Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of the month January of 2021 is user podiumboy. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.
"Some of U2's shows have been giant stadium spectacles, and some have been more intimate affairs in arenas. The staging and the setlists change. But the thing that always remains the same is that U2 just seem to try harder than other bands... they care more. "
Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
I am a 38 year old man. Married with 2 children, 7 and 9 years old. I work in the Agriculture field, and I'm from the Columbus, Ohio area.
How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
I got into U2 in about 1995, when I was 13. My Dad had Joshua Tree and Rattle & Hum on CD, so I got into those albums. Then VH1 once showed a block of 10 U2 videos, and that's what really got me interested.
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?
My parents were casual fans, as I said above. My brother and a handful of my friends are fans because of me.
You saw your first show in Columbus in 1997, what was that experience like?
That Columbus 1997 show was my first concert ever, and it was certainly life changing. I recently found a bootleg video of it on youtube, so I've been able to reclaim some of those lost memories. I went with my parents, brother, and 2 friends. My brother and those 2 friends have gone to many shows together since that night, right up to the 2018 shows in Chicago.
You then saw them on the Elevation, Vertigo, 360, I&E, JT & E&I tours, how did the band evolve and change over those years?
I have seen 14 shows between 1997 and 2018. Some of those have been giant stadium spectacles, and some have been more intimate affairs in arenas. The staging and the setlists change. But the thing that always remains the same is that U2 just seem to try harder than other bands... they care more. There is a relationship between the band and the crowd that you really don't see with many other bands.
What was your highlight show or moment?
Highlights: Pittsburgh 2005, finally made it to the front row! East Lansing show, 2011, the crowd got so into "Where the streets have no name", and it was a very emotional moment.
What does your U2 collection look like? What kind of stuff do you have and how is it organised?
Unfortunately I am just not much of a collector. Sometimes I wish I was, but I am a minimalist at heart. I have a box full of U2 CDs, including a bunch of imported singles and such from the 90's and early 00's. But to be honest, after my music collection became digitalized on itunes, and pretty much every song being available on youtube, I pretty much quit buying anything physical around the NLOTH era. I of course still bought the albums, but online. I also have a few U2 related magazines, including the issues of Propaganda ranging from the Passengers era until they stopped making it around the ATYCLB era.
Which U2 song do you feel the most "attached" to, or means the most for you?
"Stay" is my favorite song by anybody. Also, when I saw the live video for "Bad" from Rattle and Hum, that's the moment I became a full on fan. That version still gives me goosebumps.
How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?
I like a large variety of other bands, and they all mean something different to me. But for U2, it's something much bigger than just liking their music. They are in a different category for me altogether. It's a very personal thing, nobody else really understands it. Other favorite bands/artists for me are Radiohead, Tom Petty, Dave Matthews Band, The Killers, Muse, Coldplay, The Strokes, Kings of Leon.
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
My favorite hobby is playing guitar in my band. We have been together since 2001. We started as an originals only band, and then eventually transitioned to what we are now, a group of late 30's men who play predictable rock covers. We have tried a couple U2 songs like Beautiful Day, Elevation and Vertigo, but we just haven't been able to make them sound good. I have a hard time mimicking Edge's unique style.
Thanks for this interview podiumboy!
Note: Our crew members randomly pick fans of the month, you can't sign up for it.
"And then I saw Adam, and he just looked so cool. And I said; 'I want to be in a rock 'n' roll band with him'."
- Larry Mullen jr. on forming a band
did you know
Many musicians have been influenced by the work of U2. There are several cover versions of U2 songs by bands such as Pet Shop Boys, Pearl Jam and The Chimes, and musicians such as Cassandra Wilson, Joe Cocker and Johnny Cash.