Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of the month January of 2022 is user jasvan. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.
"Really still is the loudest event I've been to. TV's come on and off we go. The Fly visuals were really pushing it and with the new look of the band, some people i think were in shock, I know I was, It was really crazy new."
Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
First off..I love this site and have been enjoying it for years and years. I appreciate the work and love thats put into it.
My name is Jason Vanderver. Ive been married for 19 years and I have three kids from ages 10-17. I live in Charleston, South Carolina for the last 20 years but I'm originally from Florida. Im a sales rep for the last 25 years in the industrial and cleaning supply industry, so the last two years with Covid have been crazy with all the needs for products I sell. I also play bass guitar at my church and have been a musician since my teens.
How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
I moved to Jacksonville Florida at the end of 1983 and we got cable. My first memory of U2 is watching SBS video on MTV and being aware of them. a year later I got TUF and that was my first tape of theirs. I played it non stop. I don't know at what point I got to be a crazy U2 fan ( i do remember only caring about seeing U2 on the Live Aid broadcast) but it was probably around 87 and TJT and then with Rattle and Hum in the theaters. I know U2 talk bad about that movie but I loved it and still love it. Thats was my true introduction into them live as I taped a copy (w/ two vcrs for you young kids, very illegal at the time) and watched it non stop for 2-3 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?
I know I'm responsible for alot of my friends liking them and seeing them for the first time live as I dragged them to concerts with me. Took my future wife to her first show in Tampa 2001. I took my son to his first show when he was 15 in 2018 in DC. I do have a good friend that I have seen 6 plus shows with as he is pretty hardcore. Also my Pastor ate dinner with Bono and like 2 other people back in 2017 so he likes to remind me of that. My church was involved with ONE campaign and he was invited.
Your first show was the opening night of Zoo TV. Tell us everything about it, how did it came to be and how did you experience it?
I'm still amazed I got to go to this show. It was extremely hard to get tickets back then much less opening night. We went to local record store on a Saturday morning called Turtles. This was probably 1 of 5 spots in Jacksonville to get tickets. They only played two shows on first leg in Florida so you can imagine the demand. We got there and lined up with probably 20-30 people. The guy came out and gave us all numbers and that was the order. There were 4 of us and we could get 4 tickets so it worked out that my buddy got number 2 or 3 to get tickets, the rest of us were like in the teens so no chance. So when they went on sale the guys is just hitting print as fast as he can and I remember it was all over in less then a minute. Sold out! So we got our 4 thanks to his good luck in drawing. The tickets said "U2 Zoo TV Tour presented by MTV" of course no one new what the hell "Zoo TV" was so we went blind. The concert was 2/29/92 which makes it even more special falling on leap year. We got to the venue and we got some merch(still have my black Zoo Tv shirt from this night). I remember laughing that they had condoms for sale. We had seats on right side (ironically enough if you watch the boot video on youtube it looks like the guy filming is in our section as thats pretty close to the view i had) Car hanging over a little stage and long catwalk out to that position was all so groundbreaking. BONO walks out with house lights on which again was weird as that's not what was expected. Singing something I cant make out because the place is so loud you can't hear or think. Really still is the loudest event I've been to. TV's come on and off we go. The Fly visuals were really pushing it and with the new look of the band, some people i think were in shock, I know I was, It was really crazy new. 8 straight from the new album with all the cool visuals but when they got to Bad and Streets it was like your old friends were back. It really was a shocking change that if you didn't experience, it's hard to explain. It was one of the bands my parents didn't mind me listening to because they sang about a lot of christian themes and now Im seeing "666" and "everything you know is wrong" on the screen. lol
It was amazing night that I can still remember vividly. It was very quiet walking out as the crowd was taking it all in. not alot of chatter. Kind of reminds me of the Boston 2017 crowd and how we left after U2 ended with "Little Things"
You saw two more shows that tour, those were in stadiums. How did the tour evolve opposed to the opening night?
Well the size difference was crazy. Im sure 360 was the biggest stage but in my mind Zoo TV outdoor still feels huge. I think the set played (new songs) better outdoors. Zoo Station, Until the End of the World need to be played in a stadium. Saw the two outdoor shows within a week of each other. Miami and Tampa. I remember being so excited they played "New Years Day" and telling my buddy if they are doing this we are getting SBS as well. First time live for those songs for me that night. Bullet had the well rehearsed solo by this stage and it's still my favorite version of Bullet. Bono let some guy play his song in Tampa during the encore which shortened the set. That sucked.
You attended shows on every tour since then, what was your highlight tour?
wow thats tuff. Ive had the luck to be at alot of cool U2 shows. Was at POPmart Atlanta when they played 40 for one of the only times the day after M.H. died. Went to opening night of Elevation Tour. Met Daniel Lanois and talked in the heart in 2001 Atlanta ( he was wearing blue suede shoes) nice guy. Was on the rail in front of THE EDGe in 2005 for my closest experience. Never in my dreams would I have thought I would get to see THE Unforgettable Fire played live in 2009 and Zooropa in 2011 and then Acorbat in 2018. But taking my son to see my favorite band on a guys trip to DC in 2018 would probably be up there at number 1. It was his first concert and I was glad it was U2 with me and not some random band no one will have heard of in 20years. But overall favorite tour is 2001 ( i got to be in the heart and so close to the band I love 5 of the 6 shows I went to) Elevation Tour.
When you're forced to leave to a deserted island and you can take only one U2 album with you, which would it be?
Easy one - Achtung Baby
What does your U2 collection look like? What kind of stuff do you have and how is it organized?
I have alot of vinyl and some old boots bought in the mid 90's. I like posters and taking my own pics and enlarging them. I have a man cave that I keep my gear in and can display stuff without the wife giving me grief. My coolest item is probably from the show in Charlotte 2005. It's a pic I took of the band with my arm band from the pit and a Edge guitar pick Dallas gave me that night.
How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?
I mainly listen to Rock bands. I do live in the south and my wife has rubbed off on me a little so I put up with some country. I'm a child of the 80's so my favs from that time are U2, Tears for Fears, Bowie, The Police. My second favorite band is Pearl Jam and I've seen them live a bunch.
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
I play tennis a lot as my get away. Love going to movies and concerts, both of which I appreciate more not being able to do until recently again. Like i mentioned above I've been playing bass for 25 plus years and play at church in Charleston. We are more contemporary so its more like playing rock. I tell my younger musician friends how much they owe U2 for Contemporary Christian music as most of the songs we did in the early 2000 were U2 rip off chord progressions with a lot of delay and dotted 8th. My kids keep me busy and I'm truly blessed.
Thanks u2start community. I hope I didn't bore and hope to see some of yall at a show in the coming years.
Thanks for this interview jasvan!
Note: Our crew members randomly pick fans of the month, you can't sign up for it.
Nice interview Jason. I can relate to the thrill of taking your son to see U2 for his first gig, but as someone in the queue pointed out to my then 14 year old daughter, it’s all down hill after that. No other live experience can beat it unless, of course, you take them on the next U2 tour.
Hey Jason! The moment I saw you in the list of attendants to Lakeland 92, I knew it wwas going to be a great interview. Very pleasant read, and very nice basses you got there I really like that see foam green, and the inca silver with maple fretboard, whoa, what a beauty.
what they said
"We open at the end of Innocence, "Love Is All We Have Left," "Blackout," "Lights of Home." Those are our three songs that deal with mortality. They are very much songs of experience."
- Edge on the opening of Experience and Innocence shows
did you know
U2 referenced the Something Happens 1990 album, Stuck Together With God's Glue, in their 1997 single "Staring At The Sun".