City of Blinding Lights
I Will Follow
New Year’s Day
Stuck In A Moment
Angel of Harlem
Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
Love and Peace
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet the Blue Sky
Pride in the Name of Love
Where the Streets Have No Name
Last night was the most fantastic night of my life. Other than my marriage-day, U2 was definitely a concert worth waiting for. Arriving at the stadium at 5.00pm, I thought it would be filled already – but no, not even a third full.
Having a great seat on the Eastern side of the stand, our bay stood-up seconds after the first sounds of Edge’s guitar began on “City of Blinding Lights“. I turned to SWMBO and said, “This is my favourite song. I didn’t initially, but it grows on you. Beautiful lyrics, great sounds, very empowering, great song!!” I doubt she heard me. The stadium was brimming with noise, from the stage and from the 60,000 people watching the greatest rock band in the world.
When Bono walked out onto that stage with the Australian flag draped across him, I applauded with the rest of the crowd. Not a person hesitated in standing up to show their love of a man who has given so much of himself to his listeners, followers and believers. Bono is to rock’n’roll what religion is to believers. But that doesn’t make him a god, just a great man who believes in humanity, who believes that giving of oneself is not about the church you pray in nor the words you use – it’s about who YOU are.
Throughout the concert there were words, sentences, questions and cryptic clues displayed on the screens around us. Towards the end they were an integral part of the songs. For those of us whose view wasn’t good, we relied on the screens for close-ups of the four Dublin lads performing – therefore we saw the barrage of information, taking it in, probably deep into our sub-conscious.
With or Without YouSecond Encore:
The Saints Are Coming
Facing our side of the stadium were a few (badly-placed) screens that enabled us to enjoy what the mosh-pit was screaming and waving their arms too. The unison of air-punching was an awe-inspiring site, to see so many young people united in their love for this band’s music and performance. Even I got in a few skyward punches during some songs!
When Bono thanked the crowd for “…your patience, your understanding…”, I bet I was NOT the only person to say, “Of course we waited, we knew U2 would be worth it!” It gave me a cold-shiver up my spine when Bono started singing “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own“. Hauntingly true words, he certainly brought it home to the Adelaide crowd who enjoyed every moment of it. My section of the stand stood in silence at the end of the song, only drowning him out with clapping after he ended. I doubt there was a dry-eye in the stadium. Each song was delivered with the passion that Bono was renowned for over the past thirty years, drawing out every emotion, making his audience think and reminding those of us who have listened since the beginning that the message never changes.
We all remember him appearing on stage with Kylie Minogue last week. Being the gentleman that he is, Bono didn’t forget to make mention of his duet. At the end of “Angel of Harlem” the crowd were oh-ho’ing the final chorus – when he slipped in a few bars of “I Should Be So Lucky, Lucky Lucky Lucky!“, bringing a lot of laughter from everyone. He went on to say, “That one’s for the Angel of Sydney.” Well done Bono for recognizing yet another Australian Icon!
Being the activist and ever political, Bono couldn’t help himself. Instead he managed to try to help the rest of the world when he turned “Sunday Bloody Sunday” into a prayer and message about humanity. Intermingled into the lyrics was the simple message: “Don’t become a monster in order to defeat a monster“. Never a truer word was said by more influential a human. Too often society turns into an angry wrath when bad things happen in life.
When Mother Nature washed Bali away, many got angry – which didn’t help.
When American forced its military into Iraq, the youth of its country got angry about its political-giants.
Yet those same youth got angry at Iraq when they discovered them responsible for the 9/11 Bombings of the Twin-Towers. Those same youth also destroyed millions of DixieChick albums because they were not afraid to say what they thought of the American president.
So when Bono says “Don’t become a monster in order to defeat a monster“, listen, for the love of humanity, listen to the man.
During “Sunday Bloody Sunday“, we were exposed to both Muslim and Jewish symbols from a bandanna he’d acquired from the crowd. While he spoke to us of coexistence, a fiery-red Christian cross-appeared on the massive screens behind him. No matter at the religious connotations, the message was important.
Bono managed to get a young boy from the crowd, ‘Emerson’, to help him explain the story behind “No More“.
Bono asked him if he feared him – the boy said ‘no.’.
Bono asked if he feared the man behind him, pointing to The Edge strumming his guitar – the boy didn’t turn to look, simply saying ‘no!’.
Bono smiled and said, “And you are this generation“, going on to talk about how this generation will help rid the world of tyranny and poverty, helping those without food and water. It was a brilliantly displayed message, giving a clear direction to the youth of today. Let’s hope they were really listening!
It’s believed that Bono lit a flare during “Bullet the Blue Sky“, handing it to a person in the crowd. From where we were, this light scorched the air around it, giving an iridescent glow to the surrounding crowd. (During those few minutes, every mother in the crowd hoped their child was safe from the pain of fire-burns!)
The best part of the night was watching thirty thousand mobile phones suddenly turn to the sky, forming a cave of fireflies. With every other light turned off, the skies were reversed; the stars were thrown to ground. From the stadium we laughed as some joker reminded us that cameras were not permitted! However, it was not about the mobile phones – it was Bono telling us that our voice is what will make a difference. Bono was telling the audience to text the “Make Poverty History” organization whilst the names of those who had already were scrolling across the middle screen behind him.
Throughout every song, I imagined being seated behind Larry’s drum kit, holding Adam or The Edge’s guitar, and even behind front-man Bono for such a fantastic event. Having a seat in the stands above the crowds completed that image. I have been an admirer and listener to U2 for over twenty years. I am not as die-hard as I thought:
Maria McFadden managed get Bono’s autograph, Larry Mullen’s autograph and photos of Bono and The Edge at the Brisbane Concert. She spent thousands of dollars on tickets and accommodation for U2 concerts in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide. I just wish I had the funds available to do such a thing.
Leah Lang, also of Brisbane, had her pregnant belly touched by Bono at the Brisbane stadium – and now claims she will name the child either Bono or Paul. Now, that is fanatical! I joked with SWMBO all the way home about names we could give our first child – all were returned with a definite NO! Not even ‘Theedge’. Sounds kinda good to me!
As much as Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam were pleased to be back in Australia – we enjoyed having them more so. Many of us have waited over 10 years, some much longer. Last night was a dream-come-true for me, enabling me to see a live performance of the only band to ever be on my MP3 player. Yes, my little CREATIVE MUVO has nothing but U2 on it. Ok, and a few Robbie Williams songs. They come from the same area of the planet where the best music is written and produced!
Coming, Going or Staying for the Night?
If you were waiting for a bus after the U2 Concert, you might remember me.
Yes, little old me.
I was that guy in the middle of the crowd waving his U2-poster at the grid locked crowd of people to “TAKE ANOTHER FARKING STEP FORWARD!!” There were 10,000 people out front of the stadium waiting to get on a bus – and another 10,000 trying to get on the grass to their cars. Unfortunately, these two mighty rivers of people could not see the problem.
I repeatedly yelled at you to listen to Bono’s words “Come On, Take that Step, As One” and “Taking A Bus, Step to the Left, Driving a Car, Move to the Right!!“. The only problem with that is that people were facing every-which-way. Your right was my left. Doh! But the young women to my right told me not to stop, it was slowly working. Unfortunately, my voice was going. I too had been singing along with Bono! I too had screamed, woohed, ooohed, and clapped loudly at the magnificent performance inside the stadium.
So I yelled at you lot a few more times: “COME ON! IT’S ALMOST MIDNIGHT! IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS! TAKE ANOTHER STEP FORWARD. LEFT FOOT, RIGHT FOOT, LEFT FOOT, RIGHT FOOT“… Wow, it worked. You might have laughed at me or with me, you did it. Either that or a bus turned up. Nevertheless, we managed to get the car-people through that gridlocked bottleneck between the bus-shelters and the corner of the building. I am so glad I held my poster of my head: It helped direct you. More importantly, it did not get crushed.
SWMBO and I escaped the field quicker than originally thought. We were parked closer to a gate than realised. SWMBO is an excellent driver, both defensive and offensive. A few quick manoeuvres and we slipped in with the rest of the cars and were out before anyone could scream, “Drivers, Bloody Women Drivers” (sorry, had to say it!).
It’s now I wished I’d taken my own camera. When not listening to the fascinating sounds of Bono’s off-an-octave voice, the strains of The Edge and Adam’s guitars and the powerful stroke of Larry’s drumming, I spent a few minutes designing a very compact camera which will be easily brought into a stadium – yet have all the power of a zoom-lens, the digital clarity of a SLR, and the modern technology all ‘rolled’ into one. Then I’ll be ready for when U2 return in another eight years time! Let’s hope they return much sooner!
Our costs for the evening?
$300 on tickets in September 2005.
$10 on parking on the grass outside the stadium!
$400 on souvenirs: 3 t-shirts, 1 poster, 2 programs, 1 hat, 2 pin-badges.
$100 for 2 “U2 by U2” books (For their autographs on 2nd page!)
Every bloody cent was bloody well worth it. A T-shirt, the tickets, poster, maybe a program, plus a few other items will be framed behind glass to put on display in my new office. Therefore a $220 trip to Kangaroo Island to visit a good-picture-framer! I will supply photographs when complete.
In closing, but “this is not goodbye“, here is the truth from a commenter at AdelaideNow:
What a special night everyone! Two Words that described it for me ‘Life Changing’
Posted by: Jeremy M. of Adelaide 8:28am today