1. Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlight. The fan of the month for August 2019 is user july4th_asburypark. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.

    "I don’t actually know anyone personally who’s as huge a fan as me here in Singapore; someone who would listen to everything the band puts out, attempt to read every book or article about them, and obtain live bootlegs."

    Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?

    My name is Kevin, born & bred in Singapore. I’ve been living here for the past 30+ years. I work in a small video production company, and basically I’ve been creating video & creative visual content for corporate clients my entire career. A couple of years ago, I had the great opportunity to work in the government sector doing creative work, but currently I’m back in the private sector.

    How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?

    I became a fan, thanks to my dad. I grew up in an extremely musical household, surrounded by thousands of CDs, vinyl, hi-fi equipment, guitars, music magazines & books. Music from the 60s to 80s were always playing in the car stereo, so U2 was just one of the many bands that were in constant rotation. I can’t really pinpoint the exact moment I became a fan, but one of my earliest memories was being fascinated by Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, partly due to the Batman Forever hype in the late 90s. But the band only had an effect on me years later in 2000, when All That You Can’t Leave Behind, was released during the period where I went to the States for the first time in my life. That album became the soundtrack throughout my trip in Southern California, and thereafter for at least another year. But I only started going through U2’s back catalog after I got the 2001 Live In Boston DVD. I’ve been a paying member of U2.com for at least 12 years.

    Does anyone in your family or one of your friends like U2? If so, did they introduce you to U2, or did you "convert" them?

    As mentioned above, it was my dad who turned me on to some of the greatest music ever made. Just to sidetrack a bit, my 5 favourite artists/bands of all time are: 1) Bruce Springsteen 2) Pearl Jam 3) U2 4) Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers 5) Bob Dylan.

    I know a few good friends who are mostly just casual fans of U2, and know only one who has seen them live. So yeah, I don’t actually know anyone personally who’s as huge a fan as me here in Singapore; someone who would listen to everything the band puts out, attempt to read every book or article about them, and obtain live bootlegs. Also, I’ve never bothered trying to covert anyone into a U2 fan. I have though, tried to with Springsteen’s music. Not much success so far!

    Which U2 song do you feel the most "attached" to, or means the most for you?

    Bad. I watched the hell out of the Live In Boston DVD and ‘Bad’ was the song that stood out for me.

    Your first U2 live experience was on the 360 Tour, where you saw their shows in Perth. What was it like and what are your memories from those days?

    In terms of setlist, I knew what to expect. I also knew what to expect visually and production wise, after having seen countless videos and photos of the claw in action. But it was still incredibly overwhelming and emotional to witness it live in person. I attended both Perth shows with my dad. I remember reaching the venue early on both days, just hanging around, lining up for merch and beer, just soaking up the pre-show atmosphere. My most vivid memory was at the first show, where I was overcome with emotion during the singalong of I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. I was a bit disappointed they didn’t perform Bad in Perth, having played it in the other Aus cities prior. All I Want Is You/ Love Rescue Me and Desire was the consolation.

    What is it like to be a U2 fan in Singapore, is the band any big in the area?

    I’m aware that there’s no online fan community that exists here. Then again, U2 recently sold out the 30 Nov show, so I guess they must be big to a certain extent, right? We have quite a sizeable expat population here, so I’m pretty sure a good percentage of the audience will be from that group.

    How excited are you for the band playing for the first time in Singapore later this year? What are your expectations?

    Very excited obviously, and also because I’m doing GA for the first show with my dad, and we plan to be at the front. Even though I’ve seen a JT show in 2017, the feeling of getting to see one of my favourite acts in my home country for the first time ever is something else (I’m still waiting for Springsteen & the E Street Band here in the future!). And not to mention, getting to hear my favourite U2 album live from start to finish again. I just hope people seeing them for the first time are receptive to the lesser-known songs from JT. To be honest, I’ll be perfectly fine if they didn’t change or update the visuals from the 2017 tour - the whole JT sequence is perfect, IMO. If there’s one thing I would like though, it’s that I hope the band brings back A Sort Of Homecoming. Also I’d like to hear selections from SOI or SOE during the post-JT portion.

    The band is said to take a break after the tour and start from scratch making a new album. What kind of direction do you hope they'll take?

    I just hope they play the songs live in the studio, with very little or no overdubs, ala Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

    How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?

    This’ an interesting question. I don’t usually like to compare artists. I love Springsteen, PJ, Dylan, Petty and Neil Young, and of course, they’ve all had amazing careers. I’ve seen all of them live multiple times. These acts tend to keep it basic when it comes to production & staging, and they usually let the music speak for itself. Then you have U2, who put a lot of incredible thought into their production.

    What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?

    I’m somewhat of a film buff. I love reading non-fiction books, mostly about music and film. I buy vinyl regularly, and I try to make it a habit to have a listening session at least once a week, which is to sit down alone in my room and just listen to my records.



    Thanks for this interview july4th_asburypark!

    Note: Our crew members choose the fan of the month, you can't sign up for it.
  2. Love Greetings From Asbury Park, probably my second fav Bruce album and the one that resonates the most. Need to see Bruce in Jersey next time he goes on tour, nice read!
  3. Enjoy The Joshua Tree Tour, Kevin. We are all jealous here, but happy for fans in your neck of the woods.
  4. Originally posted by guykirk9:Love Greetings From Asbury Park, probably my second fav Bruce album and the one that resonates the most. Need to see Bruce in Jersey next time he goes on tour, nice read!
    There's gonna be an E Street tour next year!
  5. I just hope they play the songs live in the studio, with very little or no overdubs


    I agree; there is an opportunity for U2 to strip everything back and provide a modern interpretation of a classic Boy-October-War era sound. Less layers and less complexity would be a fresh sound and easier to tour.
  6. Hi Kevin, thank you for the answers you gave, it's been an interesting read It's a great story how you grew up in such a music household. And then 360 being your first U2 live show - it surely blew you away, in every way possible
    Make sure you will meet up with some of our u2start family in Singapore
    Greetings from Germany
  7. Didn’t know this, gonna look into now thanks and I’ll be sure to make the East Rutherford date that I assume he will have!
  8. Originally posted by MacStripey:Hi Kevin, thank you for the answers you gave, it's been an interesting read It's a great story how you grew up in such a music household. And then 360 being your first U2 live show - it surely blew you away, in every way possible
    Make sure you will meet up with some of our u2start family in Singapore
    Greetings from Germany
    Thanks! Blown away was an understatement haha