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"Those early, early shows. There is nothing scarier than playing to a half-full bar of people who are really not that interested." — Edge



by Mark Booth

U2 had caught my imagination just after the Joshua Tree tour had finished when I was only 14 years old. Due to the minimal touring between then and the Zooropa tour this was my first chance to see them live. So after a wait of some 6 years it is an understatement to say I had been looking forward to this weekend for some time. Living in Central England, we decided to catch the train to Glasgow and attend both nights staying overnight. We arrived at Celtic Park at approx 1pm with the gates due to open at 4pm. By this time the queues were huge. We managed to get fairly near the front before the turnstiles were opened. It was a mad dash through and across the pitch but thankfully we managed to get in to the front pen on Adam's side. It was fairly full by this time so we decided to head for the B stage and positioned ourselves right next to the barrier. This was the first gig in the UK on the Zooropa tour and the atmosphere was unbelievable despite the ground only holding around 35,000 people (a far cry from the 90,000 I was to experience at Leeds the following week). Even before the first act came on stage there was a scare as the barrier holding the majority of the crowd back on our side collapsed and a few hundred people made it in to the pen before order was restored. The pen was now well overcrowded so we were pleased we had kept our position at the barrier. Utah Saints and P J Harvey warmed the crowd up well and finally at around 9pm the intro started and the Drummer Boys began. Larry, Adam and Edge made their way on to the stage shortly followed by Bono appearing on the raised platform in front of the TV screens. The opening bars of Zoo Station shook the stadium and U2 were away. The Fly followed and then Bono opened his first speech to the crowd saying "Don't I know you from somewhere?"
Even Better Than The Real Thing followed and then one of the highlights of the tour as they performed what has got to be the best version of Mysterious Ways I had ever heard. Then it was One and Unchained Melody.
Now what we had been waiting for! The band played Until the End of the World and Bono started making his way up to the B stage where we were stood patiently waiting. He dived in to the crowd and then went back on to the B stage faced us, hopped over, tripped, lost his balance and just regained it avoiding falling off the stage. If he had fallen it would have been straight on to our heads. I don't think I will come that close again. New Year's Day followed and then the whole band came to the B stage to sing the first ever live version of Stay. Bono said "Over the last year we have wrote some new songs, managed to put them on a record and that was OK. Now we've got to try to remember how to play them! So for **** sake don't clap during this one"!!! The band then left the stage and Edge was stood alone and performed Numb.  
The band then all came back to the B stage and sang Angel Of Harlem. Every single person in the stadium sang louder than Bono on this one! Then I Will Follow was played for the first time in a long time. This caused mayhem and the crowd went wild. Satellite Of Love was followed by the live link to Sarajevo.
Then Bad at which time Bono pulled a girl from the audience for a dance. This included a shortened version of All I Want Is You. Bullet saw Bono the most passionate I have ever seen a performer and an amazing version of Running were next and then the opening of Streets began. When the lights came on you could feel the heat from them and once again the crowd went crazy. Next was Pride and then the band left the stage.  
The confessional tapes were then played and Bono re-appeared as MacPhisto to sing Desire. He then phoned the Scottish secretary of state Ian Laing and finished the call saying "Out, out, tory Scot!!" Ultraviolet was powerful live and With or Without You, despite being a shortened version, was good to hear back on the set list. Love is Blindness and Can't Help Falling in Love finished off an unbelievable performance. Once they left the stage I made my way to the front, managed to get my hands on a few Zoo dollars and made my way back to our B&B very contented at my first experience of U2 live and very much looking forward to the second night.

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