1. Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of the month April of 2021 is user iamcrazytonight. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.

    "When I discovered them it was like they were always part of me, I felt such a passion and a connection which I couldn’t explain."

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

    Hello everyone, hope you’re all well. My name is George, I’m from Greece and I’m 23 years old. I’m in my final year studying Electrical & Computer Engineering in a small city in Northern Greece called Xanthi.

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

    When I was younger my dad had bought me an Mp3 player as a birthday present and I told him to put in music he likes. So, he did that and gave me the Mp3 player and I started listening to music – mostly 80s bands – and then I got to U2. I listened to Beautiful Day. I thought ‘yea, I know that’. Then, Sunday Bloody Sunday and I began to air – drum like crazy. Then, Pride, which really changed everything. I felt something 'new'. The melody, the guitar & Bono’s voice on the chorus gave me chills, it was a sound I’d never heard before. I fell in love with its music video. I started listening more and more to U2 and discover their music, but I became a real fan in 2009 when my mom told me she had bought tickets to see U2 in Athens. I wanted to listen to their latest album and their songs in general to be prepared for the show and so I went through a life changing musical journey listening to everything from Boy to NLOTH. I became addicted. I wanted to learn more about them so I started to google the band & read everything U2 related, I bought a few CDs and books and I even took up the bass and started a band cos I wanted to be like Adam! It all happened so fast really. When I discovered them it was like they were always part of me, I felt such a passion and a connection which I couldn’t explain. When I found out that the day I was born was also the day U2 played in my hometown, Thessaloniki, for the first time I was like ‘Oh, okay. Now it makes sense. There’s something supernatural going on here!’.

    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?

    In the 80s my dad was a casual music fan and he knew U2 and had even bought a vinyl of War and The Joshua Tree. Nowadays, he doesn’t really care about music and sometimes even objects to me being that passionate about a band, but he’s fine with it. Mom’s the same way; used to be a fan in the 80s, but nothing more than that. It’s well known between my friends that I’m a U2 fan and they enjoy my craziness. I do talk about U2 with them and occasionally play them a song or two and I have shown them a few legendary concert clips. They make fun of my intense passion in a playful way, but every year they surprise me with something U2 themed on my birthday, which is awesome. In 2018 I attended the Amsterdam shows with two of my best friends, which was amazing and we all had a fantastic time. So, in a way, my dad converted me – or at least introduced me to the band, because of the Mp3 player – and I converted a few friends who are now casual fans.

    What does your U2 collection look like? What kind of stuff do you have and how is it organised?

    I started collecting a little bit of everything over the last 6 years and well, I have lots of CDs of various singles, all of the official albums both in CDs and vinyl, all their concert films and the subscribers’ gifts from the last 6 years. I’ve got some books, a couple of Hot Press issues, the Q: LEGENDS issue and I also have some T-shirts. I also have the following boxsets: i+e Live in Paris, SOE, NLOTH, The Joshua Tree 30th & ATYCLB 20th. I wish I had AB’s 20th boxset, but they’re ridiculously expensive. My collection is really not organized at all, it’s all chaotic. I’ve seen online some super cool collectibles from the 90s and I’m fascinated by some beautiful displays I’ve seen from longtime collectors.

    Your first U2 concert took place on the 360 tour in Athens, what was it like and what were the highlights?

    I was 13 at the time and I don’t remember it that well, but I do have a few vivid memories from that day. I had spent the whole summer listening to U2 preparing for my first show and I couldn’t wait to see my favorite band for the first time! My first memory is entering the stadium, looking down at my feet as I approached our seats, before deciding to look up and see the stage for the first time. My jaw dropped. It was way bigger than I thought, I mean it was enormous! I felt a few tears of joy in my eyes. I took some shaky videos that I watch from time to time and I’m just laughing with my reactions! When U2 started walking up to the stage, I had to convince myself that it is indeed happening and in the videos I can hear myself shouting “That’s Bono! That’s Larry! That’s Edge! That’s Adam! It’s them! It’s really them. I don’t believe it!”. I’m so happy I took these videos. They’re shaky and I’m shouting like mad which confirms I had the time of my life. I remember during the intro of Streets someone lit up a red torch (don’t know if that's the right word in English) – which security didn’t like – and it was so beautiful. Bono said some jokes about Ireland & Greece and introduced The Edge as Odysseus, Larry as Apollo, Adam as Zeus and himself as ‘Alexander the motherfcking great’ which was great fun.

    Current music is more 'targeted' towards the younger demographic such as yourself, how does U2 fit into this musical landscape?

    To be honest, I’m not following today’s music and I don’t care for it, but whenever I’m in the mood to listen to current music, I’ll just go to Spotify and see what’s going on. Back in the old days, way before I was born, I believe music used to mean something. It used to be important and vital. Music could change the world, motivate people, inspire a whole generation and I think that’s a rare quality nowadays. I occasionally enjoy music from modern pop stars but I never get the urge to come back and listen more of it or discover more about it. Not saying it’s not good, it’s just personally, I don’t have the same passion for today’s music as I have for older music. The only thing that sort of connects U2 to today’s music is their desire to stay relevant. U2’s latest albums may have a modern radio – friendly production, but imo they still have their recognizable sound. I hope one day music will once again become as inspiring & important as it used to be and as music evolves, artists & bands who believe they can change the world with their music can be seen and heard & hopefully the world pays attention!

    What is your favorite U2 videoclip, and why?

    Pride is probably my favorite; it’s the first one I loved and watched when I was younger and whenever I watch it I’m being transported back to when I was a young teenager discovering the band & being fascinated by their unique sound. Another favorite is Sunday Bloody Sunday which is essentially the live performance from Red Rocks. I loved the intro where Bono’s saying “This song is not a rebel song. This song is Sunday Bloody Sunday”. I always found this introduction so cool and just like with Pride, it makes me think back to the days when I was falling in love with U2, so I feel a bit of nostalgia when I watch these videos. Nowadays I don’t watch music videos that much, but maybe now it’s a good opportunity for me to start doing so since they’re uploading more on YouTube.

    In your opinion, what has been U2's defining moment and why?

    Live Aid is definitely the first event that comes to mind. It was the performance of Bad that introduced Bono & the band to the whole world and skyrocketed their reputation. However, in my opinion, the ultimate defining moment was Achtung Baby. The ‘dream it all up again’ speech and the new era of U2 is what I consider to be their defining moment. Going to Berlin and reimagining the idea of U2 is such a significant part of their story and it’s probably the reason why they’re still together. They became hugely successful with The Joshua Tree and for them to change their image & music in such a drastic way is astonishing and legendary. I believe if it hadn’t been for that complete 180 turn, we wouldn’t have Achtung Baby & whatever came after and U2 would either stop or get lost somewhere in the 90s. They really established themselves as a band that pushes the envelope in terms of music (AB, Zooropa, Pop) and in terms of touring (ZooTV, Popmart, 360); they revolutionized the idea of what a (rock) tour can be and if U2 hadn’t gone through this change, things would be so much different today. Bono’s alter egos helped him become a better performer & free himself and he used his new image to showcase his talent and ability to create & use characters to sing a song, tell a story, get a message across and essentially perform in front of thousands of people while having fun and enjoying being a rockstar.

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

    There is no other band or artist that I enjoy listening to their whole catalogue. The only band I pretty much enjoy most of their output is Red Hot Chili Peppers – to be more precise, I like everything they’ve released since One Hot Minute. I used to play the bass, so you can understand how RHCP’s Flea was an inspiration for me. I like listening to albums from start to finish; it makes the experience more interesting listening to a complete album with the original flow. Some of my favorite albums are from artists / bands such as R.E.M., The Cure, Snow Patrol, Oasis, Arcade Fire, David Bowie, Elton John, Depeche Mode, James, The Killers, Coldplay, System of a Down, Serj Tankian, Weezer, Pink Floyd, Television, The The, The Police, Dire Straits, Radiohead, The Lumineers, Keane, The Smiths, The Strokes, New Order. All of them have released at least one or two albums I love, but I’ve never become a real fan of anyone. The simplest way to describe the difference between U2 and these other artists is that U2 occupies an enormous space in music and whatever mood I’m in or whatever I’m going through, there’s definitely a U2 song or live performance for that! They’ve explored different areas of music and by doing so, in my opinion, they have released at least one brilliant album for each different music path they were on. The contrast between War and Pop, The Joshua Tree and NLOTH, Boy and Achtung Baby is extraordinary and imo they’re all terrific albums. I love the big sound & the glorious anthems. I love the spectacular shows; a U2 live experience can transform you and make you feel exactly what you needed to. They’re the only live act that I can think of that makes me feel such a wide range of emotions. My favorite songs of all time are not necessarily all from U2, but overall, U2’s music is healing & no other artist / band has the same impact on me.

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

    I used to play the bass and be in a band in high school and that was pretty cool, but I kind of lost interest ever since I started university. I may have stopped playing the bass, but I actually started singing in karaoke bars, because I just love singing! I enjoy watching sports, mostly football - Champions League & Premier League - and NBA. I’ve also been skiing for a total of almost 10 years, but, unfortunately haven’t been able to go skiing in forever; 2016 must have been the last time, but I wish I can take up skiing again in the future, because I love the sense of freedom and happiness it brings me. As for my field of study, I’m mainly interested in micro & nano electronics and I wish to continue my studies and study for an MSc degree next year.

    That's me 11 years ago a day before the show in Athens!

    Thanks for this interview iamcrazytonight!

    Note: Our crew members randomly pick fans of the month, you can't sign up for it.
  2. Great read, thank you! Being born on the day of the Thessaloniki show in 1997 and becoming a fan and see them at the early age of 13 - that's a pretty cool story.
    I hope they will return to Greece someday so that you can see them again in your own country and if that doesn't happen, that you can see a show some where else.
  3. Originally posted by Papo:Great read, thank you! Being born on the day of the Thessaloniki show in 1997 and becoming a fan and see them at the early age of 13 - that's a pretty cool story.
    I hope they will return to Greece someday so that you can see them again in your own country and if that doesn't happen, that you can see a show some where else.
    Yeah, this coincidence still seems crazy to me! I would love to see them in Greece again, it would mean the world to me, but I'm more than happy to see them in countries where there's a larger and more passionate fanbase.
  4. Great interview 👍
  5. Great read!
  6. Thank you guys!
  7. Great read, great taste!
  8. Έτσι!
  9. Σπάνια συναντάω Έλληνες fans οπότε μου έφτιαξε τη μέρα το σχόλιο αυτό! Greetings from Greece & take care Harry
  10. Congratulations to be a fan of the month !! A great honour !!