I first started paying attention to U2 in the early 80s, around the time of the War album. A band from Ireland was practically unheard of in the US at that time, and it seemed very exotic to me. I loved the militant drumming of Sunday Bloody Sunday, and the song itself was impossible to ignore. I wanted to hear more.
When I came upon this video on youtube some time ago, it felt like a time warp. I remembered being an excited adolescent, watching MTV (at my friend's house as my parents didn't have cable at the time) and wishing I was there in the rain at Red Rocks.
As the 80s progressed, I started working at Arby's, my first job. I worked the late shift one summer, and closed down the restaurant each night. The Joshua Tree was the most popular album in the country at the time, and I remember playing the cassette on a boombox after we had locked the doors. We'd sing along to With or Without You while we washed mountains of dishes and cleaned dirty floors and tables.
When I finally got my first cd player stereo in the early 90s, U2's Achtung Baby was the first cd I ever bought. I still have the cd, and it remains one of my favorites.
The 90s went on, and I got distracted by too many other things to pay as much attention to music. I lost interest. But in the early 2000s, I watched U2's 2001 concert at Slane Castle in Ireland, and I became a fan all over again. The band was a lot older, and so was I. On some level, it felt like we'd grown older together.
When I watch this performance of what is probably my all-time favorite song, I almost feel as if I am there too, under the stars in Ireland, next to a centuries-old castle.
I think what I love most about music is that it can provide an escape from the doldrums and routines of every day life. When I listen to music, for a few minutes or a few hours, I can be transported to another time or place. A time when the world seemed much simpler, and responsibilities were few. A place where I may never have actually been.
Or, in some cases, a magical place that exists only in my mind.
I'll show you a place
High on a desert plain
Where the streets have no name ~ U2