Me & U2 (24 Years)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day, all. Hope you had a lovely Thursday.

24 years ago tonight, in 1992, I attended a concert that remains as one of my most cherished memories: U2 at the Boston Garden. Follow along for the details...

As you probably know, Boston has a huge Irish population, and was one of the first cities in the United States to embrace U2. I believe that Carter Alan, who was a student at the time, was the first disc jockey n the US to play U2 on the air. (He later went on to become the evening DJ on WBCN-FM, one of the most respected radio stations in the country, and remains a close friend with the members of U2 to this day.)

U2 was touring behind Achtung Baby, their 1991 masterwork, and set up this leg of the tour specifically so they could play Boston on St. Patrick's Day at the old Boston Garden. I was working in an architect's office at the time, and was good friends with the sons of  the company president. (It was a family business.) They shared season tickets in one of the Garden's skyboxes for the Boston Bruins, our NHL team (that's hockey, for those who may not know).

As you can probably tell from looking at my profile picture, I am an Irish lass, and one who is very proud of her Irish heritage. Not surprisingly, I was, and am, a huge U2 fan. Knowing this, they were kind enough to invite me to join them for the concert.

I can only imagine the number of people - including, no doubt, a number of important clients - who must have called looking for a ticket; their willingness to share it instead with a relatively low-level employee such as myself speaks to the kind of people they were, and are.

The concert, as you can imagine, was magnificent. The old building shook so much it's a wonder it didn't collapse. (It was replaced several years later by a new arena that is far nicer cosmetically but lacks the character of the old Garden. Some things simply cannot be reproduced.)

From the opener (see below) to the stunning finale, "Love Is Blindness" (which also closes the album), the show was an unqualified triumph. The Achtung Baby stage show is justly considered one of the most innovative and groundbreaking of all time. It is still a treasured memory all these years later.

So, from this Celtic lass to all of you:

Lá fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh! Ba mhaith liom tú síochána. :c)

I wasn't able to find any decent shots of me wearing green, so I'm afraid the shot above of a somewhat disheveled, post-run me wearing a black singlet with green trim will have to suffice. :c)


Here's the first song U2 performed on March 17, 1992. It's the opening track on Achtung Baby - "Zoo Station":

I wanted to share one of my all-time favorite U2 songs, one I am certain is unfamiliar to all but the most ardent U2 fans.

"Birdland (Wave of Sorrow)" was recorded in 1986, during the sessions for Joshua Tree. Remarkably, the song sat in the vaults until 2007, when they included it in the deluxe edition of The Joshua Tree 20th anniversary box set.

It shows you the kind of creative roll they were on that they could take an absolutely magnificent song, one that most bands would quite justifiably consider a career highlight, and not even release it as a b-side. Amazing.

At any rate, here is "Birdland (Wave of Sorrow)." Hope you find it as beautiful and moving as I do...


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