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"This whole band is based on our friendship. If it had originally been based on our music, we would have failed." — Larry

by Al Pitcher

As a stand up comedian myself , I thought when U2 had scheduled the 360 tour they were having a laugh at my expense. I couldnt find any dates that didnt clash with my shows but... I found an opening in Gothenberg on July 31 , opening night in Sweden , I had seen them on the Lovetown, Zoo Tv, Popmart , Elevation and Vertigo tours and obviously my stomach tingles had nothing to do with the earlier dodgey Falafel. walking to a U2 gig always gets me excited but I think it was the swirling wind, that was more than blustery which calmed my upbeat behaviour. I bought tickets with my wife from an overpriced seller which further gave me anxiety attacks, i dislike the touts at the best of times , im sure they would ticket there own grandmas funeral if given the chance albeit twice the onsale price. The first thing as I climbed the Ullevi stadium steps was the Blackberry signage everywhere , this was taken away by a certain CLAW distraction, it really is a confusing feeling when confronted by the beast of a stage , its a bit like meeting Jason from the Friday the 13th films , you are scared about what happens next but your willing to see it through because you are a fan. Snow Patrol are good but as an opening act on a U2 stage its just the cheese and crackers beginning to proceedings . 21.40 Space oddity , we are on , the crowd stand from there seats , the standing begin to bounce , there are enough in the know U2 fans to realise that this is the beginning. Like 4 astronauts they walk to the spaceship, The Swedes greet them with a white towel, white shirt , damm it white underwear waving scene, its breath taking , no pun intended Its song 1 Breathe , Bonos bouncing , crouching like a constipated giraffe , the staduim is buzzing , 3 minutes in and the voice is croaking slightly and the swirling wind is making the show sound like the sound of a child messing with your volume control on your ipod. They hit us with new songs , im a fan and love it , im amused at the folks around me that dont know the new album , almost sensing this the band rip into classics, for the first time ( again no pun) my U2 love is questioned , are they now just a greatest hits bands ? I watch the show now as bono thanks the Scandanavians for making this the fastest selling tour show in 41 years of the promoters , he says very little for his usual not very little way , he drinks from a liquid provided in the way you would if you had a sore sore sore throat he gargles with his back to the main crowd ( yes its 360 but it isnt really playing in the round , sorry boys). Then I realise ive paid alot of Krona ( swede Currency) for this experience and i sit back into the crowd like the predator character and you know what it feels great , ok this isnt for me and me only like the normal U2 live service but i see Stuck in a moment, Until the end of the world, Unknown caller all blow my freezing socks from the frost bitten feet to which they belong. 2 hours and 10 minutes later , Im applauding as Bono thanks us for an incredible incredible night. Im sorry but for me it was a little spinal tap in parts but they can convince any non believer. They have, like you, if you have read this far given you great moments and maybe its like revisting an old rollercoaster and the highs and twists and turns arent quite the same highs but on a chilly evening they gave as much as they could, maybe a note to self , dont go see them after 3 nights in Dublin. thank you boys i will see you at U2 180 next year, where we might lose a few degrees in temperature and from the stage but im hoping mr hewson is over the throat problems, AL PITCHER

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