Thursday 17 July 2008

1993 August - Dublin 2, The Last Trip to the Zoo

Another hot and sunny day found us back in a queue outside the RDS, but this time we had no shade and the heat was unrelenting. We kept going to the nearby shops to get cold drinks and ice lollies in an attempt to cool, but it didn't work very well. After a while I started to feel nauseous and got a headache, heatstroke in Dublin!

It was a relief to get inside, and though we had standing tickets I felt so ill I couldn't be bothered to run to try to get a good place. But, even so we actually got quite a good position at the front barrier towards the right of the stage. Luckily the audience was not as rowdy as the previous night so there wasn't a lot of pushing and jostling.

My friend Debbi had a photopass for that show (she and Jackie were editors of a fanzine called The Real Thing that's how they got the pass) but she could not find out where to meet the other photographers. She decided to hang around and then just join them when they came in. She looked very nervous and I felt sorry for her as that is a nerve-wracking position to be in, I know I would have been nervous too. But it all worked out in the end and she got into the pit when the other photographers were brought round.

It was a warm, balmy summer evening and a full moon hung over the RDS. This Zooropa gig was being broadcast live around the world, so as expected the set was pretty standard. The mood of the show was much more "up" than the previous night. Streets was amazing, the place just erupted, Bono came to the part of the stage where we were and was just standing there grinning. It must have been very special for the band to have their home crowd so behind them.

At one point a man almost got up on the stage and about five security men tussled with him. Bono noticed and watched what was happening and tried to calm the man down to no avail, the man was really fighting with the security. He had to be dragged away, "Be careful with him" Bono said as he watched. I was actually a bit concerned as to what that man would have done had me got on stage.

I was a bit sad when MacPhisto came on as I knew it was the last time I'd see him and I'd grown rather fond of him! He was in good form, chatting and posing, showing his glittering shoes with the huge platforms.

During Love is Blindness Bono slow danced with a girl he got up on stage for a long time, I just love Edge's guitar solo in that song, so hauntingly beautiful. For me it felt like Bono was symbolically dancing with us all, saying goodbye, as this show was also the last of the European leg of the Zooropa Tour.

Finally Can't Help Falling in Love, and I can remember watching Bono in his gold lame suit walking away from us as he sang, the gold glistening less and less as he stepped out of the lights and was swallowed up by the shadows. A great way to end a show, low-key but emotional, so U2.

That was it, the last trip to the Zoo with U2. It had been a hectic three weeks, I felt as if I'd been on the road as much as U2! We saw a lot of shows, the most I've ever done during a U2 tour, and as I've written before, maybe too many, as much as I love U2 I don't know how people can go to dozens of shows during a tour. But still, thinking back now, it was a mad time but it was also great fun, there were a lot of laughs and I saw places I'd never visited before and met lots of new people and consolidated good friendships that have lasted to this day.

The Zooropa Tour itself was very manic, big, over-the-top, colourful, ironic, a media bombardment of the senses. We were treated to great concerts and grew to love The Sleazy Fly and the Old Devil MacPhisto. U2 as they had never been before, yet still with the same spirit underneath it all.

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