July 28, 2017 – Amsterdam
While I was at the Paris shows, U2.com had sent out a call (via Twitter) for fans to enter their names for the possibility of being in a video. Many of us suspected it was for a music video. After the second Paris gig, while singing and dancing at the bar, I received the email confirming my attendance. I screamed and yelled in celebration, and turned to my friend Jorge to see if he wanted to join me as a guest.
The next day as we traveled to Amsterdam, I waited (along with other successful attendees) for a phone call for where we were to meet and prepare for the music video. We were told to wear black and to meet at the WesterUnie. When we arrived, a few recognizable and unfamiliar faces were there. After waiting a few hours, we checked into the Gashouder, had to hand over our phones/cameras (hence not a lot of evidence of the day) and sign a non-disclosure form. We were fed food and given instructions of the entry. We snuck into group 1 of 5 (we were assigned group 3, but after they explained that group 1 would be closest to the stage, and that they weren’t really keeping track of who was which number, we decided to go to the group 1 queue). As we crossed the lot from the Gashouder to the WesterUnie, we ascended some stairs, entered the dark club, and found the stage empty. I immediately went to the stage and Bono’s mic, which was no more than 12 inches off ground, and 12 inches from where I stood. I could literally reach and touch Bono’s microphone stang. I’ve never, in my wildest dreams, thought I’d be that close to the band. The stage was tiny – perhaps 20 feet across and 15 feet deep.
After the director’s instructions to go wild, U2 appeared and we lost our minds. They played a new song – The Blackout – 5 times, with Bono crowd surfing during a few of those songs. I held on to Bono’s feet to make sure he landed on the floor okay. The last thing we need is another broken Bono. During one landing, we stumbled, gently fell to the ground, but continued singing. A wee butt crack appeared when he fell, which was more than I preferred to see of Bono!
After U2 left the stage, I started chanting, “How long… to sing this song…”. The rest of the crowd joined in and Bono eventually reappeared on stage. He mentioned that he asked the record company if it was okay to play a song over the PA, never before heard, and as Bono left, the new song – Lights of Home – was played. We danced and sang along to the chorus. It was a grand time.
After the mini-concert, we were led back to the Gashouder where refreshments awaited. Some fans were interviewed by U2.com, while other fans embraced each other for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. I can say with full confidence that this was my most memorable and unforgettable U2 experience in my life.