Monday 14 July 2008
1993 August - Cardiff, Last UK Zooropa
August 18th and I was on the road again, this time it was to Cardiff in Wales for the last Zooropa gig I would be seeing in the UK. Our B & B was literally on the other side of the River Taff from Cardiff Arms Stadium where the gig was being held, perfect! Dianne, Jane, Caroline and I met up with friends Lori and Ellen from America, they seemed really nice people.
We had field tickets and unfortunately the entrance we went in was right at the back so we had to do that awful run down the field! Even when I was very young I wasn't a good runner so I stood no chance now! Amazingly we still managed to get a place right on the front barrier though it was well to the righthand side. We sizzled in the sunshine for over two hours before it got mercifully cooler.
It was the usual set, no great changes except for a nice little tidbit of Abba's Dancing Queen and a scintillating version of Bad. Musically this show was wonderful. MacPhisto's phone call was to Margaret Thatcher and of course went unanswered - I would have loved to have heard MacPhisto speak to her!
Because we were right at the front we got some great close up views of MacPhisto strutting his stuff, we had become quite fond of him, he was such a character and Bono played the role so well. He's a character that fans remember fondly to this day.
After being dropped for a few shows With Or Without You re-appeared at Cardiff and it was a blistering version. Bono sang it to the audience tonight, either via the boom camera or by direct eye contact with the crowd. He smeared the lipsick across his face, tried to rub off the white face make up whilst his gaze never wavered from the camera as he sung, his face filling the huge screens. MacPhisto's mask had slipped away, and it was Bono once more singing to us, vulnerable and baring his soul. I so admire Bono's ability to give himself in that way, it's brave and open, few can do that, but that's exactly one of the things that makes him such a special performer.
At the end of the show Bono said, in an excellent Elvis impersonation, "Thank you, you are a beautiful audience," before the band finished the show with Can't Help Falling in Love.
So that was it, the end of the UK Zoo, for me. It had been a ball, traipsing across the country, staying up to the early hours, fun with friends, great music, even meeting U2 occasionally. But the Zooropa experience wasn't quite over yet for me I still had two shows to see in Dublin later in August.