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"I think it's, for us, a real triumph of trying to get to grips with what it to be a rock 'n' roll band playing in a stadium in the turn of the millennium." — Edge, on PopMart




by achtungvon

My first concert ever. What an experience! I still remember a fair amount of it, even though I was 13 and it was quite awhile ago.

The first thing I remember was arriving at the stadium and seeing the spires popping up above the Fieldhouse, which is right behind the Camp Randall Stadium. It was so incredibly exciting, even though I wasn't the hardcore fan I turned out to be.

Our seats were way at the back of the stadium, about as far away from the stage as you could get. Obviously, it didn't matter much. I remember being a little freaked out seeing Public Enemy perform when one of the members came out on stage in a KKK outfit. For a young kid from a small town in Wisconsin, it was a bit bizarre.

The only taste of Zoo TV I had up to that point was the band's performance of Even Better Than The Real Thing on the MTV Video Music Awards a few nights before when they performed live via satellite from Detroit.

Bono coming up in front of the screen at the start of Zoo Station was incredible. I had listened to Achtung Baby a ton in the days and weeks leading up to the concert so I'd know the songs. The lights, the sound, the visuals, it was all SO AMAZING. When all the text was flying through the screens on The Fly, it really was sensory overload.

I really didn't like the way Bono sang Even Better... as it wasn't like it was on the album. I've grown to like it more. One interesting highlight was Bono's microphone kept acting up during One, so during Unchained Melody when it kept popping, without breaking stride in the middle of the song Bono said "Shut the fuck up." It was quite amusing.

I remember the Trabant spotlights highlighting all 65,000+ people in the stadium during some songs, and I kept thinking there were about ten times as many people at that concert than lived in my town.

I remember being really excited when Bono sang All I Want Is you on the B-stage with just an acoustic guitar as it was one of my favorite tunes off Rattle & Hum. That was immediately followed by Sunday Bloody Sunday, which I admit, I hadn't head more than a couple times at that point.

The thing I remember most is Where the Streets Have No Name, which I had obviously heard quite a few times but really wasn't all that familiar with it. From that moment on, I have never loved a song as much. Pride was probably my favorite song at that point in time, so it was amazing to hear that.

After Desire, Bono called the president (as he always did) and I thought he was going to get in so much trouble because after saying "The President is not available? For the people of WISCONSIN?" he told the operator it was Elvis calling. Then he asked her to give him a message, which was "I'm alive, he's dead." Sheesh, isn't that an arrestable offense? Apparently not for an Irish rock star calling the President from the stage in front of tens of thousands of people!

In the years since that show, I have acquired an audience-shot video and audio of the show as well as an actual pro-shot feed of the first two songs (I think it's on YouTube). I also began a job at my local newspaper in Janesville, which I still have, and was able to get some photos that were taken at the show that a staff photographer, one of which I have attached to this review. As of today, I have also acquired all of the negatives of the photos that were taken at the concert, probably 20-30 pictures. I can't wait to get those scanned and make prints out of them!

Even though I've only seen them nine times since then (it's expensive to go to concerts!), I can say that I am an unabashedly giant U2 fan and will always be. Can't wait to see them in Chicago next month!!!!

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