far distance to see them play. We took a picture together, talked for a while, I gave them a hug, and I went back to my hotel for my last night in Scotland.


The next day, they went on their Facebook page, and thanked me for coming out to their show. I printed it out, and it is hanging in my room.


When I was talking to them, they let me in on a little secret: they were about to book some gigs in the United States. They said if they ever came, they would love to see me again.


A month later, they announced an acoustic tour across small venues in the United States. They announced a Philadelphia date, and I bought tickets for the whole family.


I went to see them play a full hour and a half concert, and it was just as amazing as the first time. They sounded beautiful, and it was a lovely intimate concert.


When the concert was over, they said they would sign autographs in the lobby of the venue. I waited to be the last one, so I could get to talk to them again.


I approached the table where they were signing autographs, and right off the bat they remembered who I was. "MARK!" Sonja said, with a big smile on my face. "OH MY GOSH!" Sonja said, with the same reaction.


I couldn't believe it. The band that I loved so much to listen to, and one that impact my life in a great way remembered who I was. I gave them a hug again, and we chatted for a little while.


The BOY gig in Glasgow was an amazing experience, and one that I will never forget. And it still amazes me that of all the places they have been to and fans they met, they still recognized me.


I thank BOY for their beautiful music, and the concert experience that I shall remember forever.


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I live in New York City & back in the 1990's I worked for HMV Records on West 72 Street on the Upperwest side & I was talking to one of my co-workers on the main sales floor about U2 & she was telling me how much she loved Larry Mullen.

As she goes back to her department to go back to work guess who comes walking in wearing all black with his sleeves rolled up, Larry Mullen !!!

He picks some cd's then goes to our customer service desk to pay for them. He then signed a a few autographs, chats for a moment & then shakes hands ( including mine) & leaves the store.

My co-worker comes back to the main sales floor a few minutes later & she thinks I'm joking when I told her Larry Mullen was just in the store. She soon realized I was telling the truth when customers were telling people they meet Larry Mullen.

Talk about Unforgettable Fire.

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I don't have an early gig with photos which I can recount, as when I was a kid I had a very sheltered life. I grew up in a very orthodox jewish family and had no clue of the outside world culture.So no rock, no art, not pop culture at all.  

 

One day a friend have me a tape of Areosmith's "Dream On", it blew me away. my eyes opened up for the first time, I could not believe how fantastic this alien sound was, it opened me up to things, music, culture totally foreign to me.  Ever since I have loved to see and feel things that are new and different to me.  Music is a universal language and U2 are the pied piers that lead the way....and i blissfully follow

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A precious moment introducing the U2 Live experience to my son. It is July 2005; U2's Vertigo Tour.

 

Wow imagine 3 concert in Amsterdam. You know I'm a Dutch fan. What a treat to have these much in your little country. As all time fan heading up for as much concerts as possible, but limited to be within budget reach. Damn got way to less concert tickets for this tour. Germany 2 times; Netherlands 2 times, not even 3 times for the Netherlands! but only for 2 dates in a row; 13th and 15th of July the Amsterdam Arena; but the ideal venue the tour caravan stops by for me as Dutch fan; the less travel the more concerts. But unfortunately less budget.

 

13th and 15th July 2005:

Fantastic concerts, however sound issues in this big hall....where are the times the good old stadium De Kuip in Rotterdam was used as the ultimate venue. Thinking back to a big gigs I have seen there. Nonetheless the pleasure to see, hear, feel and EXPERIENCE U2 was the ultimate goal and again was more than awesome.

 

16th July 2005:

Thinking about how to get at the 3rd date concert the 16th of July. Decided to go, see to get tickets for reasonable price and from trusted source.....that´s a silly thought on the date of the concert. Moreover because I decided to take my 14 year old son with me which again makes up 2 tickets needed. Nevertheless as having a father being big fan and collector, he had been infected yet by the U2 virus for a long time and the time had come.....

 

As expected no tickets, but decided to sit outside the Amsterdam Arena in something that looks like a corridor. Pretty near to one of the Arena entrances. The concerts starts+ wow unbelieve sound outside the Arena so much better than within. But missing the chance to be part of the incredible and ecstatic audience we hear makes us somewhat sad.

Suddenly as if it was planned for us it looks like the entrance we were sitting near was not secured. No moment of hazitation and running to the entrance. Stairs up as fast as possible; seeing security personell running downstairs from the stairs of another entrance; Lucky bastards we are even no security upstairs. We succeeded to be in the Arena without tickets for this 3rd night show in Amsterdam.

 

This was the first U2 concert for my son. Both he and I full of adrenalin due to what just happened; I bet the band must have heard us on stage at least our beating hearts. What a great, great feeling this evening has given us. And the best part of it: the looks of my son being part of this great family of outrageous fans during the gig .... as if he was drugged. Yeah right: ADRENALIN!!!

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well it was over 40 years ago when my friend Billy Goldman took me into NYC to a concert hall called The Academy Of Music in Sept. 1973 to see a band that me and Billy were playing in our set list called King Crimson. On the bill was Spooky Tooth with Mick Jones on guitar and Mike Harrison on vocals and they played stuff from their new album "You Broke My Heart.... So I Busted Your Jaw" and when they played the track "Moriah" I was in awe of how great a band can sound. Then came Strawbs with Cousins, Hudson & Ford and Blue Weaver and Lambert on guitar and as much as loved their songs the mix was lousy and alot of feedback and Dave Cousins Bitching. But then  Crimson appeared with John Wetton, Bill Bruford, David Cross and the wild man of borneo Jamie Muir on everything that wasn't nailed down. They played all of Larks Tongue and enchored with 21 century schitzoid and didn't go to school the next day because when we got home classes already started. Hope I win because I live on ss. disabilty and miss the good ol days.

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It was 2009, I was 14 years old and had never been to anything that I considered to be a "real" concert. My dad was out of town and my mother and sister and I were home. My mom new that Bob Dylan was playing the Santa Barbara bowl that night. The Bowl fits maybe two or three thousand people- it's small. I hadn't ever listened to Bon Dylan. In fact, I thought he wasn't any good at all. I didn't understand how anybody could like his music. For some reason, and despite the show being sold out, my mom sister and I drove to the venue and asked the box office of any tickets were left. They had 3. We bought them on the spot and went in. His voice was incomprehensible. He croaked. But I was hooked, despite being unable to recognize a single tune. I've been a lifelong Dylan fan & believer ever since. That was the first show to change my life.

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SOI_giveaway01_zpsda570dd5.jpg

 

This is a great opportunity for fans to grab a copy of this super rare vinyl release, and this topic is where you need to add your entry.

 

Full details of the offer & requirements can be found here : http://www.u2.com/news/title/vinyl-special

 

 

"What we're looking for from you is a vivid memory of an early gig - or a show that changed your life. 

Could be the first band you saw... or just one you'll never forget. 

 

Anything strange or wonderful take place - or was it a total let-down ? 

 

Did you meet them backstage after the show - or have you never listened to them again? 

 

Extra points if you can include a photo of the night - with your mates or with that weird hairstyle you had at the time or of the poster promoting the gig. 

 

We'll publish some of the best entries on the site and our favourites from U2.com subscribers will receive one of these special Songs Of Innocence vinyl LP's. (You can still enter if you're not a subscriber - we've blagged a few other Songs of Innocence prizes too.) 

 

Post your pictures / links to the story up on social media (Twitter / FB / Instagram etc) using the hashtag #unforgettablegig and enter in (..this thread..).

 

Entries close on Friday October 17th."

 

 

Please keep this topic for ENTRIES ONLY : and any discussion about entries, questions etc, please post in the Discussion thread - best of luck to all

Mexico City, December 2, 1997. Pop Mart.

Front row seat, no ticket. Left of the catwalk. 19 years old, it was my second time seeing U2. Second tour in Mexico, five years apart.

 

I purchased my ticket six months before, had to sleepover on sidewalk to get tickets. Seven friends bought them together, but on the day of the event we just couldn't get together to arrive at once. I got there around two hours before they started, no cel phones, just trying to get a glance of someone that might have arrived. Got into the stadium started walking to my seat, which was floor but all the way to the other end of the stage.

No one had arrived yet, all 6 seats were empty, got myself a beer. Started roaming around, got to see Paul Mcguinness interviewed in front of the stage. About 45 minutes away from starting, Control Machete had just finished its slot, went back to my seat, had to cross about a hundred meters but still none of my friends were around. Thirty minutes to start I was getting really uptight and desperate. I was near the entrance and started walking close to the VIP sections, tickets were gold section and really high price at that time for a 19 year old. I saw a group of people with an usher getting themselves in to the section, I snuck with them, I was the last one getting in and as soon as the usher went back in front of the group I broke into the other direction and started walking straight to the front of the stage. I quickly sat in the middle of the fifth row, as there was no one there. Then I saw that an usher was coming towards me with a bunch of people, so I got up and went to the front rows getting all the way to first row. I sat there when all of a sudden more people came towards me, taking their seats, they came from left and right when boom! They stopped and I saw myself sitting between a girl and a guy. I was really stunned and numb, just waiting for the usher to come and pull me out, crying for them to shut the lights and to start. About thirty minutes went by since I got into the section, my head was spinning in disbelieve that I was in first row and the people surrounding me were not even cared or aware about me being there, miracle or what ever, please don't let anyone come and move me. Little did I know that early on, a major event would take place backstage that would find Mexico been sort of banned for U2 touring the following 9 years. 

Bono(The Boxer) and the gang entered climbing up the catwalk. Front row, standing on the chair singing and jumping, hugging my neighbors so that no One would fall, everyone was standing on those chairs.

 

No one came to pull me off that "empty" seat between two groups of people. Had one of my most memorable concert nights, just my second concert of all time. Now days you have to get bracelets and lots a things to get near.  My friends, I never found them that night and though I tried to pull the same stunt the next day, it was impossible, security was tough.

I grew up and got mentor by these guys.

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