by Paul Carpenter
Every once in a while you experience something that really makes an impact - really gets through and affects you. Something that seems to flick some long-forgotten switch, lighting a dark and dusty corner of your mind.
Sunday's U2 show was just the ticket (literally!) for bringing my jaded little brain back to life.
I've never been to a U2 gig before and consider myself to be a fan but not an ultra-dedicated one (I've only got 3 albums).
From the second Bono approached the stage from behind (we could see him because we were seated at the side) I new this was going to be a really 'big' concert. There was an immediate feeling of a genuine legendary Rock act (and Rock star) having arrived.
The music was truly electrifying with a brilliant line-up of songs that seemed relentless for the first half hour. When the light dropped and the screens came on, the show reached a whole new level. The huge state-of-the-art screen looked amazing and everything seemed to have been rehearsed to perfection - so slick and professional. The most impressive thing for me though was Bono's singing performace - flawless, powerful and emotional. It's so great to hear songs with a real meaning performed to this level, and Bono's political messages were delivered with class and decorum without interupting the flow of the show in any way.
This show was a massive reminder to me of how powerful an experience a proper concert can be. We are engulfed in so much mediocre pop and lame, empty rock acts these days, it's easy to forget that 'the real deal' still exists. On Sunday, it definitely existed on stage at Twickenham - A memorable experience I'm really grateful to have seen.