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August 2001
U2 Concert Arnhem
Rotterdam, Netherlands Harbor Tour
Rotterdam - Kubuswoningen
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Friday Night - Den Haag
Malle and Antwerpen, Belgium
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U2 Concert Arnhem
Saturday, August 11, 2001; posted by Paris

On 31 July, Lisa and I went to Arnhem, The Netherlands to see U2. Arnhem is best known as the "bridge too far." Near the end of WWII the Allies attempted to cut off the German armies entrenched in the Netherlands. "Operation Market Garden" involved the largest airborne operation of the war. Following three weeks of fighting, the Allies had lost 3000 men, and fell short of their goal - which was finally achieved seven months later.

Also in Arnhem is the Gelredome - an auditorium that holds about 34 thousand people. On this very hot afternoon, we parked the car and walked into the city center to have a look around.

In the evening we entered the Gelredome (after being frisked by guards searching for contraband like cameras and plastic water bottles).

We have some good friends in the music industry who got us tickets (3 shows sold out in a few minutes), and the tickets were for the VIP zone - right at the tip of the heart-shaped stage. Very cool. We could see the band 5 feet in front of us as they strolled around - sweating, talking, goofing around with each other. The Edge was top-notch this night - he sounded great.

Great show, lots of old U2 tunes. The crowd really dug it (although at times I heard them singing more loudly than Bono).

Of course, Bono did his activist complaining, he kept saying things that indicated he thought he was in Amsterdam and his singing was off. He flubbed some lyrics and couldn't hit the high notes - The Edge was pulling the weight there. Bono apologized and said he had not been to bed that day, and the rest of the band had gone to bed only at 7am and they were tired.

No matter, it was a really good 1.5 hour show.

Opening act (Kelis), although good musicians and singers, played really silly songs and was essentially booed out of the auditorium by a really mad crowd (the band tried to cover 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' and made everyone even more mad - middle fingers in the air everywhere and shouting louder than the music). Odd opening act and odd behavior.

Here are some notes from the U2 site.

Main Set: Elevation, Beautiful Day, Until the End of the World, New Year's Day, Kite, Gone, New York, I Will Follow, Sunday Bloody Sunday, When I Get Home / Stuck In a Moment, In A Little While, Desire, Stay, Bad / 40, Where the Streets Have No Name, Mysterious Ways, The Fly

Encore(s): Bullet the Blue Sky, With or Without You, One, Wake Up Dead Man, Walk On

Comments: Bono sings 'Kite' for his father who is ill, and 'In a Little While' for the late Dutch artist Herman Brood. 'When I Get Home' is a Brood song. During 'Bad', Bono holds a young girl on his shoulders and runs around the heart with her.

The Edge - the best.
Borrowed from the site

Lisa and I outside the Gelredome (they would not let us in with a camera).