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"Great ideas are like melody lines to me. I'm attracted to ones that have a force and clarity and feel inevitable." — Bono



by marbaugh

Ah, the memories. This was my first U2 show. I had learned of U2 as a junior in high school at Lake Wawasee in Indiana. A classmate of my brothers, and now a friend of mine, brought the cassette of War on a trip. We played hacky sac while we listened to the tape. The rest of the group went in to the house. I stayed outside to listen again and again to the most amazing thing I had ever heard. Who was this yearning, straining vocalist who so eloquently phrased many similarly pent up emotions running through me?

Next it was the release of the Unforgettable Fire, which remains to this day my No. 1 or No. 2 album/CD depending on the day you ask me.

And then came the Joshua Tree. It was much more stark and straight forward than Unforgettable Fire. It was a new direction and it further pulled me in to the mystery of whatever it is that makes this band far greater than the sum of its parts.

I had been a fan for years, but the Joshua Tree tour coming to Indianapolis was my first time to see my new favorite bad (Little did I know that designation would last some 20 years and counting)

Leading up to the concert, my brother and I had marginal tickets somewhere in the rear of the vacuous Hoosier Dome. We both needed to see the band up much more closely than that, and so bought scaled tickets for $100.00. This salty price landed us in the Sixth row on the floor. It was a scandalous price in those days but pennies by todays standards.

Having purchased two new tickets, we ere left with two tickets to sell . We waited outside Will Call hoping to move the tickets, but no takers.

A band began to play, and I screamed to my brother, Thats Bono! I dont know this song but I know his voice, thats him! We got ride of our tickets for far less than face value but we didnt care as we sprinted toward our seats. When we arrived, we passed through the floor crowd, running into several people who were acting as if they were a a local bar seeing a lame cover band. Even so close, some people didnt even realize who was on stage.

We got to our seats to hear the Daltons close their set and then enjoyed Los Lobos. (As the previous poster mentioned, it was Los Lobos who was late, not U2, hence U2 coming on as the Dalton Brothers)

Once U2 hit the stage, I was floored. It was the most powerful, dynamic thing I had ever seen. Bonos voice was amazing, raw with passion, straining in a way that captured my soul, lyrics that captured my imagination. Edge was far more aggressive than on record. And Adam and Larry stunned me with their propulsive rhythm.

I remember being blow away by Exit, Bullet the Blue Sky, Bad, October, and, of course, Running to Stand Still. And I will never forget leaving the normally cold, hallow Hoosier Dome singing in warm, inspired unison with 60,000 people: How long, how long must we sing this song? How long

I have now been to many U2 shows (some would say too many!) and have even been fortunate to witness some historic moments for the band, such as one of the first Zoo TV shows; Zooropa at Wembley Stadium, when Salmon Rushdie came on stage; U2s first concert after 9/11 at Notre Dame, Indiana; and Slane I, only two days after the death of Bonos Father.

And I have recently been to three shows on the Vertigo Tour, including San Diego 2, Denver 1, and Denver 2. Denver 2, for numerous personal reasons related to my family members who joined me, was the most ecstatic show of my life. But the Joshua Tree concert in the Hoosier Dome is still my greatest concert experience ever. It confirmed my belief that this was a band I could follow, a band that pushed itself to ever new levels, a band that spoke to my conscious and my soul.

It is now some 18 years later and I still reflect on this concert as a seminal moment that changed my life for the better. And it makes me proud that I have chosen to invest so much of myself in a band that chooses to invest so much of itself in playing amazing music and fighting for those less fortunate than us


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