Donal Murphy, one of @U2′s forum moderators, is on his own sort of “U2 tour” these days, which started with a visit to Nice for U2′s concert there last week. He’s sending in occasional updates from the road. This is the fifth.
U2 @ AMSTERDAM ARENA – JULY 20TH
Tonight after being in the queue since 11am, we started moving into the “Cattle Pen” at around 4.30pm, and then we finally ran in at around 6.15. As we were around 1300 people from the front, we did not expect to get into inner circle, but we did easily — then decided to stay in there towards the back this time, as we were physically incapabable of handling several hours in a squashed area.
We were on Edge’s side and just a little behind him. I was surprised at how different the concert looks from back here, and it`s not all bad. We got unique views of Edge as he comes to the side many times, when Larry is turned around, the whole band comes down and faces the back for 1-2 songs and there are several sporadic appearances by the band throughout the show. We got our best cloesup photos of Larry from the 3 gigs from this position, as he stopped directly opposite us during “Crazy Remix”. So it wasn’t as good as being front of stage, but it’s not that bad. Other good spots for people not in the squash mood — as as you leave the back of the inner circle area, there are a few good spots there close to the Red Zone.
We said our goodbyes to Snow Patrol, who have entertained us very well over the last 3 gigs. They did very well in all 3 venues, but I will be glad of the break from them at Dublin 1 & 2.
The venue sound was terrible, the worst I have heard at a stadium gig. We met some Dutch locals at the gig, and one said the sound has always been brutal here, and is much better at the Rotterdam arena U2 have played in the past, Feyenoord Stadium, which was used for Zoo TV and PopMart, but they have started using this arena since the last tour. It crossed my mind if Live Nation is being an influential factor on the venue choice.
This gig was possibly U2′s only indoor gig of the tour, allthough some of the other venues have roofs, too. The roof was fully closed and one could see the acoustic dampening all over the roof and on all sides of the stadium in a bid to improve the sound, but it didn’t work. The sound here is just awful.
Overall this gig was good, the band and crowd responded well. The space station linkup was rather lame, it lasted all of a few seconds and something bigger could have been done to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the moon landing. “Walking On The Moon” by the Police would have done nicely.
Met a fellow Irishman at the gig. He, too, has been following the guys around for the past 3 weeks or so. He told me the horror stories of Paris, which has been mentioned a lot by anyone we have spoken to.
We left the back of the inner circle for the last 4 songs, and it’s another great perspective of the show. I was thinking at this, our third gig, they really got it right calling it 360, when you are in the inner circle there are several times during the gig that you can’t actually see where 1 or 2 of the band members are. It’s the same when at the back and out front.
The show reminds me to a certain extent of those iMax films — the field of vision is so big, you can’t actually take it all in.
So, our mainland European tour is over, but the updates may not be. Tomorrow we go home, and it’s always the final pleasure of traveling. Dublin 1 & 2 to come. A final GA for me at Dublin 1, and great seats for Dublin 2 which I am looking forward to.
Over and out from Amsterdam!