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United States
Graphic designer/photographer
Music, Guitar, Photography, Playing Hockey
Forum posts:
8 years ago
6 shows during 3 tours
personal record

about gurtholfin
My U2 Story:<br/> <br/> My sister bought War when it came out in 1983. I thought it was okay and liked some of the songs: Surrender, New Year's Day, Two Hearts. I was in 8th grade at the time.<br/> <br/> I didn't become convinced until I saw something on MTV from the Red Rocks video. Went out and bought Under a Blood Red Sky and listened to it over and over and it was one of those moments in life where you discover something important - I discovered the power of live music when the music was in the right hands.<br/> <br/> Grabbed the Unforgettable Fire (on vinyl) when it came out and while it seemed different than what I thought they were, I loved it. At this point I also picked up Boy & October.<br/> <br/> U2 came to Chicago in Spring of 85 and I begged to be able to go but my over-protective parents would not let their 15 year old make the hour trek into the city for it.<br/> <br/> When the Joshua Tree came out, I wasn't sure what to make of it. The first listen was like, what? The second listen and I realized that they had gone to a whole new level. I was thunderstruck by its brilliance and it remains one of my all time favorite albums. <br/> <br/> Once again, I was denied my first U2 show when they came to Rosemont Horizon for a show in April of 87. This time because the tickets sold out before I came up in line and as a 17 year old, I couldn't afford or even know where to find scalped tickets.<br/> <br/> This is the time when I first got into collecting and trading concert recordings. One of the first shows I got was the aforementioned Rosemont show and as I found people to network with, I was able to collect lots of shows from tours past. My favorites were always the Unforgettable Fire Tour shows - had Milan, Bologna, Keynes Bowl, Chicago, Stockholm, etc, etc..<br/> <br/> Eventually, I had a few hundred shows from all of the tours. Took me lots of time, networking and money for what we can all just click and grab now. Trust me, you all have no idea how good you have it now. Personally, I love how easy it has become.<br/> <br/> This is also the time that I drove my sister from U2 fandom coz I literally played them all day, every day for a couple of years. She didn't get that each show was different and that I wasn't actually listening to Pride again - The Pride from 90 minutes ago was from 85, this one is from earlier this year (87). Duh! :)<br/> <br/> In the fall of 87, the boys rolled back into Chicago for 3 nights at Rosemont Horizon, of which I got to attend 2 shows. My buddies and I stayed out overnight to wait in line for tickets and this time I wasn't denied.<br/> <br/> Still remember walking into the arena and seeing the immense black stage. Awestruck is an understatement. Eventually the lights went out and the pipes of Streets filled up the space and the crowd went nuts. Still get chills remembering how that felt. It was my first concert and it was my favorite band and it was a very unique band that had an unbelievable bond with their fans (at that time).VERY powerful. It was even more than I dreamed it could be.<br/> <br/> When Rattle & Hum (the movie) came out, I saw it several times in the theater and didn't even notice how obvious it was that some of it was staged to enhance the band's image. It's painful now to watch the part where someone says "Does anyone know the lyrics to Watchtower" yet no one on screen is mouthing those words. BRUTAL overdub and so pompous. At the time though, I ate it up and loved it.<br/> <br/> Several years went by and Achtung Baby came out. Once again, I was like "WTF is this?" Then I listened again and realized that I was hearing an album that actually topped what I thought was untouchable. This was actually better than the J-tree.<br/> <br/> Took a first date to an indoor Zoo show in Minneapolis in the spring of 92. Loved the show, eventually married the date. Saw two Outside Broadcast shows later that year (Ames, IA & Madison, WI) and the Ames show remains one of the best concerts I've ever seen. Absolutely loved the outside broadcast shows.<br/> <br/> Zooropa threw me for another loop, but by that point I was used to the boys surprising me and I liked most of it.<br/> <br/> I hated... LOATHED... Pop when it came out. I had started to grow weary of Bono's supposed ironic preening. I thought that while he claimed that it was all for show, he actually believed the myth that he had become. The album and the tour turned me away from what previously had been my all-time favorite band.<br/> <br/> In listening to it now and in listening to the shows from the tour, I realize that I just wasn't ready for that kind of music and I misinterpreted where the songs were coming from - what the motive was. I also misinterpreted just how good the songs are - mostly coz I dismissed them before really exploring them.<br/> <br/> It's funny coz Pop now sounds contemporary compared to a lot of their other work. Just shows how far ahead of it's time the album really was.<br/> <br/> I place it third all-time for U2 only behind Achtung Baby and the J-Tree. That's a hell of a difference from where I would have placed it a few years ago.<br/> <br/> Anyway, the tour rolled into Madison and that's where I live now, so we decided to go down the day of the show. Had a scalper actually chase us down the street lowering his price until we got tix for $15 each ($60 ticket). <br/> <br/> The stadium was maybe 2/3's full. I wasn't the only one who was tired of Bono's "act" or who didn't like Pop. Didn't care for the concert at all. Felt like they had lost their way or maybe I had just moved on. Either way, it's the last time I saw them live. (To be fair, I have the Mexico City dvd now and actually like it quite a bit - just not at the time for the reasons stated above.)<br/> <br/> Their next 3 albums and tours came and went without much notice from me. What I heard on the radio sounded pretty vanilla and like I said, I had moved on. I will say that their performance at the Super Bowl was outstanding and at the time I was proud of them and it moved me. Tearing up now remembering it.<br/> <br/> So the years went by and my tapes accumulated dust and were never replaced with digital versions and I listened to U2 maybe a few times a year.<br/> <br/> Thought briefly about going to a 360 show and taking my (at the time) 12 year old son so that he could experience a BIG show. Then I saw the ticket prices and decided to pass.<br/> <br/> Then, in February of 2012, a funny thing happened. I took a chance on the movie Killing Bono. Watching that movie brought back in a flood how I had felt about the band all those years ago. I actually remembered some of the things that are cited in that movie as they happened in real time. Bono's broken arm comes to mind.<br/> <br/> LOVED the movie btw and recently read the book which is even better, but I digress...<br/> <br/> Started to listen to U2 again pretty heavily and started to look online for digital copies of the shows I had on cassette and newer shows. Found U2torrents and couldn't believe I could get 1st gens of all those shows it took me so long to collect back in the day.<br/> <br/> Also got shows from the Elevation, Vertigo and 360 tours and realized what I had missed. The new songs came to life (as they always do) when played live. Got all of the concert dvds and picked up the albums I had missed too. I regret that I didn't see the 360 Tour now.<br/> <br/> U2 has been back in the regular rotation (I have an immense music collection - two 160 gb iPods FULL - so it will never quite be like it was) and I've gone through binges just like back in the day where I'll listen to 10 or more shows in a week's time. I'm careful not to do this around the family though as I don't want them to get turned off like my sister did.<br/> <br/> Suffice it to say that U2 is again one of my favorite bands and it's like they never went away. My son also likes them and has already declared that I HAVE to take him to the upcoming tour. No worries, I wouldn't miss it for the world and can't wait to take my Mini-Me who's about the same age as I was when I didn't get to go to that Unforgettable Fire show.<br/> <br/> Still can't believe what watching that silly movie did to me as far as being a U2 fan goes.
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