London, 29th & 30th October

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War Child
Feb 24, 2012
I've put these two dates together cos I felt it important to contrast the nights, being the first times I've ever seen them - after 30 years of wanting to.
When I booked tickets back in whenever-it-was I wanted two very different nights so Thursday was to be just me on my own in a seat, the Friday in GA with my oldest mate who'd also never seen them.

So. Thursday night, London 3, October 29th, I got to the venue WAY before showtime, about 6.15. Was let into the arena 6.45, found my seat in 5 seconds flat and sat down, taking in the place, seeing how long GA took to fill up. Had a nice chat with a girl over from Greece, she was as excited as me, she was virtually bellowing "Oh! You! Look! So! Beautiful tonight!" over and over despite the vast emptiness of certainly our section.

I got a couple of (very long-distance) photos of Dallas :hyper: - my seat was almost straight down the shaft, pretty close to the e stage:


It was a little odd in terms of demographics - plenty of "vintage" in the audience. I'm no spring chicken at 44 but the couple next to me were easily old enough to be my parents, wore matching anoraks (which neither removed) and she sat down throughout, unmoving and apparently unmoved. People were in suits, munching popcorn (through the gig), and an O2 employee kept asking me to get my feet out of the aisle whenever they strayed a few inches that way while I generally danced my nuts off albeit on the spot.

HOWEVER - none of this stopped me having an astonishing time. I must admit to feeling a little nervous that perhaps given the length of time (three decades) I'd had to build up to this moment it might be a bit of a let-down...NO! The second Bono appeared from the underbelly of the arena and started the rallying cry of The Miracle EVERY SINGLE HAIR ON MY BODY stood on end. It was unbelievable.

Loads of my "bucket list" songs happened - Gloria was amazing, I will follow likewise. The pace flagged a little during the "strolling down memory lane" bit mainly because people stopped going ape and were basically watching tv - it was great but because of the angle I couldn't really get the full effect. Then they did SBS which was ramshackle, awful and yet utterly brilliant because SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY. I also got NYD which I couldn't have expected, nor indeed anyone really, I think that was only its 2nd appearance of the whole tour...


Obviously I've been watching their gigs on periscope and so knew what was coming but nothing could have prepared me for the utter lift-off of Streets' opening chimes, in fact the whole place (bar the old dear still sat next to me) went fucking bananas to it. And then in the encore I was lucky enough to get Bad which I thought there was no chance of on a 3rd night.

I only cried once. I KNEW I would. WOWY started, and I just stood there and sobbed for a good minute, I was just overwhelmed with hearing my favourite song played for me by my favourite band. Shine like stars? No, too much to hope for, but seeing WOWY was phenomenal.

I left the place feeling like the Friday was going to be a bonus as I'd now seen them...

So on Friday, London 4, October 30th, I met my mate at the O2, he arrived quite late cos we needed to get a decent spot - which luckily we managed, about 8 back from The Edge, 6 from the catwalk - close enough to see the guys' expressions (and chord changes), far enough back to see the screen when in use.

And this night blew the other out of the water. Maybe it was simply being down front, but the atmosphere was so much more electric than the previous night. There seemed to be a very special vibe in the building, Bono commented on it himself more than once. It was just ELECTRIC. My mate turned to me after the opening sledgehammer salvo and just mouthed the words "Fucking HELL." No further words were necessary.

We danced, we sang every word, I ended up dancing with a geezer from Birmingham who I'd briefly chatted to before the gig (more of him later).

We had AIWIY (wonderful - and yes I DID ring my wife and hold the phone up). We had a blistering version of Bullet. I managed to get 50-odd people to join in with a huge chorus of "How long - to sing this song?" (without success, obviously, but it was brilliant just hearing massed voices singing it). Streets was again euphoric, I jumped around arm in arm with my mate who I've known 40 of my 44 years and we had a fab time.

But the Brummie lad...never met the bloke in my life, complete stranger - but we shared something...we'd had a hug or two during the gig, fistbumps after most songs, but towards the end of WOWY he looked at me and said "Shine like stars?". "Nah", I said - but crossed my fingers - and he did too.

And Bono sang it. He SANG that motherfucker. Sure, he forgot or changed the words but he shone like stars, and we did, too. Utterly magical moment, and me and the lad were convinced we simply WILLED it to happen, lol.

An amazing gig, the gig of my life, I'm SO tired and SO buzzing, I don't know how I'm going to go back to work on Monday without burning people's ears off with stories of what I saw and heard. I can't speak today, I've fucked my voice bellowing, I've hurt my knee with all the leaping around...

and I don't give a shit. I did it. WE did it. For two nights 20,000 people were in the band - that's how it felt.

Roll on The Stadium Experience 2017 tour.

Oct 29th - Red Zone

Was supposed to get to the front with my sister but she couldn't make it so sang some songs with the boys and took some pictures for her, on what would have been the 30th Anniversary of us seeing U2 together!

Have some very interesting pictures from Paris 2 to put together and post.


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Fair play to you mate you got some outstanding pics in your link...!!!!!!!

Would you rather GA or seated tho...???
I do my self love seated can go loo not lose your spot, not having to get there way early to get a GA place then stand for hours.

GA was outstanding tho i loved it just can't beat a good seat
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