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
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
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
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