by Aaron Smith
7 am We arrived after being charged a £20 fine for a mistake at the station. But i refused to let that spoil my day. My Girlfriend Marina and I queued up all day in the boiling sun with 2 other friends Paul and Ed who sneakily joined us at 10.30 just before security got tight. Gravel carpark, It was a nightmare, however, the staff at Twickenham where very good in keeping us informed and provided good toilets and water facilities.
Around 4 or 5pm we heard U2 sound check. great to hear Wild horses. the crowd enjoyed it.
Once in we got right to the front, still hot with the sun on our heads. We all had heat stroke and felt very subdued. It would take a lot to get us moving tonight.
With out blaming my girlfriend to much, she had to go to the rest room, maybe i did too. But i didn't wait 11 hours in the scorching sun to give up my place on the front row just to go pee! Still I knew it would spoil her night if she didn't go, I hate that in the cinema too. So we left are place with Ed and Paul, hoping to see them again. Even if we didn't get back there, we were still in the inner circle of 5000 people. With Marina leading the way, (I'm just to polite), she parted the crowd and we finally got back to the front before doves came on. I knew if that if they started we would not get back to the front. But with just a few moment remaining we made it. Hi to the lady who joined our train to the toilets too. :) Also Hi to those guys who cued up all day with us. Can only remember Andrew's name, maybe see ya at coldplay on the 27th mate. Hi to John Heasmen. glad you were finally there mate. Hi to Dave and Andrew Caladine, Good Boys. Luke what happened to you? I couldnt even see the speakers!
Doves admirably took on the 70.000 capacity crowd. Brave men. And a sterling job too.
Then Athlete did a cool set right after. The sound was harsh right at the front and I was concerned for our health. I also was bit paranoid probably from only having 3 hours sleep the night before and standing in the sun all day.
As soon as U2 came to the stage, every thing changed. The sound was perfectly clear and safe. The excitement was unbelievable. This hot day was a catalyst for a huge atmospheric explosion. People went crazy. And i felt the craziest of all, screaming like a little girl who had just seen the beetles. How can U2 make a grown man act like this?
The set was great. stunning light show that really overwhelmed the senses at this distance.
Sung ever line at the top of my voice and was very happy to hear my self on the BBC recordings too. There was a stereo microphone about 2 metres away from where we were recording the audience. If you listen to the start of miracle drug you can hear me in the left speaker shouting "LARRY, Larry!" also sorry to you bootleggers for the Yobish sounding voice singing, "still running, still running, Halle!, Halle!, hallelujah" at the end of "running to stand still." Great feeling to be at this gig knowing that millions were listing around the world. Very pleased to up the front there.
This was my 6th U2 concert, and 3rd time this close. Infect i was closer at the Astoria gig in 2001, but something happened this time that really took me by surprise. I thought i was used to seeing them up close, but Bono noticed me. It's like watching a really clear Television that close, but then it gets very real. As i stuck my camera out to take a photo of Bono, he made a clicking action with his hands and then sang for ages looking at me during the song One. What a moment and i felt very overwhelmed like no one else was there. It sounds sad and gay i know, but it was a great moment for a old U2 fan. HE gave me that classic bono smirk, almost like his way of winking, then walked off somewhere. The Sun stroke gave it all a dream like quality and i find it hard to remember much, but that i wont ever forget.
Adam Clayton gave Marina one of his big smiles too, that pleased her.
A girl standing next to Ed was then taken out to dance with bono and film him. When she cam back will all grabbed her and wished her well. Hi Anushka, you lucky girl!
Vertigo tour is a classic. I was worried about the light, and the set list, but it all worked perfectly.
only shame that the pick of bono came out blurred.
Edge's guitar solo in the fly was one of the highlights for me. Performance wise this was the best i have ever seen them. I don't know how they make that sound LIVE and in that heat! What an unbelievably professional rock band. With out any doubt the greatest LIVE band of all time. Trust me they will be remembered that way in years to come. If you're reading this you were probably there. Well you saw great thing. U2 in LONDON on there 1st night, transmitted across the whole world. And now one of their great LIVE recordings. If you were not there. Then go soon. Get there early. 9am I say. take care see you on the next tour.
Aaron Smith (23 June 05)