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

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Concert memories (2) - U2 and others, Munster 1985

This was the big one. For the first time I was going to a real concert, even better I was going to see U2. Whitmonday, a bank holiday in the Netherlands and for most youngsters a reason to go down south, since thirty odd years the place for the famous Pinkpop festival. We didn't. We found a small festival in Germany, where U2 was one of the big names. We, in this case, are a group of 8 people, whom I knew barely, but as they had a free space in one of the cars, I was entitled to come along. My cousin and her boyfriend were part of the group, so they would be looking after me a bit, otherwise I'm sure at age 15 I wouldn't have gotten permission.

It was a hot day, plenty of bands played, Rick Springfield one of them, if I remember well. Mink de Ville played for an hour, though the bassplayer spoiled the fun by playing so loud, my stomach was trembling every time he hit the low notes. But Demasiado Corazon remains a great song. Through the others I heard that there might be a chance to see The Alarm, a band I had never heard of before. It was the end of the day, I had no pocket money left, even then prices at festivals were too high. We were getting tired, sat around at the side, waiting for 'our' music to come. In total there were about 12.000 people, half of them apparently waiting for the headliner of the day, Chris de Burgh. For us, real music fans, a ghastly thought, but don't discuss taste with Germans. Another discussion one shouldn't have is about which football team is best, with a hardcore hooligan. I did. He took my sunhat (won it at a fair the year before) away and threw it on the floor. It wasn't the team to his liking.

While we went up to the front of the crowd, to see if the Alarm had made it, suddenly a familiar face appeared on stage. Bono. It was U2 who started playing and played a great set. Normally at a festival you only get a limited amount of time, but in my memory U2 ignored that completely. A few thousands like us saw a great show. This was before the huge shows were invented for so called superacts. U2 did participate in that a couple of years later. The Unforgettable fire had just been released, they hadn't played big stadiums yet, in a few countries they were big cult heroes. I was a huge fan in those days. I bought singles just because the B-side had a new song on it, taped live recordings from the radio at times of the day when I should have been sound asleep and knew all the lyrics of their first four albums. This show came exactly at the right time for me. At some point I came within two metres of shaking Bono's hand, when he went past the first row to acknowledge their fans. It was the best show I could imagine. They had a fan for life. At least that's what I thought then. At 15 my sense of realism hadn't really kicked in yet. U2 played for ages that day, all through the twilight (which they honoured with the song of that name), until after 3 encores someone backstage must have told them it was more than enough.

Chris de Burgh came on, all Germans got out their lighters and we went towards the exit. Before we got there, my hat was taken again by the same hooligan, who proudly showed the tattoo on his right arm. As a little boy from the country, I still thought football was meant to be fun, so I started a discussion about who were current champions, arguments that do not really convince a hooligan. Apparently some of his mates were waiting for us to fight them. My cousin and her boyfriend convinced me to leave the hat and come with them. I had not taken his threat seriously. Another step towards growing up. But the memory of the band I adored so much is still the memory that'll last a lifetime.
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