First night in Amsterdam: ‘Welcome home, U2’

Not to tell

He said it, we didn’t. At the end of a fierce (on the band’s part) and loud (on the audience’s part) concert, with plenty of appropriate snippets and multiple reference to the city of Amsterdam, Holland and the problems this country faces, Bono expressed his feelings on the night: ‘Welcome home, U2’.

For a first night show, this was a very good one. A bit of Brel (Port of Amsterdam), a bit of Opera (‘Guarda il mare comยดe bello! Spira tanto sentimento.’, from Torna a Surriento.), a bit of Radar Love (by Dutch band Golden Earring) and a hell of a lot of flaky Dutch phrases (‘Een mooie stad, een mooie dag.’, ‘Maak er wat van.’)

The Dutch U2 audience is an odd lot. Generally a little older than in other countries. Unashamedly uninterested in support acts. (The Killers, huge just about everywhere else in the world, deserved better than this lukewarm reception.) But they are absolutely feral in their support of the band during the live show. Deafeningly loud — though perhaps the infamous ArenA echo played a part in that.

It looked like the band enjoyed it and Bono, fumbling for words, quite lengthily thanked the country for still playing U2 on the radio, for still wanting to see them play and for still making the band feel relevant.

Then he thanked Oor magazine and journo Bert van der Kamp and made us sing a belated Happy Birthday for local hero Anton Corbijn.

One down. Two to go. (No shoot tonight.)

Picture set.

88 thoughts on “First night in Amsterdam: ‘Welcome home, U2’

  1. Fun to see Anton Corbijn watch the Killers set from the side of the stage, singing along with every tune… U2 really pulled the roof off, returning the energy of the crowd, and going the lenght to explain why Holland is so important bladiebladiebla….

  2. Fun to see Anton Corbijn watch the Killers set from the side of the stage, singing along with every tune… U2 really pulled the roof off, returning the energy of the crowd, and going the lenght to explain why Holland is so important bladiebladiebla….

  3. Quite a strange gig. Not a nice crowd, no respect for support acts (if you only come to see u2, don’t like the support acts, then why arrive early?). after bono’s speech about how we all should try and live together one member in the audience started shouting: “fuck all muslims”. he really got the message. and why are ‘we’ so loud? i came to see larry mullen jnr and hear bono sing. not to hear the crowd outsing bono. i didn’t like the atmosphere – and maybe it will help next time to OPEN THE ROOF when it’s been 28 degrees c all day…

  4. Quite a strange gig. Not a nice crowd, no respect for support acts (if you only come to see u2, don’t like the support acts, then why arrive early?). after bono’s speech about how we all should try and live together one member in the audience started shouting: “fuck all muslims”. he really got the message. and why are ‘we’ so loud? i came to see larry mullen jnr and hear bono sing. not to hear the crowd outsing bono. i didn’t like the atmosphere – and maybe it will help next time to OPEN THE ROOF when it’s been 28 degrees c all day…

  5. I think I even detected a line from Please :-]

    Fucker of a night, where I got my camera confiscated and my favorite lens smashed up, but the concert was pretty good. I notice I’m getting a little bored with the setlist now, but that’s my own fault, really. I’ve been overdoing it.

    The reverb was awful, but it also was impressive when the entire audience was already up in their seats (also the ones in the back) and clapping and singing a long, the sound bouncing off the walls, making it sound absolutely surreal. The sound was generally horrendous though, a pretty painful experience.

    Of course this was made up by the amazing audience, though I’m suffering from replacement shame here. Bloody hell, the Killers almost got whistled of stage. I mean, the KILLERS! WTF is wrong with these people?

    Bono was having a ball though, and he took the plugs out of his ears numerous times to just drink in the sound of the audience. I saw Adam do the same a couple of times, and I caught Edge smiling a few times.

    Pretty good gig as far as gigs go. imagine what it would have been like in a decent venue, or even just with the roof open (I’ve been told opening the roof costs the ArenA or Mojo, whomever, about EUR30 000 so they basically won’t), and with a slightly more challenging setlist. I can only dream :-]

    The bit of Port of Amsterdam was nice, shame he didn’t follow through on that. Amazing Grace is cool, and the bit of opera is going down really well too. But, “Anton has a birthday this year?” No really!

    I thought the speeches in general were good too, and the Ajax references were nice too. Made us Amsterdam people feel proud. I wonder if Bono dares coming down in an Ajax shirt at one of the other gigs though, just like he did in Gelsenkirchen, wearing the Schalke shirt.

  6. I think I even detected a line from Please :-]

    Fucker of a night, where I got my camera confiscated and my favorite lens smashed up, but the concert was pretty good. I notice I’m getting a little bored with the setlist now, but that’s my own fault, really. I’ve been overdoing it.

    The reverb was awful, but it also was impressive when the entire audience was already up in their seats (also the ones in the back) and clapping and singing a long, the sound bouncing off the walls, making it sound absolutely surreal. The sound was generally horrendous though, a pretty painful experience.

    Of course this was made up by the amazing audience, though I’m suffering from replacement shame here. Bloody hell, the Killers almost got whistled of stage. I mean, the KILLERS! WTF is wrong with these people?

    Bono was having a ball though, and he took the plugs out of his ears numerous times to just drink in the sound of the audience. I saw Adam do the same a couple of times, and I caught Edge smiling a few times.

    Pretty good gig as far as gigs go. imagine what it would have been like in a decent venue, or even just with the roof open (I’ve been told opening the roof costs the ArenA or Mojo, whomever, about EUR30 000 so they basically won’t), and with a slightly more challenging setlist. I can only dream :-]

    The bit of Port of Amsterdam was nice, shame he didn’t follow through on that. Amazing Grace is cool, and the bit of opera is going down really well too. But, “Anton has a birthday this year?” No really!

    I thought the speeches in general were good too, and the Ajax references were nice too. Made us Amsterdam people feel proud. I wonder if Bono dares coming down in an Ajax shirt at one of the other gigs though, just like he did in Gelsenkirchen, wearing the Schalke shirt.

  7. U2.com says the Amsterdam Arena is “quite an intimate venue”. It’s more like a frying pan with a capacity of 50.000, hot shows guaranteed…

  8. U2.com says the Amsterdam Arena is “quite an intimate venue”. It’s more like a frying pan with a capacity of 50.000, hot shows guaranteed…

  9. The band looked very relaxed.
    Adam is definitely Mr. Cool, drinking his pints of water.
    Nice how the tulipfields were mentioned in Beautiful Day.
    Too bad Zoostation and The Fly were played very loud and rocky and not as dark and dirty as they used to be.

  10. The band looked very relaxed.
    Adam is definitely Mr. Cool, drinking his pints of water.
    Nice how the tulipfields were mentioned in Beautiful Day.
    Too bad Zoostation and The Fly were played very loud and rocky and not as dark and dirty as they used to be.

  11. PopTart, someone standing next to me (happy to report he wasn’t from Amsterdam) kept shouting “that guy (Brandon Flowers) is ‘a homo’.” He’d never heard of The Killers. I think the vast majority of U2 fans here listen to Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams, not to Indie rock, I’m afraid.

  12. PopTart, someone standing next to me (happy to report he wasn’t from Amsterdam) kept shouting “that guy (Brandon Flowers) is ‘a homo’.” He’d never heard of The Killers. I think the vast majority of U2 fans here listen to Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams, not to Indie rock, I’m afraid.

  13. I liked The Killers, but it’s not like they were trying very hard to win the crowd were they? At least Kaiser Chiefs were trying… i enjoyed both of them, they both got some great songs.

    The crowd was wonderfull (during U2 at least, but I didn’t notice any negative reactions the the support acts either, there just wasn’t a lot of enthousiasm for them) the sound was not. The band sounded ok from where I was sitting but Bono’s voice was distorted somehow, bloody shame. He sounded like a little girl with a high voice during some songs…

  14. I liked The Killers, but it’s not like they were trying very hard to win the crowd were they? At least Kaiser Chiefs were trying… i enjoyed both of them, they both got some great songs.

    The crowd was wonderfull (during U2 at least, but I didn’t notice any negative reactions the the support acts either, there just wasn’t a lot of enthousiasm for them) the sound was not. The band sounded ok from where I was sitting but Bono’s voice was distorted somehow, bloody shame. He sounded like a little girl with a high voice during some songs…

  15. Just wanted to compliment the photographer on the beautiful set of pics.
    Really awesome!!

  16. Just wanted to compliment the photographer on the beautiful set of pics.
    Really awesome!!

  17. Hey Caroline,
    Het was echt super gisteravond! Ik heb nog naar je gezwaaid (of waar je ergens stond) ๐Ÿ˜‰ . Mijn allereerste U2 concert!
    Poeh.
    Heb menigmaal moeten slikken en tranen gelaten toen Theo van Gogh werd genoemd. Heftig vond ik het, indrukwekkend.
    We zaten aan de zijkant van het podium (117) dus de lichtshow is aan ons voorbij gegaan. Maar we konden ze wel goed zien! Het geluid was niet zoals het hoorde maar wel 10 x beter dan ik had verwacht (heb Simon en Garfunkel ooit daar gezien, echt bedroevend slecht geluid).
    Afijn, ga de de andere 2 avonden ook? Veeeeeel plezier!
    Liefs
    Leine
    (van Michiel)
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Hey Caroline,
    Het was echt super gisteravond! Ik heb nog naar je gezwaaid (of waar je ergens stond) ๐Ÿ˜‰ . Mijn allereerste U2 concert!
    Poeh.
    Heb menigmaal moeten slikken en tranen gelaten toen Theo van Gogh werd genoemd. Heftig vond ik het, indrukwekkend.
    We zaten aan de zijkant van het podium (117) dus de lichtshow is aan ons voorbij gegaan. Maar we konden ze wel goed zien! Het geluid was niet zoals het hoorde maar wel 10 x beter dan ik had verwacht (heb Simon en Garfunkel ooit daar gezien, echt bedroevend slecht geluid).
    Afijn, ga de de andere 2 avonden ook? Veeeeeel plezier!
    Liefs
    Leine
    (van Michiel)
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Wow.. this was a great great show! Never mind the standard setlist, out of the 50.000 people there I’m sure it was all new for some 49.000 of them. The crowd was wildly into U2, and U2 were loving it! Bono would get his earplugs out of his ears and listen to the crowd sing along, sporitng a big smile on his face ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for the opening bands.. I have never seen any band opening for U2 that got a decent reaction from the crowd.. it’s more like.. we don’t need to be warmed up, cos we just want to see the band! NOW!
    Still, I did enjoy the Kaiser Chiefs, who were really trying to win the crowd and got a decent reaction. The Killers.. I loved their set, but they weren’t interacting with the crowd at all.. Still from where I was standing (almost front row!!) they got a decent reaction.

    @ Poptart: the moment where Bono dedicated Running to Stand Still to Theo van Gogh (the dutch filmmaker who was brutally and ritually murdered last november, and whose muslim-extremist killer was standing trial the day before the concert without showing a hint of remorse) was the moment where I got goosebumps. I’m not sure who you were standing next to, but that guy just didnt get the message. Over where I was standing everyon e did get it.. and the crowd heartily embraced bono’s message of people of all religions to stop fighting (finally! .. a thing that is needed in this country, and judging from the crowd’s reaction something that people are yearning for)..

    @poptart: to me the interaction between U2 and the crowd is one of the key point is my liking them.. I guess you didn’t like it either when the crowd got “I still haven’t found ” going for several minutes after the band had stopped playing?? .. You’re probably one of those people that tells people to “Sit down – you’re ruining it for everybody) as well.. IF thats what you like thats fine.. just don;t go to any more Dutch U2 shows then, cos thats not what you’re gonna get here..

  20. Wow.. this was a great great show! Never mind the standard setlist, out of the 50.000 people there I’m sure it was all new for some 49.000 of them. The crowd was wildly into U2, and U2 were loving it! Bono would get his earplugs out of his ears and listen to the crowd sing along, sporitng a big smile on his face ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for the opening bands.. I have never seen any band opening for U2 that got a decent reaction from the crowd.. it’s more like.. we don’t need to be warmed up, cos we just want to see the band! NOW!
    Still, I did enjoy the Kaiser Chiefs, who were really trying to win the crowd and got a decent reaction. The Killers.. I loved their set, but they weren’t interacting with the crowd at all.. Still from where I was standing (almost front row!!) they got a decent reaction.

    @ Poptart: the moment where Bono dedicated Running to Stand Still to Theo van Gogh (the dutch filmmaker who was brutally and ritually murdered last november, and whose muslim-extremist killer was standing trial the day before the concert without showing a hint of remorse) was the moment where I got goosebumps. I’m not sure who you were standing next to, but that guy just didnt get the message. Over where I was standing everyon e did get it.. and the crowd heartily embraced bono’s message of people of all religions to stop fighting (finally! .. a thing that is needed in this country, and judging from the crowd’s reaction something that people are yearning for)..

    @poptart: to me the interaction between U2 and the crowd is one of the key point is my liking them.. I guess you didn’t like it either when the crowd got “I still haven’t found ” going for several minutes after the band had stopped playing?? .. You’re probably one of those people that tells people to “Sit down – you’re ruining it for everybody) as well.. IF thats what you like thats fine.. just don;t go to any more Dutch U2 shows then, cos thats not what you’re gonna get here..

  21. I think quite a few people in the front pit had not been to other shows and had no idea what to expect. We were hollering ‘Wake up’ when it started and they asked ‘Is this, like, the intro?’. Pretty cool actually, it would be great to see a show and be that innocent again.

  22. I think quite a few people in the front pit had not been to other shows and had no idea what to expect. We were hollering ‘Wake up’ when it started and they asked ‘Is this, like, the intro?’. Pretty cool actually, it would be great to see a show and be that innocent again.

  23. I too think the spoilers on the internet as well as seeing multiple shows makes you lose ‘innocence’, the more respect for the fact that I was (again) surprised and impressed.

    Friday & saturday ‘re gonna be one big party, no doubt!

    Kaiser Chiefs & Killers were great, but what music other than U2 matches these kind of venues….

  24. I too think the spoilers on the internet as well as seeing multiple shows makes you lose ‘innocence’, the more respect for the fact that I was (again) surprised and impressed.

    Friday & saturday ‘re gonna be one big party, no doubt!

    Kaiser Chiefs & Killers were great, but what music other than U2 matches these kind of venues….

  25. 2 mrmac: I love the interaction between u2 and the audience – somehow they seem able to give the impression they are talking to you. What I don’t like is a nasty, aggressive crowd. And no I don’t want them to sit down – I want them to have a great time, because that’s half the joy of the whole show. But I don’t like rudeness, not towards other people in the audience or the band itself. I probably got some radar for this kind of behaviour as I’ve encountered it many times at u2-concerts. And I just keep thinking: so this is what ‘we’ (the Dutch) are like… Brrrrrrrrrrr
    There was a lot of emotion (for me) in the show. Miracle Drug being dedicated to nurses and doctors, the speech about The Netherlands and the hard times, RTSS for Theo van Gogh and Pim Fortuyn.
    But all in all it was a pretty good show.

  26. 2 mrmac: I love the interaction between u2 and the audience – somehow they seem able to give the impression they are talking to you. What I don’t like is a nasty, aggressive crowd. And no I don’t want them to sit down – I want them to have a great time, because that’s half the joy of the whole show. But I don’t like rudeness, not towards other people in the audience or the band itself. I probably got some radar for this kind of behaviour as I’ve encountered it many times at u2-concerts. And I just keep thinking: so this is what ‘we’ (the Dutch) are like… Brrrrrrrrrrr
    There was a lot of emotion (for me) in the show. Miracle Drug being dedicated to nurses and doctors, the speech about The Netherlands and the hard times, RTSS for Theo van Gogh and Pim Fortuyn.
    But all in all it was a pretty good show.

  27. Sounds to me like a typical dutch U2 gig. I’ve been to many since 1987 and this is the first tour i skip in many years, but i’m afraid that i can’t regret doing it if i read all this. I’m happy that some find it fantastic, i’m sure it was.. But i’ve seen too much of that setlist and the previous two albums where not that impressive for me. (except for When i look at the world and Original of the Species, which are not on the vertigo setlist). POP album is abandoned now… Not one single track! Damn i miss the wonderful Discotheque/Velvet Dress medly, it should not be gone as Gone is too…
    Good thing they brought back Zoo Station, But Even Better Than the Real Thing would have been Really Even Better in my honest opinion…
    I can go one for many more songs i think.. Of course some others have to suffer… I suggest Bullet, Sunday B Sunday (or let edge do the popmart accoustic every once in a while), Pride, Where the streets have no name and I still haven’t found what i’m looking for. And With or without you can go too unless edge plays that wonderfull solo again at the end.. the long one… with bono signig bout the stars and all..

    End where the hell was that Electrical Storm! Now that would have winded up the show big time i think…

    Anyway.. i’m sure U2 is nowadays more about the main crowd…i heard ‘u2 fans’ over the radio saying “i never go to concerts”, when they got asked about their last visited gig… This is probably the reason why they don’t like the support acts, and that means a lot of people just come because it is such a big event. But for those, i think U2 did a great job, good setlist, nice references to Holland and Theo and things like that.. Good show and much entertaining…

  28. Sounds to me like a typical dutch U2 gig. I’ve been to many since 1987 and this is the first tour i skip in many years, but i’m afraid that i can’t regret doing it if i read all this. I’m happy that some find it fantastic, i’m sure it was.. But i’ve seen too much of that setlist and the previous two albums where not that impressive for me. (except for When i look at the world and Original of the Species, which are not on the vertigo setlist). POP album is abandoned now… Not one single track! Damn i miss the wonderful Discotheque/Velvet Dress medly, it should not be gone as Gone is too…
    Good thing they brought back Zoo Station, But Even Better Than the Real Thing would have been Really Even Better in my honest opinion…
    I can go one for many more songs i think.. Of course some others have to suffer… I suggest Bullet, Sunday B Sunday (or let edge do the popmart accoustic every once in a while), Pride, Where the streets have no name and I still haven’t found what i’m looking for. And With or without you can go too unless edge plays that wonderfull solo again at the end.. the long one… with bono signig bout the stars and all..

    End where the hell was that Electrical Storm! Now that would have winded up the show big time i think…

    Anyway.. i’m sure U2 is nowadays more about the main crowd…i heard ‘u2 fans’ over the radio saying “i never go to concerts”, when they got asked about their last visited gig… This is probably the reason why they don’t like the support acts, and that means a lot of people just come because it is such a big event. But for those, i think U2 did a great job, good setlist, nice references to Holland and Theo and things like that.. Good show and much entertaining…

  29. @ poptart: Where in the crowd were you? The part where I was (in the “pit” front, right side of the stage) people did seem to “get” the message. On the other hand, rude obnoxious stupid people you will probably find everywhere.. I can imagine if you’re surrounded by some of those people it lessens the whole experience.. so Im hoping you’re gonna see them again soon and have more luck with that!

  30. @ poptart: Where in the crowd were you? The part where I was (in the “pit” front, right side of the stage) people did seem to “get” the message. On the other hand, rude obnoxious stupid people you will probably find everywhere.. I can imagine if you’re surrounded by some of those people it lessens the whole experience.. so Im hoping you’re gonna see them again soon and have more luck with that!

  31. Please Mojo, no more concerts in this acoustic nightmare they call Amsterdam Arena!!!! Please next time U2 (and others) at a venue they deserve!! Show was great though.
    Till saturday!!!

  32. Please Mojo, no more concerts in this acoustic nightmare they call Amsterdam Arena!!!! Please next time U2 (and others) at a venue they deserve!! Show was great though.
    Till saturday!!!

  33. @ optimax: I know what you’re saying, and I agree that it would be nice to hear some other tunes as well.. I myself would have loved to see them play Electrical storm, please, Do you feel loved, When I look at the world.. etc.. and I could go on.. However, U2 just isn’t about that. They take what they know will work, they know maybe half of the crowd aren’t hard-core fans and they try to win them over. And I think they succeed in doing that.. however in that process the harcore fan who wants to see some surprises.. they tend to forget..

    what can i say: blame the internet

  34. @ optimax: I know what you’re saying, and I agree that it would be nice to hear some other tunes as well.. I myself would have loved to see them play Electrical storm, please, Do you feel loved, When I look at the world.. etc.. and I could go on.. However, U2 just isn’t about that. They take what they know will work, they know maybe half of the crowd aren’t hard-core fans and they try to win them over. And I think they succeed in doing that.. however in that process the harcore fan who wants to see some surprises.. they tend to forget..

    what can i say: blame the internet

  35. i can understand all the reasons for a setlist like this. but that’s not why i go to a u2 show – it never has been the reason. and ok, greatest hits ok. but why no Mysterious Ways, why no Electrical Storm, why no HMTMKMKM? No Lemon, Discotheque, no EBTTRT, no Please – hardly anything from their most creative period ever.
    i guess i feel like a lot of the 80’s fans did in the 90’s (i was an 80’s too, btw – but loved them more in the 90’s).

  36. i can understand all the reasons for a setlist like this. but that’s not why i go to a u2 show – it never has been the reason. and ok, greatest hits ok. but why no Mysterious Ways, why no Electrical Storm, why no HMTMKMKM? No Lemon, Discotheque, no EBTTRT, no Please – hardly anything from their most creative period ever.
    i guess i feel like a lot of the 80’s fans did in the 90’s (i was an 80’s too, btw – but loved them more in the 90’s).

  37. Blame the internet indeed….

    And the first 6 songs they played, before the show kicks into full gear, are the best warm-up I ever saw…

  38. Blame the internet indeed….

    And the first 6 songs they played, before the show kicks into full gear, are the best warm-up I ever saw…

  39. The gig was great! You could feel the sparks flying around in the hot, humid air of the Arena. The temperature surely influenced the band’s energy, just like the first Arnhem concert.

    The support acts were great as well, although the sound was horrible. This could also explain their lukewarm reception, although I’ve never seen the dutch U2 audience really getting into a support band before (remember Kelis?).

    Does anyone know how to listen to the Yorin FM stream? Windows Media Player says the file isn’t available.

  40. The gig was great! You could feel the sparks flying around in the hot, humid air of the Arena. The temperature surely influenced the band’s energy, just like the first Arnhem concert.

    The support acts were great as well, although the sound was horrible. This could also explain their lukewarm reception, although I’ve never seen the dutch U2 audience really getting into a support band before (remember Kelis?).

    Does anyone know how to listen to the Yorin FM stream? Windows Media Player says the file isn’t available.

  41. I have seen u2 5 times in the past 4 weeks…
    1st night manchester, twickenham, 2nd night dublin, poland, and last sunday at paris…

    All amazing concerts, great atmosphere, although for me dublin and poland took the cake…

    But I am still hanging out for certain songs to be played. I am a hardcore fan in need of suprises!
    WHERE IS BAD!! BEST U2 SONG EVER…
    WHERE IS GLORIA! – SURELY BETTER THAN OUT OF CONTROL OR ELECTRIC CO?
    And LEMON is also one of their best…

    I know you guys cant please all the people all the time, but please can u mix it up a bit more for the hardcore guys!!!!

  42. I have seen u2 5 times in the past 4 weeks…
    1st night manchester, twickenham, 2nd night dublin, poland, and last sunday at paris…

    All amazing concerts, great atmosphere, although for me dublin and poland took the cake…

    But I am still hanging out for certain songs to be played. I am a hardcore fan in need of suprises!
    WHERE IS BAD!! BEST U2 SONG EVER…
    WHERE IS GLORIA! – SURELY BETTER THAN OUT OF CONTROL OR ELECTRIC CO?
    And LEMON is also one of their best…

    I know you guys cant please all the people all the time, but please can u mix it up a bit more for the hardcore guys!!!!

  43. I’m Polish and I really regret I didn’t attend the concert in Chorzow. The 13/07 show was my definitely my last Dutch U2 concert, period. Who the hell decided to give a concert in ArenA, the worst god damn sound nightmare you can image? The result was that I didn’t understand a word from what Bono was saying and signing, not to mention The Edge’s guitar, Adam’s bass and Larry’s drums. All I could hear was a horrible wall of noise. I really wanted this concert to be a one-of-the-lifetime experience and, damn, it was not. I was standing about 30 meters from the stage in a big pile of garbage, because (maybe it’s only a Dutch custom) everybody seemed to confuse a rock concert with a picnic eating and drinking right next to the stage and leaving all that shit there. On top of it, some asshole who didn’t want to miss the show and go to the toilet, pissed right next to me and other people in the middle of the stadium. Concluding: next U2 show I am attending will be in Poland and nowhere else.

  44. I’m Polish and I really regret I didn’t attend the concert in Chorzow. The 13/07 show was my definitely my last Dutch U2 concert, period. Who the hell decided to give a concert in ArenA, the worst god damn sound nightmare you can image? The result was that I didn’t understand a word from what Bono was saying and signing, not to mention The Edge’s guitar, Adam’s bass and Larry’s drums. All I could hear was a horrible wall of noise. I really wanted this concert to be a one-of-the-lifetime experience and, damn, it was not. I was standing about 30 meters from the stage in a big pile of garbage, because (maybe it’s only a Dutch custom) everybody seemed to confuse a rock concert with a picnic eating and drinking right next to the stage and leaving all that shit there. On top of it, some asshole who didn’t want to miss the show and go to the toilet, pissed right next to me and other people in the middle of the stadium. Concluding: next U2 show I am attending will be in Poland and nowhere else.

  45. why cant people just enjoy it for what it is at the moment? the band arent going to be with us forever, to me and many others the setlist is fantastic, but people always want more, its always the way. and i feel sorry for U2 that evey tour your getting the so called “hard-core” bitching and moaning because they didnt get some of the songs they asked for

    for me i had no idea electric co, running to stand still, Zoo Station/The fly (ZooTv style) would ever make a comeback,

  46. why cant people just enjoy it for what it is at the moment? the band arent going to be with us forever, to me and many others the setlist is fantastic, but people always want more, its always the way. and i feel sorry for U2 that evey tour your getting the so called “hard-core” bitching and moaning because they didnt get some of the songs they asked for

    for me i had no idea electric co, running to stand still, Zoo Station/The fly (ZooTv style) would ever make a comeback,

  47. @ e says:

    There is some kind of myth about the costs of opening and closing the Arena roof. The only reason the roof was closed was because U2’s sound engineer decided to rig the delay-stack’s on the roof’s construction, in his battle with the Arena echo.

    The roof couldn’t be opened because of the 4 delay-stacks hanging from the part of the roof that can be opend, it’s simple as that.

    I had tickets for the 2nd ring of the Arena, the sound was ok on my position, not great, but ok. U2 was briljant in my opinion (as was the crowd!)

    Marzi

  48. @ e says:

    There is some kind of myth about the costs of opening and closing the Arena roof. The only reason the roof was closed was because U2’s sound engineer decided to rig the delay-stack’s on the roof’s construction, in his battle with the Arena echo.

    The roof couldn’t be opened because of the 4 delay-stacks hanging from the part of the roof that can be opend, it’s simple as that.

    I had tickets for the 2nd ring of the Arena, the sound was ok on my position, not great, but ok. U2 was briljant in my opinion (as was the crowd!)

    Marzi

  49. I can’t believe what I’m reading here. I’ve been to U2 concerts since 1993 and everytime I am overwhelmed by seeing and hearing my heroes play. Were talking U2 here, be happy for having been there!

    Thanks U2 for a wonderful night again. Oh, you looked so beautiful tonight!

  50. I can’t believe what I’m reading here. I’ve been to U2 concerts since 1993 and everytime I am overwhelmed by seeing and hearing my heroes play. Were talking U2 here, be happy for having been there!

    Thanks U2 for a wonderful night again. Oh, you looked so beautiful tonight!

  51. as far as I’ve heard about the roof story (from an insider), U2 actually demanded the roof be opened dureing the show. Clearly something went wrong or whatever. The roof is closed at ALL events in the Arena, it has to to with regulations and loud noise and whatever. Joe and Bono visited the Arena earlier this in person to assure they could do the job.

    In general I thought i indeed didn’t sound very good but usually things improve towards the end of the show, as it did yesterday. Big chance they will have it improved for friday and saturday as U2 takes these things very serious, although the ArenA will never sound as good as the good old Kuip! ๐Ÿ™‚

    But come on…let’s just enjoy this stuff

  52. as far as I’ve heard about the roof story (from an insider), U2 actually demanded the roof be opened dureing the show. Clearly something went wrong or whatever. The roof is closed at ALL events in the Arena, it has to to with regulations and loud noise and whatever. Joe and Bono visited the Arena earlier this in person to assure they could do the job.

    In general I thought i indeed didn’t sound very good but usually things improve towards the end of the show, as it did yesterday. Big chance they will have it improved for friday and saturday as U2 takes these things very serious, although the ArenA will never sound as good as the good old Kuip! ๐Ÿ™‚

    But come on…let’s just enjoy this stuff

  53. By the way, what did you all think of Bon singing Amazing grace after Running to stand Still? I for one was moved (almost) to tears.. had goosebumps all over.. and instantly remembered (as if I needed that) what it is that makes U2 great.. the ability to move people beyond simply liking a song.. absolute awe!

  54. By the way, what did you all think of Bon singing Amazing grace after Running to stand Still? I for one was moved (almost) to tears.. had goosebumps all over.. and instantly remembered (as if I needed that) what it is that makes U2 great.. the ability to move people beyond simply liking a song.. absolute awe!

  55. was at the amsterdam concert last night and it rocked – running around with me and my little friend (both irish) and the dutch were fab! kissing our irish flag and lifting us high into the air so we could catch a glimpse!!!!! U2 really lived up to all expectations. Roll on tomorrow gig no.2 and saturday for gig 3…. expectations from here on in is to get that flag on national dutch tv!!!!!

  56. was at the amsterdam concert last night and it rocked – running around with me and my little friend (both irish) and the dutch were fab! kissing our irish flag and lifting us high into the air so we could catch a glimpse!!!!! U2 really lived up to all expectations. Roll on tomorrow gig no.2 and saturday for gig 3…. expectations from here on in is to get that flag on national dutch tv!!!!!

  57. @ anita were you the 2 irish girls waiting at the “Zuid G” entrance? you were so cute:-)

  58. @ anita were you the 2 irish girls waiting at the “Zuid G” entrance? you were so cute:-)

  59. Hey everyone!

    I’m happy to say that after 10 years of waiting (I am turning 21 soon :P) I finally got the chance to see U2 for the first time. It was the Arena gig on July 15th. And it was amazing! Absolutely great! The only thing that got to me was some Dutch guy claiming that I couldn’t be a hard-core fan since I’m “too young”. Load of cr*p, know pretty much every song and all the lyrics from “boy” to “How to…”. Anyways, I just wanted to say that this was definately what I had dreamt they would be like. Albeit true, that the sound sometimes made what Bono said inaudible, the ambiance and music were simply breath-taking…!

    I was wondering if anyone could maybe tell me what song was played when they were coming on stage, before they actually started performing?
    It was beautiful!

    Anyways, I just wanted to show you guys this picture my little brother and I made today…
    He’s the one pretending to be the Edge, I guess that means I’m supposed to be Bono…lol

    Have fun all! And I hope someone can tell me what that opening song was!

    Ralph

  60. Hey everyone!

    I’m happy to say that after 10 years of waiting (I am turning 21 soon :P) I finally got the chance to see U2 for the first time. It was the Arena gig on July 15th. And it was amazing! Absolutely great! The only thing that got to me was some Dutch guy claiming that I couldn’t be a hard-core fan since I’m “too young”. Load of cr*p, know pretty much every song and all the lyrics from “boy” to “How to…”. Anyways, I just wanted to say that this was definately what I had dreamt they would be like. Albeit true, that the sound sometimes made what Bono said inaudible, the ambiance and music were simply breath-taking…!

    I was wondering if anyone could maybe tell me what song was played when they were coming on stage, before they actually started performing?
    It was beautiful!

    Anyways, I just wanted to show you guys this picture my little brother and I made today…
    He’s the one pretending to be the Edge, I guess that means I’m supposed to be Bono…lol

    Have fun all! And I hope someone can tell me what that opening song was!

    Ralph

  61. I’ll make this brief(?):

    (1.) Dutch fans are rude, mega rude. Sorry, I’ve travelled a lot, and have come to dread Dutch U2 ‘fans’.
    (2.) The field was a pigstye, we waded in ankle deep rubbish: pizza, bear, spit, sigarettes, you name it. Very pleasant in a 30 degree hothouse.
    (3.) The sound was crap and loud, horrifically loud and crap (there’s that echo!) Why do they want to deafen us?
    (4.) Ticket prices – are the fans footing African debt now?
    (5.) Water bottles should be allowed into the arena. Human right number 1!! Bit of a rip off, making fans buy mere mouthfulls of water at exorbant prices.
    (6.) U2 do not need warm up bands.
    (7.) U2 do not need to play greatest hits.
    (8.) The roof opens. So press the button!

    ———————————
    On the other hand:

    (1.) Fantastic light show – Willie you are God!!
    (2.) U2 are great, whatever they play!
    (3.) Having said above that Dutch fans are rude – I know it is only a few who give the Dutch a bad name. My Dutch friends are amongst the nicest people I know, simply great to be around!!!
    (4.) I had a great time!!
    (5.) U2 still rok, despite their age, and mine!!

  62. I’ll make this brief(?):

    (1.) Dutch fans are rude, mega rude. Sorry, I’ve travelled a lot, and have come to dread Dutch U2 ‘fans’.
    (2.) The field was a pigstye, we waded in ankle deep rubbish: pizza, bear, spit, sigarettes, you name it. Very pleasant in a 30 degree hothouse.
    (3.) The sound was crap and loud, horrifically loud and crap (there’s that echo!) Why do they want to deafen us?
    (4.) Ticket prices – are the fans footing African debt now?
    (5.) Water bottles should be allowed into the arena. Human right number 1!! Bit of a rip off, making fans buy mere mouthfulls of water at exorbant prices.
    (6.) U2 do not need warm up bands.
    (7.) U2 do not need to play greatest hits.
    (8.) The roof opens. So press the button!

    ———————————
    On the other hand:

    (1.) Fantastic light show – Willie you are God!!
    (2.) U2 are great, whatever they play!
    (3.) Having said above that Dutch fans are rude – I know it is only a few who give the Dutch a bad name. My Dutch friends are amongst the nicest people I know, simply great to be around!!!
    (4.) I had a great time!!
    (5.) U2 still rok, despite their age, and mine!!

  63. Can anyone tell me what Bona says about Ajax on Wednesday?
    I went wednesday en friday and both gigs were great!!!!!

  64. Can anyone tell me what Bona says about Ajax on Wednesday?
    I went wednesday en friday and both gigs were great!!!!!

  65. @chick

    Did you see any trashcans on the pitch? Didn’t think so.. Don’t blame me for wanting something to eat and to drink after waiting 12 hours for them to play? I would dump it in a trashcan If ever I saw one..
    On the other hand.. 20 minutes after the show the entire field was clean again, thanks to our mega fast and efficient cleaners:-)

    HAve to agree with you on the rudeness though.. we can be rude.. or “direct” as some people like to call it.. sorry about that:).. Hope you still enjoyed the show though! I know I did!

  66. @chick

    Did you see any trashcans on the pitch? Didn’t think so.. Don’t blame me for wanting something to eat and to drink after waiting 12 hours for them to play? I would dump it in a trashcan If ever I saw one..
    On the other hand.. 20 minutes after the show the entire field was clean again, thanks to our mega fast and efficient cleaners:-)

    HAve to agree with you on the rudeness though.. we can be rude.. or “direct” as some people like to call it.. sorry about that:).. Hope you still enjoyed the show though! I know I did!

  67. @mrmac

    Thanks for your comment!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Wish U2 fans would be nicer to each other, cos that’s what it’s all about.
    Still it was a great show wasn’t it!

  68. @mrmac

    Thanks for your comment!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Wish U2 fans would be nicer to each other, cos that’s what it’s all about.
    Still it was a great show wasn’t it!

  69. Where the ‘bad’ sound is concerned…
    I wore my earplugs (tailor made).
    The soundmix with my plugs were ecxellent. No reverb whatsoever..

    Great series of shows…
    Hope to see u2 again soon..

  70. Where the ‘bad’ sound is concerned…
    I wore my earplugs (tailor made).
    The soundmix with my plugs were ecxellent. No reverb whatsoever..

    Great series of shows…
    Hope to see u2 again soon..

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