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"If somebody wants to see U2 because they find it really good dance music . . . that's as relevant and as important as somebody who comes because the lyrics talk about Central America." — Larry




by Jesse van den Bovenkamp

So the big day finally arrived, July 13th. I was going to see U2 in Amsterdam, plus 2 excellent support acts; Kaiser Chiefs & The Killers.

It was a very hot day, and we enjoyed a couple of refreshing beers in the centre of Amsterdam before heading to the Arena in the late afternoon. At 6pm the Kaiser Chiefs kicked off, and I very much enjoyed their performance. Too bad the sound wasn't really good, and it was still very light in the venue so that took away a bit from the atmosphere; nevertheless it was a very energetic set and very enjoyable.

Next up at 7:30pm were The Killers, and having seen them at Live8 (on television) I looked forward to seeing them live. They played very well and even though I didn't know a lot of songs, I thought it was a great performance. The rest of the audience weren't that interested though..

U2 came on stage at around 9pm and kicked off overwhelmingly with Vertigo, I Will Follow, Electric Co and Elevation. Whereas the audience was a bit reserved during the support acts, they were now jumping and screaming like mad, even the ones who didn't have standing places (including me)! I've never seen a crowd go so wild before, it was amazing! It looked like Bono was lost for words as well at times, but he was clearly enjoying it.

I Still Haven't Found.. and All I Want is you proved to be great sing-alongs; at the end of All I Want Is You we all sang 'All I want is yooooouuuuu' for a couple of minutes, and the band looked pleasantly surprised. Bono did a bit of Sgt Pepper's at the end of Beautiful Day which I thought was cool, beaing a Beatles-fan as well..

I enjoyed the new songs very much, City Of Blinding Lights and Love And Peace Or Else were stand-out tracks, with Bono drumming aggressively on the latter. Bloody Sunday, Bullet The Blue Sky were great as always and Running To Stand Still was a nice relaxing moment after the 'anger'. It was dedicated to Theo van Gogh, who was killed by a Muslim extremist.

The first encore started of brilliantly! Zoo Station and The Fly were outstanding! Great visuals and lights. Those two were my favourites of the night. With Or Without You was another great sing-along and was another spine-tingling moment with 50.000 people singing. The shouts and cries for another encore were incredibly loud and massive, and gladly they came back another time. All Because Of You was energetic, Yahweh had a great acoustic feel and the second Vertigo was explosive and made the people in the audience go beyond wild!

All in all it was a fantastic experience and I'm really grateful I had the chance to be there. I think I won't see a show of this kind again.

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