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June 20, 2011

Share your favorite U2 memory

"I literally cry at every U2 concert. There is a powerful energy that you cannot help but feel."

That's how much U2 fan Jason Siemer loves U2.

The band's fans are many and extremely devoted. When I asked for superfans last week for a story previewing the concert, I didn't anticipate all the e-mails I'd be flooded with. I'm still getting some of them. Thanks!

Some of those fans, like Siemer, are quoted in today's story about the show.

But if you weren't, here's your space to tell us why you love U2, where you're coming from to see the show, how many times you've seen them live, and your favorite U2 concert memory.

The comments are yours. 

The show is likely to be special for another reason: it may be one of the last music concerts M&T Bank Stadium gets to host. The stadium concert as a concept is on the wane, as we reported last year when the U2 show was announced. 

Photo: Jason Siemer poses with U2 memorabilia. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)

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Posted by Erik Maza at 2:48 PM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Random stuff


it's a tie between 2 moments:

1) Dublin, 2005. I go with my wife to see U2 in Ireland. 80,000 crazy Irish fans. They are at 10 for the entire show, But when the band starts playing the very personal Sunday Bloody Sunday, the Irish fans definitely went to 11.

2) Washington DC, 2005. I'm on the floor during the 2nd show, on the rail of the "bomb shelter." Last song about to start, I'm completely spent having bounced and sang for 2 1/2 hours. And then the bells of Bad start, my favorite song. I find energy I never knew I had as I was carried to the rafters. I get goosebumps typing this.

Tuesday can't get here soon enough.

Tom, we are playing on Wednesday.

I have seen them four times and the best is absolutely from November 2, 2001 in Philly. The show was about 7 weeks after 9/11 and the arena was filled with palpable emotion. I was close to tears. Two of the girls I was with were overcome by tears when they started showing the names of the 9/11 victims on a massive screen (similar to the one they used at the Super Bowl.) The band played at top level all night. They showed considerable respect to the time in which they were playing, but they certainly did not make it a subdued night by any means.

It was just an incredible night and it was quite possibly the best concert I have ever attended, period.

Got three:
1) Opening night of the North American leg of the 360 tour in Chicago. Fog rolls in of Lake Michigan as the band plays "City of Blinding Lights" The lights from the stage rig reflecting of the fog, with the Chicago skyline in the background made it look like something from a movie.
2) Hershey Stadium in the early summer of '92. Band was rehersing for the Zoo TV Outside broadcast tour. Leaning against the chain link fence outside of Hershey Park listening to them rehearse "The Fly" over and over again.
3) Baltimore Arena Oct of 2001 right after 9/11. Bono implores the crowd to "please listen to the words of this song, because it is so relevant to what is happening right now". Then they play "Please" off of the PoP album. "Please" segs into "Streets" and the scroll with all the 9/11 victims comes down. Amazing stuff.

While the roadies were still setting up for U2, the song "Stand By Me" was playing over the loud speakers. The audience was singing along loudly, people were doing "the wave", beach balls were bouncing around. All of a sudden, people all around me start screaming and yelling, so I stand up thinking the wave was coming. Turns out Bono was up on stage, house lights on and starts singing along to the song too! It was a magical surprise moment that I've never seen before, and I've been to a lot of concerts.

Sorry all, the above happened during the 1987 Joshua Tree Tour at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

My first U2 concert was on December 7, 1980 at the Bayou Club in DC. To put in perspective how long ago this was: 1. The Edge was a teenager 2. They only played eleven songs and had to repeat one song twice. 3. I went to the concert after watching a 'Baltimore' Colt's game. Still following thirty years later and I'll be at M&T Wednesday.

Toss up between three shows:

1) U2 in Baltimore for the first time ever- Elevation. Got 'in the heart' for my hometown show. Amazing stuff. Was never sure they would play there, and was only convinced when they opened.

2) Seeing the rehearsal show for Vertigo in LA before the opening in San Diego. Was about 200 radio contest winners, and whatever fans happened to be hanging around the LA Sports Arena. It was Easter and the U2 staff was handing out Cadbury Easter Eggs as we exited. I finally got to see 40 performed as the closer. Wow. Saw the opener before the opener. Wow.

3) NYC, 10/27/01. The last of three epic shows in NYC after 9/11. It was an electric crowd, and it just blew up when Bono brought up FDNY on stage to join the band for the end of the show. The place went utterly quiet when the FDNY started using the mics to talk about their friends. Then the band busted out a bonus song of Out of Control- it still gives me shivers to think about it.
Also got to get Bono's autograph for the first and only time when he stopped for a crowd of 20 fans outside MSG.

I remember when I first saw U2 for the zooTV tour... Primus opened for them. Thanks to U2 I am a huge Primus fan to this day.. unfortunately they both stopped putting out good albums.

1987- Philadelphia JFK Stadium. The night Bruce Springsteen joined the band onstage for a rousing rendition of "Stand By Me."

A low cloud hung over the stadium. In a sea of red lights just before Edge's apocalyptic solo on "Bullet the Blue Sky," and as if on cue from someplace else, a PHL-bound 727 flies at low altitude over the stadium just as Bono declares "I can see those fighter planes."

Wednesday, the church I attend will be under a crustacean near the old Hammerjacks. I'm passing the hat.

The only time I've "seen" U2 was at the Hershey rehearsals in '92 that Sturmy referenced above. I just happened to be at Hershey Park with friends and U2 was using the Hershey stadium to soundcheck and rehearse before starting their tour in the next day or two. The park was not exceptionally crowded that day, so after getting a good amount of Super Duper Looper runs in, I kept riding the double ferris wheel, from whose apex you could see right into the stadium, over and over again. I finally convinced the operator to stop the wheel with me at the top for 5 minutes or so at a time basking in the tunes.

That's so funny you mention "The Fly" rehearsals, Sturmy. I can still hear that opening guitar progression (as you said, over and over again).

I'll be on the field tomorrow, hopefully I won't need a ferris wheel to get me to a good vantage point.

Those were the days Beav!! I was in my junior year of high school, and that "Achtung Baby" had a great impact on me. Here's hoping they bust out "The Fly" tonight!! I know I'll be wearing my Fly shades and leather jacket!

Bullet the Blue Sky, 2nd show of the Zoo TV tour, DC '92. The song was so loud and the video images were haunting. Baltimore, 2011, will be my seventh U2 concert.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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