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With punk, you could pick up a guitar and you didn't have to play it very well. But with hip-hop, you didn't even have to play badly -- you just got a record of somebody who could play. -- Bono



by Popmartijn

Exactly four years ago (13 July 2001, Cologne, Germany) my sister saw her first U2 concert. I'd seen them before, going back to the Zooropa Tour, but for her it was the first time seeing U2 live. That concert was an amazing experience, as we ended up in the heart. Even better, we were front row, right in front of Adam. After the concert we thought that the experience could never be bettered. (here's the review of that show: http://www.u2tours.com/displayfan.src?ID=20010713&XID=2727) The other Elevation shows I saw were good/great but not as amazing as that night. When the European leg of the Vertigo Tour was announced it seemed like just coincidence that one of the Amsterdam shows would be exactly four years after the Cologne show. Needless to say that that was the show we wanted to go to together. I'd already seen U2 in Dublin with GA tickets. For those concerts I arrived around 6 AM in the queue and had an excellent position at the tip of Edge's B-stage. The plan was to get the same position for the Amsterdam show, thus we planned again to be there at 6 AM. I still think that it's an insanely early time, but once your in the stadium at that spot, you forget all the waiting. :) Besides, the waiting during the day wasn't that hard (although it did get a bit hot when the sun came out). After the gates opened at 4 PM exactly and after the stage rush we indeed found ourselves at the coveted spot. This concert would be great then, although we couldn't imagine what an experience it eventually became. A bit before nine the intro music started and the show was on. The whole stadium seemed to be into it from those first notes (although it could also be the reverb). Vertigo, straight into I Will Follow -still my favourite U2 song- going into The Electric Co. and Elevation. I might have heard these songs before this tour, but they still sound excellent every night. At the end of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (during which the whole stadium was again clapping along) Bono came out to our B-stage. He was feeding off the energy from the audience, when Edge started those wonderful first notes of All I Want Is You. They felt so good and I was happy that my sister and I had such a great spot. During the song Bono looked a bit at the audience and then his gaze stopped at my sister. He made a small gesture with his hand, signalling 'Come here'. I kinda realised what was going on. At the third Dublin gig Bono made a similar gesture to some persons next to me and then I tried to get a girlfriend on stage. Sadly, that didn't happen then. I was hoping that it wouldn't go wrong a second time. So I lifted up my sister, helping her halfway over the barricade. Security grabbed her and looked for a moment at Bono, trying to get confirmation if he really wanted to have this girl onstage. He nodded and so she was lifted up and carried to the stage (luckily she still had enough sense to quickly give me the camera :)). Once on stage I could see how flabbergasted she was, but it did result in a beautiful slow dance. I, on the other hand, was going out of my mind. Somehow, seeing your family up there makes you so happy. Words cannot describe it. At the end, when they parted, Bono kissed her hand as she was carried back to the barrier. The song even ended with him gently waving goodbye to her. The rest of the concert was one big blur for the both of us. After the concert my sister even said she couldn't remember during which song she got onstage. All that she could remember right after the concert was Bono's good smell and the fact that her heart was probably pounding with 180 BPM. Also, whenever I looked at her during the rest of the concert, I could only see one big smile. Needless to say, that no matter what an amazing experience that Cologne show was (or the three Dublin gigs for me), nothing comes even close to this magical first night in Amsterdam. P.S. If anyone has photos/video of All I Want Is You I'd very much like to see them. :)

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