U2 is an Irish band from Dublin City, Ireland. As teenagers in 1976, the band emerged playing cover tunes. Poorly. Lacking musical chops and poor instrumental skills, the band persevered as an original act, allowing them to play to their musical strengths, largely Bono's raw, passionate vocals and his lyrics reflecting adolescence and angst, and the Edge's guitar experimentation with electronic, textural delay effects and distorted harmonic rythyms.
Up until 1982, the band largely underperformed in gross album sales from their releases Boy, October and War. U2's fate seemed unclear at the time, destined for mediocrity and garnering poor support from their label Island Records at the time. But on June 5, 1983, U2 played a rain-soaked concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. It was singled out by Rolling Stone as one "50 Moments that Changed the History of Rock and Roll." Not only did it establish Red Rocks as a world-class music destination venue, it served as U2's coming of age party, rocketing the group into worldwide mega-stardom."
Soon thereafter, The Unforgettable Fire was released in October 1984, marking a striking change in artistic direction. It was highly produced; ambient and abstract, featuring a rich, orchestrated sound. The lead single "Pride (In the Name of Love)", written about Martin Luther King, Jr., was the band's biggest hit to that point and was their first song to chart in the US top 40. And this is where the story of this fan page begins...
The lead singer took on his stage name soon after the bands inception. His given name is Paul David Hewson.
David Howell Evans, better known as The Edge, a name bestowed upon him by Bono, is the bands lead guitarist.
The bands drummer, Laurence Joseph Mullen Jr., formed the band at age 14.He's also Elvis' biggest fan.
Adam Charles Clayton is the bands bass guitarist. With no formal training, his stylings have become highly sophisticated complimenting U2's unmistakeable sound.
The concert was held in Hampton, Virginia at the Hampton Coliseum. The venue held 9,600 seats, with no assigned seating that night. My buddies and I drove from Blacksburg, Virginia that day, arriving two hours before the show was set to begin. Foregoing the pre-concert tailgate drinkfest, we entered the arena early to get a jump on the developing crowd, hoping for an unobstructed view. Our good fortune led us less than 10 yards from the stage, dead-center, standing, on the floor.
The stage was bare, except for the bands instruments and a few black sheets draped over the scaffolding. And yet, when the concert began, the sparse stage took on a mesmerizing glow, not from the stage lights hung from up above, but from the bands presence on stage. Bono's raw, yet controlled emotion (in song and in stage persona) made him seem almost unearthly. Combined with The Edge's technically original, low-key guitar play, Larry's snare driven percussive rythms that were in lock-step cadence with Adam's deep penetrating bass, a relentless emotional zen flowed through the crowd, from the opening chord to the closing song "40," that led the euphoric crowd pouring out the arena singing the lyric "I will sing, sing a new song."
That experience cemented my belief that the power of performance and song is a potent cure for the things that pain us. No other concert, before or after, has matched the intensity and life-changing experience I borne that night. It gave rise to many wannabe rockstars, and make no mistake, I was one of them.