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'Vinyl Special' U2.com SOI Limited Edition Giveaway

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Without a moment’s hesitation, he reached out and touched the boot. I didn’t have the guts, but Jack? He was adventurous, daring, definitely the cool kid. We stood in the front row of the Luther College gymnasium as Mike Peters and the boys from The Alarm ripped through the finale--the title track off their new album “The Eye of the Hurricane.”

I was content to admire the spikey hair, stylish vests and fat-body guitars. Jack needed a more tangible connection. Like the desperate mother extending a hand for just a faint brush of Jesus’ healing cloak, Jack’s fingertip brush with that black leather boot atop the monitor was a miracle. Peters acknowledged the touch with a smile from above, and I knew that rock ‘n’ roll was Gospel set to a backbeat, the players the preachers, the crowds the converts starving for the Word.

 

Greg Adams

 

(Me, left, Jack, right)

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2011 was the best year of my life .... U2 360 went to the grandest and blistering concert my life .... I could hardly believe it was close to my biggest idols, BONO, THE EDGE, ADAM AND LARRY. was ... a dream .... I wanted to show that these days in Brazil never ran out ... Besides going to the show, I could go to the hotel where BONO and tHE EDGE were staying ... after long hours of waiting they appeared in front of the hotel and started signing autographs people who were there ... I could not believe I was face to face with my idol ... got autographs BONO and EDGE, the EDGE I tattooed on my arm , will be a memory for all my life .... can not wait for the next tour and get to see my idols again ... I always dreamed of my whole life to meet them and this happened .... they are all I imagined and dreamed .. wonderful and amazing people

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January 1991 and I'm off to see The Ramones at Festival Hall in Brisbane. Problem is my foot is in a cast and I'm on crutches after breaking my ankle playing rugby. Worse still I plan (or I should day my GF's plans) are to sit down during the concert because of my mobility issues! Two songs into the Ramones gig and I can't sit still and tell my GF that I can't sit with her and that I'm headed for the floor. I get up and head down to the security dude at the floor gate who instead of ordering me back to my seat just smiles and lets me through. I make my way through the crowd to a spot where I'm happy and all the while theres people slapping me on the back and cheering me on. I can vividly recall raising my crutches in triumph and doing my best to oscillate wildly whilst the strangers around me smiled and occasionally grabbed the crutches off me. One time I went down and was helped back up by what seemed to be a hundred hands. What an awesome night, somehow almost better than normal because I was slightly disabled on the night. RIP Ramones, I saw them about half a dozen times, once even in London where they were supported by the Anti Nowhere League. I have included the poster from the night and my ticket stub along with a poster that I had bought 14 months previous when I saw them at the same venue in 1989 (maybe soon, I have to work out how to shrink the photo sizes). Gabba Gabba Hey! Now my son who is only 7 is a Ramones fanatic, I recently had to re-sync his iPod and he came back to me half an hour later to tell me I had forgotten to add The Ramones.

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OK. Here goes!

 

See the whole thing here.

 

I'd grown up around music, but it was of the classical variety. My dad was a concert violinist and couldn’t help me much in the early ‘90s when it came to “modern” music. My first album was Achtung Baby. I got the right to choose one by selling magazines during my middle school fundraiser. I didn’t get enough points for the police siren, so CD it was. I didn’t know U2 in 1993. I didn’t know anyone. I made my selection based on album cover. It was AB, the Crash Test Dummies or Petty. A girl told me to go with U2, and, well, you listen to girls.

1997 rolled around. I was a U2 fan by then, but still a concert virgin. Not just U2. Any band. Pop had been released, and then I heard about Popmart. Not only that, but that it was coming to tiny Eugene, Ore. Thank good for Autzen Stadium; the only suitable stadium in all of Oregon to host a concert large enough. I went by myself. None of my friends had the kind of money for a ticket like that. $60. The whole town got a free concert, of course. And in the days afterward everyone knew U2 would never come back to Eugene. I sat in the back, among people who were mostly twice my age. I had no idea what to expect. I was blown away, of course. Every concert I’ve seen since, and I’ve seen many, I’ve compared to that one. I didn’t know what emotions people were supposed to feel at a concert. I didn’t know whether they were supposed to sit down or stand, or what they were supposed to do with their hands. Even the concept of lighters didn’t make sense yet (I was areally late bloomer). And then, during “Please,” I stood, and I put my arms up, and I think I cried. That was my memory, at least. Bono was singing lyrics, but I understood that he was talking to me directly, when he said to “get up; please.”
 
The following week I wrote about my experience for a class project. It was a proto-review; the first of thousands of times I would write about music. You can still read it, here. It’s … not my best work, unless you want to know which buses I took to the stadium, or how U2 came out of a lemon, or how the entire experience overwhelmed me forever. 

At that point, I hadn’t yet seen U2 60-plus times. I had yet to camp in front of arenas and stadiums across this country and others. I had yet to meet some of my closest friends, start an illegal campfire in a parking lot, run a “list” or write numbers on people’s wrists. I had yet to become a journalist to write about the work and lives of musicians (as I do now), I had yet to get married, turn my wife into a U2 fan and drag her around the world, I had yet to have  two of my own kids to take to a concert. I hadn’t yet interviewed the band one-on-one (actually, I’m still waiting for that. Can you put in a good word? I promise I’d be interesting and I would challenge them for insights). 

But, really, everything I am now dates to the moment I got that album, Achtung Baby, and that first concert. May 6, 1997.
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Edited by Romi

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Picture it...1984..just turned 17.. first concert ever..Worcester Centrum MA..hot stagnant air with the smell of the occassional pot smoke..lights go down and the TVs on stage start up..it's The Clash walking into the Centrum..this started a night of pure excitement I've never experienced before..at one point the stage was taken over by well over 50 fans..the band keeps playing..controlled chaos..song ends and the stage clears..a mutual respect between fans and artist I havent seen since U2 shows..everytime I hear a Clash song I'm taken back to that unforgettable night.

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My father took me to Bruce Springsteen play at the Amway Arena in Orlando, FL.  It was a graduation present from my mother and him, but most of all, it was a rite of passage. Bruce had no opener that night, just 4 hours of sweat, screams, and rock & roll. My father knew the usher in our section who invited us to sneak into the "VIP" section of the station where the fans willing to drop major cash so that the Boss could hear them shout out "Spirit in the Night!" or "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out."

 

I never really thanked my father enough for that night. Perhaps I simply did not understand the significance of it at the time. Growing up as the second son, I often felt as a shadow to my older brother. We had the same teachers, played on the same football team, I got his hand-me-down clothes. Springsteen's rasp was one thing that I uniquely held. It was a love my father and I shared. Whether it was intended or not, with each bead of sweat dripping off of Bruce's elbow was a symbol, an anointing, a blessing from my father.   

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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 concert, a show that forever left a mark on my life.

 

It was late July, 1993.  My best friend had called me to tell me that she and her dad had heard a commercial during the weekly broadcast of The American Top 40 announcing that there was a contest going on to go see U2 in Dublin in August.  She didn't catch all the details, so it was my mission the next week to see if I could hear it.  I did and I got the details.  All you had to do was call this 1-800 number and register.  I called and got through, gave my info and was officially registered (the only requirement was that you had to be home to take the call the day that they were announcing the winners).  I called my best friend to give her the number and have her register. She registered and we made a promise to each other that if one of us won, we would take the other.  So both of us arranged to have that day off and spent most of the day talking on the phone (we both had call waiting) and waited.  Around 3 that afternoon, she had an incoming call and she put me on hold for what felt like an eternity.  It was probably only about 20 minutes, but when she returned, it would change my life forever.  WE WERE GOING TO DUBLIN TO SEE U2! The next few days were a whirlwind.  We had to get passports (which we were supposed to have already) expedited and make work arrangements and get ready to make our journey across the Atlantic Ocean.  I was so excited and nervous because I was a small town girl that had barely been anywhere, much less on an airplane to another country.

 

15277717549_7a0af7418a_n.jpgscan0003 by mich40u2, on Flickr

 

15441501116_f7ccb9c88a_n.jpgscan0002 by mich40u2, on Flickr

 

Fast-forward to August 25.  We departed on our journey and arrived in Dublin on August 26th.  We were greeted by the Music Awareness Group that was doing the contest, given our itinerary, our spending money and met up with the other 6 sets of winners of the contest.  While we were chatting with the other winners, we realized how much this trip and this concert was meant to be for us.  We were all talking about how we had registered and the question came up, "How many times did you call?" We found out that the other winners had all called between 20-80 times a piece and registered that many times.  When they asked my friend and me, I'm not sure who was shocked more, us or them.  I had called one time.  She had called one time.  One time.  Unbelievable!

 

August 27, 1993.  The day of the show.  We had a pre-show party at the hotel and then walked down to the RDS where U2 were playing.  The streets were a party and I felt like I was in the best dream ever.  Inside the stadium was buzzing with energy.  Our seats were to the side on Edge's side and we watched as the sea of people on the field waved back and forth like waves in the ocean.  I had never seen anything like it in my 22 years.  The opening bands came and went and then U2 hit the stage.  It was the first time I had seen them in almost a year and to see them in their hometown was absolutely amazing and almost unreal to me.  I was still convinced that I must be dreaming.  The show was the updated ZooTV show with the added Zooropa songs and each and every song was a part of the soundtrack of my unforgettable moment.  I danced and sang to every song, and cried several times during the show because I was so happy to be there.  At every show, Bono would call someone on his telephone from the stage and that night he called home.  He was told by his little girl that he couldn't come home until he took his devil horns (from his Macphisto persona) off.  He did take them off and the night couldn't have been more beautiful.

 

15277898000_d55a7b58e5_n.jpgscan0004 by mich40u2, on Flickr

 

15277969648_2335542162_n.jpgscan0006 by mich40u2, on Flickr

 

15464609545_dc6d9392dc_n.jpgscan0007 by mich40u2, on Flickr

 

15461460181_8c697e8ac3_n.jpgscan0008 by mich40u2, on Flickr

 

To this day, I cannot believe that I got to see my favorite band in their hometown with my best friend. We still go to every show together and have seen them 18 times together and looking forward to adding to that.  Not only that, but I went to Dublin to see U2 but came home, having fallen in love with a city and a country.  I have now been back 5 times since then.

 

When I read the album notes to Songs of Innocence for 'The Miracle" and "California," I couldn't help but think that Bono and the rest of the band "get it."  Those songs describe how I felt going to Dublin and seeing them there.  I liked U2 when I first saw the "Gloria" video in 1983, but having that experience left such a deep mark on me that they have been the soundtrack of my life since then.  I've had several amazing moments at their shows since then, but that night in Dublin still stands out in my mind like it was yesterday.

Edited by mich40
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Best gig of my life was 360 Pittsburgh. Not only was it my 3rd 360 gig and my 4th U2 show ever, I had recently learned I was expecting my 2nd baby. (I had my firstborn only 4 weeks after my very first U2 show, Vertigo Pittsburgh).

 

And if the news of my pregnancy wasn't enough, I met Bono and Edge that day when they greeted fans outside of Heinz Field. And when I told Bono my good news, he reached through the barricade and rubbed my barely-there baby bump. That moment was a highlight for me as a mom, a wife, and a U2 fan. Thanks, B. I can't wait to bring my little girl to a show someday. (Her big brother was at 360 E. Lansing)

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Better than a picture...I have video. PBS filmed Tears For Fears at First Avenue in Minneapolis and I can be found at the 1:51 mark singing my heart out.

 

 

Drove six hours to the show. Ran into Roland Orzabal by chance in the parking lot before the show. Got backstage passes. Had dinner with the opening act and got into the show early for front row access. Went to the Tears For Fears after show party. Drove home in a blizzard that extended the return trip to about nine hours. My roommate dropped me off at work for a 12 hour shift as we pulled into town and coffee plus adrenaline from the previous night kept me upright for the rest of the day.

 

Band was great. Experience will never be forgotten. Almost 20 years have passed and I still remember it vividly...and thanks to YouTube, it survives on video as well.

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post-290081-0-83507900-1412648787_thumb.jpgOne of my favorite U2 concert memories was from Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan on Vertigo Tour 10/25/05.  My friend & I ended up with an extra paid of GA tickets that we weren't able to sell before entering the arena, or more accurately we couldn't find a fan in need instead of touts looking to mark them up.  It was time to enter the venue and get our own GA wristbands and we still had the extra tix.  As I was watching the opening act, I glanced up at the nosebleed section behind the stage and thought - that has got to be a lousy view from that section, I bet some nice fan up there deserves to be on the floor, so off we went to literally the last row of the worst section in the arena.  I spotted a young couple and asked if they needed better seats.  They didn't understand, and by that I mean that they literally didn't understand English, as well as not understanding that I was really offering them tickets at no cost.  We muddled through some broken English as we walked down to the floor of the arena together.  Turns out they were from Spain, in the US on their honeymoon and decided at last minute to fly from NYC to Detroit to see U2 (seriously, why else would anyone go to Detroit on their honeymoon) but sadly they got ripped off with those nosebleed seats and so they were delighted to find themselves on the floor.  But wait, there's more…just then I spotted a laminated tour crew member who was assisting a fan in a wheelchair.  I told him that this couple was from Spain, on their honeymoon, and before I could finish explaining, he gave all of us pit wristbands.  So in less than 30 minutes they went from literally the worse seats in the arena to being 10 feet away from the band in the heart.  Gas/Dinner/GA tickets $150, the look of disbelief on their face and tears of joy #priceless  Pretty sure it was an #UnforgettableGig for them.  

Edited by MaryC

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