I do remember my very first concert ever…and it was a U2 concert! Rotterdam, 1987, the 10th of June. It was sheer magic – despite the cliché, it is like falling in love really; the moment you’ve been struck you realize, “oh, this is what they mean with falling…”
Anyway, I was sixteen and I finally had my parents agree to go to “that rock-show,” together with my friends and mates from school. And it was me that joined the queue one early Saturday morning to buy us all tickets. One of the most nerve-wrecking mornings of my life actually, not only because at 6 am the queue was already very long but also because I had more money in my pocket than ever before. The aim was to get us all – six or eight, I’m not really sure – the so-called “field-tickets.” But by the time I had reached the counter to buy the tickets, these field-tickets had already gone for both nights (U2 was about to play the 10th and 11th of June). What was left were seats on the second ring of the Kuip stadium. I thus bought the seats for the first night but I felt that I have let my friends down who had trusted me their money for the highly anticipated field-tix. I blamed myself for not getting more early in the queue (but what did I know?).
These were, of course, times without internet or cell phone. Only when I got back home I learned that the news had announced the fasted sell-out of concert tickets ever – it was U2 coming to Holland and everybody wanted to be there!
My friends were anxiously waiting for my return, slightly anticipating me coming back empty handed. So when I showed them the orange tickets, they were overly excited and celebrated me as a hero – or heroine actually!
From the show I remember us hanging over the railing of the second ring, singing and shouting like it was a championship match. And we all, the whole stadium came out winning. That feeling of community and friends I have felt over and over again at every U2 show I have attended until now: from Brussels to Boston, from San Diego to Gelschenkirchen and many, many times back home in Amsterdam. And the best concerts are those when “Streets” and “Pride” are sung so loud that even the boys themselves stumble a little on their feet – that’s when I remember my first concert and think, “ yeah, it was just like that!” The best concert ever, over and over again!
Magically, a little less cliché this time, a photograph of me at my first-concert-ever does exist for it had appeared in some Dutch newspaper. It was taken when fans higher up on the second ring enrolled a really large banner. I do remember this happening and you see me from the back watching the sight. I know who is me in the photograph because I am the only one with blond hair wearing a black Joshua Tree t-shirt and I am standing right behind the rail of the second ring – I’ve included the picture with an orange angle pointing at my head!