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"We're a lot tougher than we were when we had an open face to the world. I don't have as many flowers in my hair, but I am still moved when I sing with this band." — Bono




September 18, 2019

by piet smit

I was there and I remember it very well, allthough maybe more all the things happening around than the concert itself. I was grapepicking in the Entre Deux Mers region, and stayed with some lovely folks near Cadillac (that's a small town, not the car with that name, referring to that town, but that's another story). Michel and Silvy from chateau de Benauge, a bit the hippie-type. As a token of gratitude for their hospitallity we offered them the tickets for the concert of this great band, back than rather new. U deux everybody said downthere, no we replied: U2, as in 'toi aussi' - ah bon, U deux....
The trip to Bordeaux, in an old 2CV reanimated for the occasion, with no lights. No working battery, but you can start them with a crank, or just rolling downhill - Michel: after some km's the accu will be loaded suffentialy; but arriving at Meriadec the only lights came from the warning signals of the oncomings...
The ice-stadium was 2/3 filled, U2 was not yet the mega-band of nowadays. It had a black and white background, a bit dark/grimy, with projections of contours of mainly (joshua?)trees.

Not the hippie-colourful thing of my hosts, who were listening at home mainly to Brel, Gainsbourgh and lots of African stuff, and it seemed the music was not their cup of tea neither. When I went looking for them I found them somewhere near the sidewalk, their heads between their knees and their hands covering their ears... I felt so sorry. They told me later they had liked it, it was only a bit too loud (which was indeed so in the half empty resonating site - I thought it was just fit for the music...)
I think they were just polite, so I should not regret the 110 francs (I believe), nowadays some €15 I think, for a ticket. Nowadays zilch, backthen quit a lot for a ticket.

Other thing I remember is a wonderful girl in the audience, dressed in some couture made from garbagebags, fitting exactly with the decor, me circling around her (she around me?) but not having the courage to approach her, even if I had, talking was impossible with the volume, and there was no dancing, only ppl sticking up their arms in admiration, something this U2-sound seems to instigate. (and other music those days like Simple Minds) - Maybe I'd stick up my arms to her ...
I was impressed by the vocal tours de force of Bono, something he lost a bit since then, and the soundscapes woven by the Edge. The bass began to ennoy me a little in the end, all too monotonous, later on people told me that is to accentuate Edge's soundscapes, whatever...

A concert to remember, I was more than content, also the encores, in a place not sold out and with an audience a bit attending, was sympa. Or maybe that's scheduled allready...
Only a pity Michel & Silvy did not catch the drift...

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