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"[A}s angry as some of the hip-hop people get, their music always has hips. Punk's got no hips: it's very Northern European."

-- Bono

@U2 home page

by Jim Lawhead

I have been to 11 Elevation shows in America, the 3 in Holland, and the 1st show in Antwerp. What I love about seeing a U2 show is not only the music and the performance but the entire road trip experience because each one is different. I was in Kinko’s in Amsterdam near the Hotel Groenhof near Vondelpark checking on my email and scanning some photos I had taken of previous U2 shows. It was then I met Sabine, a local Amsterdam resident who was checking out apartment listings on the workstation next to me.

She was a U2 fan but had only seen them once in Rotterdam on Zoo TV tour. She thought, like everyone else, I was crazy for seeing them 15 times and taking holiday from the America to come to Holland to see the U2 shows. I invited her to join me on the road trip and with some arm-twisting she accepted.

We were lucky to get tickets outside of the Arena and I was lucky enough to get inside the Heart. Sabine saw the show in reserved seats right to the side of the podium and loved it just the same.

Being inside the Heart makes the concert all the more special and for me being able to turn someone else on to what I love so much is just as sweet.

The highlights of the show were the special versions of Discotheque and Staring at the Sun. I had seen these versions in Miami but not since and they sounded great. Out of Control was stellar and during Sunday Bloody Sunday Bono said he was happy that positive developments were happening in the peace process in Northern Ireland. Wake Up Dead Man was played earlier that it usually is and that was a pleasant surprise. During the acoustic set a passionate rendition of The Ground Beneath her feet was moving with a transition to All I Want is You.

For the encore we were treated to what Bono said was a work in progress but it sounded to me like they were making it up as they went. But the unnamed song during the first encore was awesome, and I hope there are many more to come on a new album.

Most people I know think I am crazy for taking a holiday in Europe to see 5 U2 shows but after tonight’s special performance I was sure I did the right thing.

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