U2 Popmart 1st leg, a retrospective: Columbus, DC, Jersey, Philly

MyMusicalJourneySince everyone seemed to be pleasantly surprised last week remembering how great Pop and Popmart were, I thought I’d continue with the rest of my shows on the tour. After my first Popmart show in Pittsburgh, I went to five others on the first leg and two on the third leg (check back next Friday for those final two shows where I almost became a Bono girl).

3-bono-in-columbusAfter my first Popmart show in Pittsburgh, we drove the three hours to Columbus, Ohio for our second Popmart show on May 24, 1997, at Ohio State University. We saw Bono get off the bus, but he was swarmed by fans. It wasn’t as orderly as it had been on ZooTv. The fans weren’t standing in a straight line for Bono to walk down and talk with everyone. I managed to get a few pictures though – luckily I’m tall. We also signed the banner hanging outside the stadium. This was the only Popmart show that I did not have a seat on the floor.

The set list for Popmart Columbus (5.24.97) was as follows: Mofo, I Will Follow, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Gone, Pride, I Still Haven’t Found-Stand By Me, Last Night On Earth, Until The End Of The World, If God Will Send His Angels, Staring At The Sun, Daydream Believer, Miami, Bullet the Blue Sky, Please, Where the Streets Have no Name, Discotheque, If You Wear That Velvet Dress, With or Without You, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, Mysterious Ways, One.

My third show on the Popmart tour was two days later at RFK Stadium Washington, DC on May 26, 1997. This was my hometown show, and it was great! I was fifth row from the stage. Everyone I knew was there, since I had gotten tickets for most of my friends. It rained as it had on ZooTv, but it really poured this time non-stop throughout the show. The screens were a little messed up, but at least they functioned and the show wasn’t cancelled like it was in Raleigh. The set list for this show was the same as the ones in Pittsburgh and Columbus, except “Unchained Melody” was not played in Columbus and Edge sang “Sweet Caroline” in Pittsburgh. The set list for Popmart show in DC (5.26.97) was as follows: Mofo, I Will Follow, Even Better Than the Real Thing, Gone, Pride, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Last Night on Earth, Until the End of the World, If God Will Send His Angels, Staring at the Sun, Daydream Believer (Edge Karaoke), Miami, Bullet the Blue Sky, Where the Streets Have No Name / Playboy Mansion, Discotheque, If You Wear That Velvet Dress, With or Without You, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, Mysterious Ways, One, Unchained Melody.

A few days later I drove up to New Jersey for my fourth and fifth Popmart shows at Giants Stadium on May 31 and June 1. We were on the floor for the first show, but our tickets were in the stands on the side of the stage for the second. Ken, the crew member I had met in Pittsburgh, walked us down to the floor for the second show, so we could be close to the stage. As he was walking us around, it was time for U2 to come out. We were walking around behind the stage as the guys were walking out. We stood right at the stairs as Larry, Bono, Edge and Adam walked onto the stage. I wasn’t allowed to scream obviously. I almost passed out from holding in my excitement. Maybe that is why I got SO excited and had to stand behind the stage at almost 360 show to watch U2 walk onto the stage. It was at this second show on June 1 that Bono and Edge performed “Staring at the Sun” acoustically for the first time.

The set list for Popmart Jersey 5.31.97 was as follows: Mofo, I Will Follow, Gone, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Pride, I Still Haven’t Found-Stand By Me, Last Night On Earth, Until The End Of The World, If God Will Send His Angels, Staring At The Sun, Daydream Believer, Miami, Bullet the Blue Sky, Please, Where the Streets Have No Name, Discotheque, If You Wear That Velvet Dress, With or Without You, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, Mysterious Ways-Rain, One. The set list for Popmart Jersey 6.1.97 was as follows: Mofo, I Will Follow, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Gone, Pride, I Still Haven’t Found-Stand By Me, Last Night On Earth, Until The End Of The World, If God Will Send His Angels-Hallelujah, Staring At The Sun, Sweet Caroline, Miami, Bullet the Blue Sky, Please, Where the Streets Have no Name, Discotheque, If You Wear That Velvet Dress, With or Without You, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, Mysterious Ways, Rain-One-Unchained Melody.

12-popmart-vip-oaklandA week later, I drove up to Philadelphia for my sixth Popmart show, and final one on the first leg. It was on June 8, 1997 at Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania, not at Veterans Stadium where the previous tours had been. We arrived to see Bono and Larry get off the buses, but just like in Columbus they were swarmed by fans and we couldn’t get close. I managed to get a couple of pictures though. It was at this show that I got my purple Popmart crew jacket from Ken. I still wear this jacket 17 years later. It is my rain jacket, my concert jacket.

The set list for Popmart Philly 6.8.97 was as follows: Mofo, I Will Follow, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Gone, Pride, I Still Haven’t Found-Stand By Me, Last Night On Earth, Until The End Of The World, If God Will Send His Angels, Staring At The Sun, Daydream Believer, Miami, Bullet the Blue Sky-America, Please, Where the Streets Have No Name, Discotheque, If You Wear That Velvet Dress, With or Without You, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, Mysterious Ways, One-Hallelujah. 

Later that summer, Ken invited me out to Oakland for the U2 show. I went, but for a reason that escapes me now we didn’t go to the show. I did meet Fintan Fitzgerald, of Rattle and Hum’s ‘could you pass me a tissue, Fintan’ fame, and I got a VIP laminated pass for the show, but we never went to the U2 show. I remember having a great time exploring all around San Francisco, but no U2 show. I would have to wait a few more months for another Popmart show.

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I have finally found what I am looking for - all because of U2. I am writing my U2 memoir called "On the Road with U2: my musical journey." It is about the 75 U2 shows I've been to since ZooTv, including my three-month road trip during the last leg of the 360 Tour where I drove to every US concert. More than just the concerts, it is about the places I've been, the people I've met, and my quest to meet Larry.

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