Melbourne Popmart concert

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Melbourne Popmart concert, February 21, 1998

This U2 fan emailed me about his own experience, during and BEFORE this particular concert. This is an exclusive story, courtesy of the U2 Station webmaster!

G'day from Australia
Mon, 4 Jan 1999 23:24:32 +1100

Hi there Jonathon....I read your review on U2's Pittsburgh show with great interest and I thought I'd drop you a few lines about the show they did in Melbourne on Saturday, February 21, 1998.

They played at Waverley Park....a stadium which is just a ten minute walk from my house. So the night before the show I went down there to have a look at the stage but I couldn't get in. I saw some guy walking around the outside of the stadium and I started talking to him.

His name was John Conk, one of the site co-ordinators, and he has been with the band for more than five years.

He said he'd worked for a lot of bands including Aerosmith but none of them compared with U2. He said they were the nicest bunch of people to work for.

I asked him what to expect from the show and he asked me if I saw Zoo TV. I saw it when it came to Melbourne in 1993 and I told him I was blown away. He said Popmart was better. Why? ``It's different. Just wait 'till you see the show''. This ensured that I would have a sleepless night.

The next day I was helping my dad to paint the house so all the windows were open. Around 4.30pm, I heard the unmistakable chords of Edge's guitar reverberating from the stadium. I dropped my paintbrush, got in the car and went down there again to listen to the sound check. They went through With or Without You, Where the Streets Have No Name and some other instrumental tracks.

I tried in vain to catch a glimpse of them but security was after the sound check I went back home, had a shower, got changed and went back to see the show.

I got there just as the support act was finishing, not sure who they were but they were pretty bad. Then they started playing some other songs over the PA...the one that sticks out in my mind is Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve....I think cause it was so loud.

Then the lights went down and there was a mad rush towards the back of the stadium. (Waverley Park, by the way, is where we play Australian Rules football). The band came out of the players race and through the crowd. Seeing them up close made me realise that they are real, they are human beings.

I thought the show was sensational. The sound quality was exceptional. They achieved a CD-like sound quality at an outdoor show. For years bands have come to Australia and have been canned for their sound quality (U2 copped a bit of flak in 1993 for the same reason). But the sound was so crisp, so clean and so loud.

They played the usual Popmart set with all the usual Popmart gimmicks. Olive on giant toothpick, giant mirrorball lemon, biggest TV screen in the world, and an arc that looks like half a McDonald's arc.

They ended the show with One, as a tribute to Michael Hutchence. It really brought the mood down. Usually U2 finish their shows on an uplifting feeling....but everyone just slumped to their chairs and some people were even crying. I suppose that shows that they are the greates live act to ever grace a stage. For a band to reach the inner emotions of people at a concert is a true indication of their power in a live situation.

Having seen them in 1989 (Love Town tour, at the Tennis Centre, a fantastic gig), in 1993 at the MCG (Zoomerang Tour, awesome display of stadium rock), Popmart at Waverley took the cake. A truly magical performance from four men who have touched the hearts and souls of millions of people around the world.

Writing this email is giving me goosebumps.....

Anyway, looking forward to U2's next album. Who knows what they'll come up with.

Sandro Olivo.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on February 21, 1998 4:35 AM.

Accused U2 Stalker In Custody was the previous entry in this blog.

Pop Mart is over the top is the next entry in this blog.

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