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U2 in Buffalo

                                        By Dean Nicosia

December  2005

I saw U2 the other night, and it brought me back to when I was riding the school bus in ninth grade, back in 1984, heading to the Christian school. 

A friend of mine gave me a tape to borrow, of U2.  I was starved for good music, because I was under the delusion of my well-intended mentors that rock and roll was evil, but I loved rock and roll. The Christian rock that they allowed us to listen to was ok, some was good, but there was nothing that made your hair stand up on the back of your neck. Nothing like a band called U2, a group that you could find their albums and tapes in the Christian school bookstore. I heard it for the first time and I fell in love immediately.

  The hair went up on the back of my neck and I found a sound that hit my soul in a way that I could never describe to another human being. They either hear it or they donít, I could never describe it. I think only God could understand the way that music made me feel, and still does to this day.  I mean I grew up in an age when Rock and Roll was already on the scene and now struggling to say alive. We had punk, new wave and hair metal as the cutting edge. So many in the industry were trying so hard to keep the rock and roll music machine going, and the harder they tried, the more shallow the music was, as we see today.

  But I found a group that played post punk, pre new wave, semi hard rock, with a different sounding guitar and a lead singer that was all heart. I heard the Irish rock sound that made my soul stir. I heard a sound that made me want to turn up the music, thrash my head, think and cry, all at the same time. It was hard edged, and introspective, and had a sound that was similar to punk but yet all of itís own. That album was the Boy album and it was an incredible sound. That album and the Unforgettable Fire album are my two favorite albums by U2 to this date.

  What Iím happy about is that the new album ranks pretty close to those two in my book. I mean donít get me wrong; I love Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby as much as the next U2 fan, but Boy, Unforgettable Fire and now the new one hold a special place in my heart. The new one is called ďHow to Dismantle an Atomic BombĒ.  It is by far the best album to come out in the last 5 year by anyone.

  The show I saw the other night captured everything of the new album (CD) while paying homage to the old U2. It was a colorful and visual show that resembled the best of the U2 shows Iíve seen, with Bono doing what only he can do, getting the crowd to sound louder and more in sync than a crowd at a European Soccer match. It was full of hard-core rock and roll with punk roots, and the spiritually and political awareness that we have come to expect from a U2 show. It was vintage U2 with a new spin.

  I walked out of that show not believing that after 5 times seeing this band, I still had goose bumps on the way out. I had sung and screamed at the top of my lungs and I had felt like I was 17 once again. That was the year I saw this incredible act for the first time, at Silver Stadium in Rochester NY, as a birthday present from my big brother. The ticket stub, which I still have, reads $17.50, a far cry from this show. But if you can afford it, whatever the cost, the show is worth it, whether it is the show I saw this weekend, or the previous show, or the one to come. Itís a travel to the past wrapped in nostalgia, and a trip to the future, with a new sound that nobody has made before.

  A U2 show is  a spiritual show for me, filled with all of the emotions that eventually have me screaming at the top of my lungs at one moment, and wetting my cheeks at the next.

  I hope the next time I see them, that I can bring a couple of my friends that havenít seen them before, so that they can share the experience with me. Like my friends whom Iíve know since I was 17, but who has never seen U2 with me, Iíd like them to hear what I hear when I go see a U2 show. Either way, I hope there will be a next time, and I hope I will be there once again, only next time I hope I will be able to capture the feeling better for you, I hope I will have grown in my writing abilities, and I hope you will be able to understand how I feel about one such U2.

  Thatís my favorite band, and I saw them the other night, and for a moment I thought I was half my age, 17 years old, with a final exam coming up, and all of the hopes and dreams that come with that age.

  I hope I can see them in another few years and pretend for 2 hours that Iím 17 againÖ

  Or better yet, I can feel like the first time I heard them on the bus, at age 14, which was 20 years ago. What I wouldnít give to be that age again, with my Sony Walkman, and my U2 tapesÖ

  That's just my Slanted U2 View. 

God Bless and Go U2!!

...Thatís just My Slanted View!!