It was my first U2 concert, and it topped all other gigs before and since: San Siro, Milano, July 7, 2009. My brother and I wanted to see U2 outside of the UK, as UK fans just aren't the right kind of crazy about U2 as the rest of the world. It turned out the band were playing in Milan, one day after my 21st birthday, in one of the best stadiums in the world - this had to happen now!
We had been told that we had tickets and we had to pick them up from the band's hotel (a Live Nation contact I think). It turns out that my brother wasn't even sure we had them, we just had to hope that they were there (a lot riding on this given the special birthday). So trying to manoeuvre Milan and find the hotel, we had our hands on them.
5pm came, and out to the stadium on the subway we went. Scorching heat, sweating by the time we even arrived, it was great to just soak up the atmosphere as the crowd came in. Our seats were right on the half way line, and a near perfect view. I can't imagine "The Claw" looking more perfect in any other stadium; stage, dead centre, the crystal point, poking just out of the top. Snow Patrol were supporting, and a good start. Then the main event came: "ten, nine, eight…"
From Breathe through to Moment of Surrender, it was the best 2 hours (or so) of my life. We laughed, we cried, sang Happy Birthday to Eve, sung our hears out to Unknown Caller ("You know your name, so punch it in; Milano"), held each other during With or Without You, and joined the echo of "oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh" to exit the stadium singing "Moment of Surrender", long after the band had departed.
I knew that a U2 concert would be special, but this showed everyone how it could (and should) be done.