Monday, 17 August 2009

Wild Child Potty Larges It At U2...

So, that's it. I am officially Old. Not because I have reached yet another significant birthday. God no, I only made 40 two years ago thankyou very much, I'm in no hurry to reach - sudden sharp intake of breath - fi.. fiff... .

I can't even bring myself to write it, let alone say it.

Although of course by the time I do get to fi... my half cen... (there's no pretty way to say forty-ten, is there?) it will no doubt be the new 40. Or, if I'm lucky, have won the lottery, and am fortunate enough to live somewhere with continual soft-focus lighting, the new 38...

Anyway... I am suddenly aware of the winds of time because my darling Husband and I went to a concert on Friday night. And not just any old concert, oh no. The ULTIMATE concert. The concert, that if you were a concert, you would just be desperate to be, because this gig was just the coolest kid in school, the Usain Bolt amongst runners, the topmost peak of Everest of concerts.

U2, baby.

Oh yeah.

Me, Husband, and 87,998 others all packed into the new and swanky Wembly Stadium for a night of worship at the feet of one of the ultimate rock and roll bands of the last 20 years. And it was fabulous. Everyone I told we were going to or had been to this gig said something along the lines of 'Oh, and I hear the set and the lighting is/was amazing!' And yes, I suppose that it was. Well, if you're going to entertain close to 90,000 people at a minimum ticket price of £85 per head (you do the maths, it makes my head spin), you better be sure that it's going to look good - and it did. It was - amazing.

But that wasn't what blew me away. I'm not what you call a die-hard U2 fan, by the way. This is the first time I've seen them live (if you discount the time we saw Bono and the Edge sinking a couple of drinks at Pastis in the meatpackers district in New York a couple of years back, that is. I developed a crick in my neck trying to look as if I wasn't looking when I was, in fact, clearly and obviously looking...) No, what blew me away was the fact that listening to Bono and his mates rock the joint, practically every single song they played could form part of a soundtrack of my adult life. I caught myself filling up more than once as the memories flooded back. Add to that the fact that the words of their songs seemed so much clearer and more impactful live, and still relevant even after 20 years (I'm thinking particularly of Sunday, Bloody Sunday here), and it's a pretty powerful cocktail. I'm sure I wasn't the only one blinking back the tears.

There had to be a drawback, of course. I remember that, even around 15 years ago at the tender age of 27 at a Simple Minds gig, I was shocked by how old it made me feel when, at the moment the main event arrived on stage half the audience - myself included - reached into their pockets and put on their specs.

In these days of laser eye surgery and contact lenses of course that didn't happen this time, but the evidence of aging was irrefutable; the audience (at least around us) seemed to be composed mainly of chino-clad middle-aged bankers, accountants and surveyors punching the air whilst doing slightly tipsy dad-dancing as wildly as it was possible to in light of the fact that there was a perilous drop between them and the stage 200 feet below. ('And you can't be too careful' as I heard one say to another...). I tried to ignore the fact that to call the audience 'edgy' would have been as far from true as calling my consumption of chocolate 'minimal' or the summer weather in the UK 'reliable', but when Bono pointed out that the band were way older than the stadium I'm not sure there were many wannabe youngsters there who thanked him for it.

Still, it was outstanding. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. And I might be getting older than I like to accept, but even I have to agree that there are benefits to not being wet behind the ears when you go to a gig nowadays.

At least I was wearing comfortable shoes. And I'd remembered to leave my slippers out ready for when I got home.

Rock and roll, baby. Rock and roll.


  1. I'm a HUGE U2 fan. My brother has listened to them since The Joshua Tree so I can totally relate to your post. So many of their songs make me think of moments in my life too!

  2. Oh! And I should have added that I loved this post! And that I'm jealous of you. And that I hate you for going and not taking me. Yes, I do realize you would have had to fly me across the ocean, but you know...I'm just saying. :-)

  3. I can feel the enthusiasm oozing out of that post.

    There's nothing wrong with being old. Some of my best friends are old. In fact, almost all of my best friends are old.

    And Lisa, U2 are coming to the US, if you're interested.

  4. I saw U2 about (OMFG I am very old) I was about to say ten years ago but now I realise it was more than that because I've known Husband 10 years and this was when I was single. Bugger. So let's call it 12 years ago at the OLD Wembley Stadium and I got to go to the VIP bit and hang out with the band and various other 80's luminaries including Elvis Costello and Simon Le Bon and Bob Geldof. It was remarkable then how much of my life the music had been there for - just in the background and I'm not really much of a fan, so by now they're a R&R institution. I must say, regarding my VIP ligging experience, the very best thing about it was that they were all MUCH OLDER THAN ME.
    And you.

  5. I'm too old for U2, how's that? I can't even go to a concert because I have no memories to go with the songs. It's pitiful. I was young in the disco era and I don't even want to be reminded of that. I need a new hero. I did like the Police and I do like Sting. Maybe that will do. Lately I'm really into dEUS, modern rock.

  6. I saw their two tours in the 80's at the old Wembley, and I'm seeing them in Chicago in a few months. What I want to be able to do is hold my phone up like a light. You know - they used to do it with lighters, but since no body smokes now, (well, tobacco anyway), everyone uses their phone light. Except mine keeps going dark after 20 seconds. So uncool!

  7. Funny! So glad you had a good time. I always look like I should be accompanying a group of 'youngsters' when I go to gigs - some of the audience don't look as if they are that many years out of nappies. However, there are so many more peeps in their 40s and 50s going to see bands nowadays than I ever remember seeing when I went to gigs when I was younger (or was I just oblivious to the cronies who I assumed to be there cos their kids were there??? Hmmm. Worrying thought.)

    Nice move with the slippers. Did you have a teabag in a mug sitting by the kettle too? That's my typical pre show preparation.

  8. There are some bands which you just know are going to be good live, and U2 is one of them. Not that I've ever seen them live, so I'm jealous. It would be a soundtrack to my life, too.

    So with you on comfortable shoes - but then I've been dying to be able to wear them since I was about 21....

  9. Your reference to the edgy audience and comparison to chocolate and weather were hilarious!
    I think the word you are looking for is timeless. It sounds better than old. U2 sound like great performers and have so many truly anthem-etic (sorry about that word) songs. I am very jealous of you! So glad you enjoyed it.

  10. So jealous, I love U2 and have never seen them in concert... I would also be in comfy shoes, and would have laid out my PJs ready to crawl into bed afterthe even heh heh.

    I have an award for you at

    Thanks for keeping us all so very well entertained!

  11. OH OH OH! Did they play stuff from the Joshua Tree? 'Still haven't found what i'm looking for??' be still my beating heart! Be calm green eyed monster on my shoulder!!

    v. jealous. but v. glad you had a good time.
    And - er - you weren't down in mosh pit then? You're right, we're getting too old, and you don't want to put your back out...


  12. OK, I'd like to have gone to that and I would have upped the stakes by bringing ear plug... yes I know, I am the coolest...

    I tend to miss big gigs because I have NO idea that they are on. I missed Bob Dylan playing the Brixton Academy a few years ago. I mean, I own over 20 of the man's albums and he was playing within a ten minute walk of my front door. And I didn't know. Not very cool.

    Wanted to tell you also that I've posted up the poo carnival over at mine if you fancy coming over for a read!

    You are cleary

  13. Lucky you.I love U2. I saw them on the last tour here in the bay area, and they rocked. I remember sneaking out of school to my friends house at lunch to listen to "the unforgettable fire" when it was first released (Yes, I'm old. I was about 13 at the time). Their music really stands the test of time, and Bono can really frikking sing.
    It makes me sad, though, 30 years after Sunday Bloody Sunday was written, so little in the world has changed. How long must we sing this song?

  14. I've seen U2 band many times… They have captivated millions of fans worldwide. Last time I got my U2 tickets for their last concert but before I compare prices for free via this

    The band was up for it from the start...waited along time to catch & It was really a great concert.


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