Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of the month May of 2021 is user hedyzera. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.
"The setlist of my first show was the best possible, Out of Control debuting on the tour, Zooropa being played for the first time in many years, Ultra Violet (which was my favorite song at the time) being played, it was a perfect day."
Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
My name is Hédy Gabriel, i have 27 years old, i'm Brazilian and i live in a city from the south of the country called Florianópolis (known for its beautiful beaches), my job it's about drawing topography projects using AutoCAD software.
How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
When the band released "The Best of 1990-2000" in 2002, my parents had this dvd and for some reason i picked it up to watch and i became amazed by the songs and the videoclips, it was something natural, I just really liked the image that the band transmitted and I really admired Bono as a frontman, when I realized, I was already trying to go deeper and deeper into the history of the band. I started to watch Slane Castle, Live Boston 2001 and Rattle & Hum (DVD's) which only sacrificed my admiration for the band, this time seeing their performance live. From then on, any material from the band that i listen increase my admiration for their work.
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?
The band has always been very popular and well-known here in Brazil, so when I started to become a fan, my family already knew and liked it, but it's correct to say that my aunt was always a huge U2 fan and who had the DVD's and CD's, so it's correct to say that's she who converted me. About my friends, they tend to like some U2's songs (singles and classics ones), but not enough to becoming fans, in general they like songs/bands of other styles and genres, I like to think that I showed them that U2 is much more than just a band with a few hits on the radio.
Your first U2 show took place in Sao Paulo in 2011, tell us about your day and experience.
For being my first U2's concert, impossible to say that it was not unforgettable, São Paulo is a city a little far from my city (577km), I went with my family (it was their first U2 concert too) and I met some friends before entering the stadium and I managed to stay inside the Inner Circle without any difficulties thanks to them. (the running between the stadium gates to the stage was one of the best moments). The setlist was the best possible, Out of Control debuting on the tour, Zooropa being played for the first time in many years, Ultra Violet (which was my favorite song at the time) being played, it was a perfect day.
Your second and last show to date took place 6 years later for the Joshua Tree anniversary tour. What were your highlights from that day?
My second U2 show, incredible as it may seem for me was better than the first, the setlist was not so diverse, but The Joshua Tree's anniversary tour, for the meaning and for what it represented, gave a different atmosphere to the show, seeing "Bad" for the first time... no words, but undoubtedly seeing The Joshua Tree in its entirety is incredible. I remember them playing "You're The Best Thing About Me" and even it was a new song, the audience showed itself excited and the performance was memorable.
What does your U2 collection look like? What kind of stuff do you have and how is it organised?
My U2 collection is very simple compared to what I've seen here on the site, I have all the CDs and DVDs and that's basically it, but on the computer I try to have more rare things (bootlegs, rare live performances) thanks to this site."
Which U2 song do you feel the most "attached" to, or means the most for you?
It's very difficulty to me to choose a song that i feel most "attached" to, because since i've discovered U2, always have a song that i feel most attached depending on what happens in my life, and i don't need a specific reason... songs like "Dirty Day", "A Sort of Homecoming", "The Fly"... lately i feel that "Some Days Are Better Than Others" has fit better in my thougts for what we are living.
In your opinion, what has been U2's defining moment and why?
I see Achtung Baby as an album that gave the band a chance to prove that they were not just a great 80's band but one of the best music groups in the world, the decade change gave them a chance to try others elements and they knew how to use them very well, keeping a band in shape and relevant after having released a great album is something that I realize that many other bands have failed to do.
How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?
U2 for me is simply the band with the most diverse and concise material from the bands I listen to, probably only the Beatles have the same consistency, which would be the second band I admire most musically, the fact that the band in each decade has changed its sound and maintaining its relevance is something that fascinates me, we have the post-punk, "American", "experimental" and the "back to the roots" phase, I can enjoy all these phases and that's why I can't get sick of band, I see that a lot of bands that I like at some point lose their essence and remain just any band, while U2 can be several bands during an album and this is great to keep the fan engaged.
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
I love practice sports, football is one of those that I can say that I like to follow and practice the most (I'm an S.C. Internacional supporter.), I practice cycling with some regularity, lately I have also been following formula one (go Verstappen!), because of the pandemic my favorite hobby has turned to play videogames, is what I have to spend time and stay at home until I get vaccinated, I also miss going out to drink with my friends in bars and clubs in my city, I had a relatively busy social life before the pandemic started, but if all goes well, this year I will return to active life with other activities that I stopped to do because of the moment that we are living.
Thanks for this interview hedyzera!
Note: Our crew members randomly pick fans of the month, you can't sign up for it.
"They were sort of half-written, so that the odd line here or there really did make sense, then came whole sections that were just 'Bongolese', as we came to call it."
- The Edge on Bono's song writing on U2's early tunes
did you know
The 'seven towers' referred to in the song 'Running To Stand Still' are seven 18 floor tower block buildings central to the development which developed a serious heroin problem over the years in Ireland.