The more traveling I do, the more wise I become (gerbie) wrote,
The more traveling I do, the more wise I become

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Concert memories (5)

U2, Rotterdam, 10th of July 1987

First we tried to get a bus full to go there. However, organising wasn't our strongest point, so we cancelled it. Then getting tickets was the next problem. We had to sleep outside the office for a night to make sure to be there in time. It was cold, but when they handed out numbered vouchers at 5 am, we knew we would be lucky. Unlike many many others who appeared early in the morning and were too late. Hamburger breakfast at McD's was still a treat in those days.

Getting there would be our next problem. We found out about a pub a couple of villages further down who had a bus, phoned and got in. By the time everyone was on the bus, we had our first doubts. The public wasn't your typical u2-audience. The amount of alcohol they dragged on for in the bus was impressive. While we drank a few soft drinks, the crates of beer were emptied rapidly. After a couple of U2 songs on the bus, they asked for a different music. Dio was their choice to get into the mood. Our doubts grew.

After the third stop at a parking lot to empty all bladders, we knew we had made the wrong choice. The opening act would start any moment now and we were still on the motorway. Just in front of us, a farmer son waived a pile of tickets around. Stunned by the view, knowing how much effort it had taken us to get a ticket, we were speechless. His remark after that didn't help either. "I'll have to sell these ones, so I can pay a little visit to the hookers." Other plans were to drop us off in town centre, instead of near the stadium, as the majority didn't bother about the opening acts anyway. We were not impressed.

By the time we finally arrived, In tua nua were already halfway through their set. Moreover, they were even better than we had thought. Still angry with forty-something wankers in our bus, we saw them leave the stage way too soon. The Pretenders as second opening act were a disappointment. We had bought tickets for this particular day, as World Party were supposed to play, but, hey, who cares, U2 is coming in an hour.

It was the first concert in a stadium for all of us. Five real fans, I was the only one to be lucky enough to have seen U2 before. We had the cheap seats on the second ring. The field tickets had been gone by the time we were entitled to go into the ticket office. The distance was huge. Even with good eyesight, it was impossible to see who was where on the stage. The sound was a disappointment as well, when a couple of people were talking just above us, they were louder than the music.

To complete this U2 was another disappointment. They played a set of greatest hits and tracks from their latest album 'The Joshua tree'. No surprises, no sign of the rebellious band I had seen a couple of years before. They even left out my favourite song of that last album 'One tree hill'. It was a year ago that the roadie who this song was dedicated to had died. It seemed a fair way of honouring him. U2 didn't think so.

I've got the bootleg at home now. I listened to it again last week and felt the same feeling I had then: Is this all? The remarks in between the songs were predictable, the covers they played too standard, and the fire wasn't there. Up until that day, I had been the biggest U2 fan one could imagine. I bought singles and 12-inches for outtakes and other b-sides. I taped obscure concerts from the radio, I discussed about their songs with my friends. After that day, I felt betrayed. I was more impressed with the opening act, than with the main act of the day.

Afterwards I couldn't find a T-shirt of In Tua Nua, so I bought one of the Joshua tree anyway. I had budgeted for a shirt, so I bought one. In the bus, most people were asleep. I suspected some of them never made it into the stadium, the big one still had some tickets left, another one vomited just before getting on the bus. There were no piss-brakes on the way back. No beer either. It was a night to remember, but not for the right reasons.
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