I discovered U2 at the age of 15. A replay of Live Aid introduced me to ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ and all that fierce togetherness, fronted by an unforgettable Bono. He had something I couldn’t quite identify at the time and perhaps I still can’t: musicality, fire, presence, defiance, empathy – he had all those things and more. He was also able to deliver those qualities on a huge scale, to a huge audience.
I went out to buy a U2 album and found ‘War’. ‘War’ was a spiritual experience, coming to my ears through my headphones, infiltrating my soul. Drowning Man held a particular power, with the melody seeming to move in dragging whirlpools; the vocals an urgent appeal. The quiet, renewing energy of ’40’ was its own spell – I fell under it and the world felt different.
Two years later, I was lucky enough to see U2 in concert at Wembley Stadium. I was quite far back, on my feet amongst sweaty strangers, but my eyes found the band and never lost the connection. When Bono and the Edge stepped out onto a platform to perform an acoustic version of ‘With or Without You’, they were singing to me.
Fast forward to 2018 . . . I had just lost my Dad and my husband bought me a subscription to the U2 fan club. Tickets were about to go on sale for their upcoming concert in Dublin and I had access to the presale. Somehow, I managed to secure tickets in the front row of the seated section. Part 2 of what felt like a dream sequence was about to unfold and I would have my husband beside me!
The concert was incredible. A giant screen lifted to reveal the band in all their glory and so close! Yes, they were older, but their journey and unshakeable bond had become part of the music. Afterwards, I thought about the band as a whole and how important each member was to creating that unique sound. I wrote this poem.
Body of Sound
U2, Dublin, 09/11/2018
and the drums make a song
of our heartbeats, lead them
to stronger rhythms;
the bass is in our blood,
deepens every present feeling.
Guitar is our pleasure, strings
work like muscles, override
any music we might have believed
before a man walked in grace,
singing for us, the gathered unheard;
giving us voices we didn’t know we
possessed — the longest semibreve.
K. S. Moore
Photo by U2start on Foter.com / CC BY