Tuesday, 17 June 2008

1992 June - Glasgow the Last of Zoo TV

Jane and I left Sheffield at 5am to catch the train to my hometown in Cumbria. We arrived at my apartment at 8.30am and had a meal and a rest before heading off in my car to Glasgow a couple of hours later. Talk of rushing about, I couldn't be bothered or manage trips like that now, but I was 16 years younger then!

I'd never been to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre before but it was very easy to find and we soon had the car parked and walked the short distance to the venue. Again the weather was lovely so we sat in the sunshine to wait for the band arriving. We saw Larry, Adam and Edge arrive in Mercedes cars but none came over to the fans. Shortly afterwards another Mercedes arrived with a dark haired man wearing sunglasses in it and we thought at first glance that it was Bono so we waved, the person inside ignored us with an icy stare and set face - we realised we'd waved at Phil Joanou! Talk of feeling stupid.

Not long afterwards the real Bono arrived and opened the window and shouted and waved at the fans. And, of course, he came across to meet us. The group was quite excitable and soon a crowd of people surrounded Bono, Jerry the security man carefully managed the situation in his own diplomatic way, he was such a lovely man with great respect towards the fans.

I was almost up to Bono when two large men pushed right in front of me, I could just see in between them and saw Bono motion with his hands to move aside which they did and there I was right in front of him. He's seen what had happened and I was so chuffed he made sure I got through. He looked very tired and pale and didn't talk very much, he seemed exhausted, yet he still found time for the fans. I got my ticket signed said thanks and then got out of the crowd.

Jane and I then joined the queue and got into the SECC at 6.30pm. We were amazed to see there were still places available at the B-stage. A Trabant was sitting on it so people hadn't stood there thinking their view would be blocked, but we knew the car was lifted at the beginning of the show so we got an ace position right at the front of the B-stage. We bumped into some of our friends who were already there and chatted before the show started.

Once the show got going there was quite a crush where we were, especially when any of the band were on the B-stage. But I am quite tough and wasn't too bothered by that, I had a perfect place right at the front and I was going to hang onto it!

The SECC's roof nearly blew off during this Zoo TV show, I think the band were really buoyed up by the Glaswegian crowd, who were behind them from the word go. I've since found that U2 gigs in Scotland have always been special, I think it is the Celtic connection between the Scots and the Irish, there always seems an extra-strong bond between U2 and their Scottish audiences. Another thing I love about Scottish shows is that they are always very well organised .

Highlights of this show, well, there were many. In Bullet the Blue Sky Bono changed the words to make a scathing attack on BNFL and Edge did the same with an amazing guitar solo. I was reduced to tears during Running to Standstill, it was so beautiful and Bono's hallelujahs were heart-rending. It was very moving and beautiful performed just about six feet in front of me on the B-stage. It was wonderful to be so close to see every expression - I also noticed that the sole on one of his platform shoes (though nowhere near as high as he wears nowadays!) was loose, it's surprising he didn't trip up! During Streets the whole bulding seemed to be bouncing up and down and the crowd drowned out the band - as they often did that night. It was one of those emotional roller-coaster U2 shows where you are laughing, crying, happy, sad, in other words a U2 show at its best.

After Love is Blindness that was it for me and Zoo TV, but it was good to see it out on such a high. We had sweated so much crammed up against the barrier that we were literally wet and the cool air outside hit us, we quickly scooted to my car to take off our tees and put on light jackets we had.

We actually got to meet Larry after the show which was really nice! He was charming and chatty, freely signing autographs, but declining photos which is fair enough. People were asking him about the Sellafield thing but he was very non-commital in his answers.

Bono came out just after Larry and a big crowd soon formed around him, we stood back as we'd met him earlier and let others have their turn. He looked really tired again, and it amazed me how he could be exhausted before and after a show, yet perform full of energy during it, it's amazing what adrenalin can do! Edge and Adam did not stop that night.

Jane and I went back to my car still high on the adrenalin from the show ourselves. The drive home seemed to pass in a flash and we fell into our beds as the sun was rising at 3.30am!

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