Review – Sydney I

Seat: General Admission – Front Row Centre

After a year-and-a-half hiatus from U2touring, I made it back on the road and caught the last four shows of 2010. Although I was away, I didn’t miss a step, and loved being back… it felt like a sort of homecoming. Unsurprisingly, I saw Shannon (from Perth) who I met at last year’s Dublin shows. It was nice to see a familiar face in the queue. I also met a tonne of new friends, including Jana, Dom, Peter, Nick, Steve, Aaron, Christian, Josh, Denis, and Chris. It was also great to see Cathal from Ireland, who was selling his book – Me and U2.  While the cities may change, seeing Cathal at the show is a welcome constant.  He has been to every city on the 360 Tour so far.  There were two gates (similar to the Wembley situation) and the security seemed very inept (similar to Soldier Field).  I was originally situated at gate F before being able to find a ticket to switch to the less populated gate J. The inflatable mattress I bought in Hawaii proved to be essential, and enjoyed a comfortable night’s sleep in the queue. The next day was more uncomfortable, with the unrelenting sun beating down on us. For the second time in my life, I got sunned burned! When the gates opened, there were multiple security checks and a long ‘walk’ to the pit, which is important to have in order to make up lost ground or catch up from being further back in the queue (I was #11). Jana had a fractured foot and was able to led into the venue early. I met up with her shortly after and loved being back front row and centre. I was able to wave to Phil and get Bono’s setlist at the end of the night. He was surprised to see me again, and it felt nice to be back!

The show itself was awesome. The crowd was lively, and the band were into it – particularly because Oprah and her guests were in the audience, as well as Nicole Kidman. Not that should matter, but it does have an effect on the band. It seemed as though they were trying extra hard to impress the celebrities. Nevertheless, it was inspiring to hear ‘Bad’ again! It had only been played 11 times this tour so far, and I last heard it at the Chicago 1 show. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me sounded 100 times better live than on the bootleg – I was so impressed! I was really happy to spend the show along with Peter, Nick and the gang, who I had met earlier at gate F. There is never a better feeling than enjoying a U2 concert with those you spent the queue with.

After the show, I went to gate J to queue up again, retrieved my queue number, collected my travel bag from the two really kind Danish girls (who I met at the Dublin shows) who stowed it for me, pulled my sleeping mattress from a concrete block (where I had hidden it), and went to sleep and gear up for Sydney 2!

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