Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of the month June of 2021 is user ConorMac93. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.
"My earliest U2 memory is watching the Premiership Premier League highlights show on ITV and Beautiful Day was the intro song ever week. I loved it."
Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
Hi, I’m Conor 28 years old from Birmingham. I work as a Recruitment Advisor for the National Health Service
How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
My earliest memory is watching the Premiership Premier League highlights show on ITV and Beautiful Day was the intro song ever week. I loved it. My two older brothers would play CD’s in the house which influenced me and my Dad was a big fan too he saw his first show in 1987 on the JT Tour. As I got older I gradually got more and more into the band and went through the albums myself. By the age of about 14 I was hooked.
Tell us about your first U2 show in Cardiff, what was that like with your family?
It was such a great day and buzz to finally get to the band live. I’d not long did finished my GCSE’s exams at school and this was the highlight of the summer. I remember it being a scorching hot day and going into O’Neills pub for drinks. All going smoothly till the bouncer caught me drinking in the corner and kicked me out as I was only 16. Much to my brothers’ amusement who then took the piss out of me ha.
All the build up, moving from pub to pub was great and when I got into the stadium the stage set up blew me away. Such a sight seeing the claw. To hear all the classic songs Streets, Still Haven’t Found gave me goosebumps. The atmosphere was top notch and the band were on great form. I was stood with my two brothers singing away and that’s something I’ll never forget. I hope they play again one day in Wales.
Next up was the Joshua Tree tour, you saw it in Europe and two years later in Singapore. What were those experiences like?
The JT17 tour I really enjoyed. As soon as it was announced the excitement got me. To hear the album in full was special and I felt the band really did it justice and adapted it will to the stadiums. In particular I loved the piano arrangement of Red Hill Mining Town a nice arrangement and One Tree Hill was a highlight. I saw 3 shows in London 1, Dublin and Paris 2 which was my first show outside of the UK. Paris was my favourite as it was a spontaneous last minute decision to go with my Dad and we’d never seen them play outside of the UK. Picked up GA tickets for around £30 each and booked some flights. The French crowd were brilliant and I got to hear A Sort Of Homecoming for the first time which made the night. The crowd really got into it and the atmosphere took off. We even managed hungover to hell the morning after to see the Eiffel Tower and some other tourist spots so crammed it all in 24 hours before catching the flight home. Happy days.
Two years later and the JT19 tour gets announced and then began the plotting of where to go, saving up the money and booking tickets/flights. I travelled alone but met up with SJ, Dean, Tim and Davie who I’d met through U2start and got to know since 2018 all great lads. The 2 shows were excellent and I liked the set list changes with the different songs in the encore hearing Every Breaking Wave and Love Is Bigger etc really improved it for me. Also a nice touch hearing Desire and Angel of Harlem played. Two top shows and I’m so glad I went as little did we know the world would change four months later!
Having attended the Experience and Innocence tour as well, do you prefer U2 in arena or large stadium shows?
I love both as they offer different things but for me stadiums just edge it. When the weather is right, beer in hand and you’ve got 70/80 thousand people together it just gives it an extra lift of energy and atmosphere.
What does your U2 collection look like? What kind of stuff do you have and how is it organised?
I’m not much of a collector to be honest I’d have some of the usual CD’s, fan club gifts, T-shirts etc. The main piece up in our house is a signed photo of the band my uncle gifted to us which takes pride of place on the wall over the dinner table.
You play some music yourself as well. Are you inspired by U2, do you cover their music occasionally?
Yeah I do I started learning drums when I was 11 and can play piano which I started at 15. The band are a big inspiration. My 3 favourite drummers growing up were Larry, Brian Downey and Stuart Copeland so I’d practice and try and learn as many drum beats to songs as I could. I’ve always played in different bands since I was a teenager but we never really did any U2 covers probably because no one other than me were into them in each group haha. My brother plays guitar and sings though and whenever there’s a family party we get the instruments out usually do a set so All I Want Is You or One gets a run usually.
Here’s our cover we did together of Running To Standstill for those that want to listen Current music more 'targeted' towards the younger demographic such as yourself - how do U2 fit into this musical landscape?
I like that U2 always try and adapt to the modern music landscape whether it’s remixes or collaborations with other artists across different genres not something many bands of that era feel they need to do but it’s one way to try and pull in younger fans who might be more inclined to listen a dance remix. They’ll always try different things and keep trying to find that hit and trying to stay relevant. The charts aren’t really catered for them but music always evolves and that’s the beauty of it.
How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?
My favourite genre is Indie/Alternative and my top 3
is U2, R.E.M and Lloyd Cole and The Commotions.
I like to have variety in music taste though I’d be as happy going to a rave or a Northern Soul night.
Even some of my first gigs I saw bands like Oasis, The Killers, Foo Fighters etc all great shows but none top seeing U2. That combination of great songwriting, big live shows and spectacle just gives something extra. Not many bands have achieved or done what U2 have the longevity of being around for 40+ years makes them unique and stand apart from most of the bands I like.
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise
I love football and have a season ticket at Aston Villa. I like going out with my mates for food, drinks, going the cinema and clubbing in particular Snobs the finest indie nightclub in the Country. if I can be bothered I’ll go swimming but really if they didn’t have a sauna I’d sack it off.
Thanks for this interview ConorMac93!
Note: Our crew members randomly pick fans of the month, you can't sign up for it.
Nice read buddy,always interesting to me to read the younger fans accounts,I always thought of myself as being late to the party only being a proper fan from Zoo TV onwards but your still a kid compared to me! Good on your family to switch you onto U2.