Expresso Music

The Virtual Road – Second stop : Under a virtual sky

29 March 2021

Late blog post about that second stop on the Virtual road guys.

Should have been written/posted earlier but eh, had to recover from the party first. 

And yes, I did get up.

My sleep pattern is still a bit messed up so I hope it will still make some sense. 

Well. At least as much as usual.

Right. Fine. Let’s do this!

What a blast.

I’ve always loved those night gigs when you’re not sure if it’s late night or early morning, and it’s basically just you and the music in the dead of the night…. Plus a bunch of friends online of course. Midnight might be when the day begins, but past that hour is when the community truly comes together from every part of the world – time zones oblige – and then, you can go anywhere… Miami, New Orleans , London, Belfast and Berlin … And in this case, Red rocks, CO.

I was well happy to wake up to a bunch of crazy fellow Europeans waiting for the show. And please, don’t call us dedicated, this is just utter craziness for sure, but eh, as always, the good kind. 

I don’t know if it has anything to do with sleep deprivation, the gallons of caffeinated drinks we rely on, or the compulsory 3am pints/coffee? coffee/pints? Pints of Coffee? ha… You get what I mean – but damn guys… We sure know how to get into party mode and maybe (just maybe) slightly get out of control at times. Laughter, friends, music and drinks. That’s all we need really. And it will always be worth it – even the 24 hours of dying and “i’m too old for that shit” constant muttering afterwards. 

Back to the show! 

No pre show Zoom this time – pretty convinced it was Larry’s turn and… yup, that looked like Larry alright – but straight to Grian’s angelic face and loud music pounding in my headphones. Prob for the best considering what time it was. I’ve had a massive crush on Fontaines DC since Bono shared his ‘Full Irish playlist‘ last year, and I keep repeating myself but yes, I apparently have a thing for Irish rock bands. They did a marvellous job at keeping me awake… What a band. They look good, they sound good, they feel absolutely right. Catching those guys live in the real world is at the top of my post pandemic wish list for sure. 

I had seen that performance at Kilmainham gaol, but just like those other guys I’ll talk about a bit later, it was really enjoyable to catch those songs again. Obviously stealing a smile from me, when thinking that it was one hell of a Celebration, going full circle on this one.

Not me starting a best tongue moment contest… *innocent whistling*

It all flew so damn fast though, there I was losing my shite for the boys in the better laa-and and boom, that’s it. It would leave any sensible human being craving for more, that’s for sure. Luckily for us, right up next, from Dublin Ireland…. 

U2 !

Haaaa, I love the sound of that so damn much. No matter how many times you watch this, it never gets old. Instant goosebumps.

Always so glad to travel through space and time with those shows, even though everything gets a tad bit blurry on the edges of our 2021 vision, probably due to the wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff as that other dude once said – or the 6th coffee run in 20 minutes.

I’m not making any sense again, am I? Maybe I am too old for that shit after all…. what i’m trying to say is that it’s no secret that you can get high on music, and drunk on love, and that’s usually what happens with this band. Night and day.

Bono always loves to remind us that they’re a Saturday night Sunday morning kind of band, and since we will always follow… ha. I guess there’s no way out from being stuck in that moment eh? 

It makes no doubt that these guys are our drug of choice no matter what, or when, or how to be quite honest… It just works.

I absolutely love the Red Rocks show, it’s one of my fav shows from the lads, for the simple reason that it’s just about said lads. No fancy screens, no stage extravaganza, just 4 boys doing their thing. And yet, it’s still nothing short but epic. Pure rock n roll ecstasy, a punk rawness that hit your guts, and proof that those boys were destined to bigger things. Look at those babies, look at that energy, completely driven to throw the best show ever – and their joy flooding us with that light we know so well, it’s U2 alright. The early days that would lead them on this musical journey to being the biggest rock band in the world, and without a single doubt, even then, the best one. 

They’re just mind blowing. They rock hard and hit true. And yes, maybe some of it is still quite a mess, but I like to think that beauty is born out of chaos anyway. And what a beautiful night they offered their audience, there, now, through time and space. We sure won’t forget that night Baby Bono. 

Technically speaking, I’m still well amazed at the work being put into those remastered. When that show happened, I wasn’t even born, and for what I remember from my early years, TV quality was nothing like that. And there we are, 38 years later, watching it all in HQ. Isn’t it all a bit crazy really? Fuck, I love technology. 

And what a great one to remaster. The setting is just sublime. Those boys sure look even better than the real thing. And we get to enjoy the very neat work of those cameras operators, capturing what I affectionately call the Bouncy Tush Parade for all eternity – seriously though, whoever was in charge of those Bono shots MUST have had somewhat of a crush on him – can’t blame, won’t judge, and hell I certainly won’t complain about it either.

Err… (God bless America)

The funniest bit about it all is that it allows us to pick on some details more thoroughly. I’m absolutely terrible at maths, so excuse my lack of accuracy, but these boys were pretty young – so young actually that I even felt guilty of checking out those bums – and yet, you see them now. And i’m not talking about their faces – nor bums – but all those little features that make them, well them. 

I watched the show twice with the twitter fam, and that second time I laid back a bit more – because “I’m too old for that shit” and so very tired – and had fun watching the band more closely – stop now, they’re babies and it’s not right. 

Larry still does that drummer face when things get heated in the rhythm section, Adam still tends to pivot around like a frigging bailarina and sure hasn’t lost his (more than) charming smile. Edge? Oh Edge… It cracks me up that he still moves in the exact same mysterious ways – Explorer included.

In the end, they all kept most of their moves, except for Bono I guess, and thank god for that. Dancing, shuffling, prancing, whatevering… He’s proper amazeballs that’s for sure, and to see him fill that stage in any possible way is just the best indicator of what a frontman he was destined to be.

Some people were watching those early days of Bonoing and saying that he (and his hormones) calmed down. I’m not sure he did frankly – at least him. No idea about the rest, and I don’t really want to know to be honest. I just think he got better at channeling that energy and giving it back to the audience with surgical precision. Because he’s that good. And obviously, when Bono walks on stage these days, you probably scream your heart out because you’re lost for words. He owns the stage in a way he maybe didn’t back then, experience over innocence perhaps? – or maybe it’s a hair thing who knows.  

But i’m not sure it all has to do with youth guys, but more with the frontman he is, and if you have any doubt about it, just think, have you seen him roar on stage? Yeap. That sums it up. And that’s also true for all of them really. 

*Majestic You*

When you look back to those days, to that show… Of course there’s the youth factor, but not just. They storm that stage, and they just go for it. Full on. The most striking thing about this show is how they 100% believe in what they’re doing. If they had any doubt about their songs or what they were capable of, it sure doesn’t show. Those dudes sure know how to take a leap of faith. Always have. So maybe yes, that frenzy might have to do with youth, but they never stopped trying to prove themselves on a stage. Always aiming for greatness and the limits of what’s possible – that fire in their eyes, you can still see it these days. That fire never died out. 

The greatness of UABRS is also the fact that it’s pre JT, pre big hits we all know, and it gives you the opportunity to really revisit and enjoy those earlier songs. And those songs, well, damn. I’m not sure that you can name that many bands whose earlier songs still sound so fresh and would totally fit in a show today. We know for a fact that they still work. We have lost our minds – and pulled muscles – for years on songs like I will follow, Out of control, Gloria, Electric Co, A day without me – I know. Don’t say anything. Maybe they will fall for it.

Quite a lot of their songs evolved through time, and changed to adapt to different eras, a more current vibe… And you know exactly which ones of course. EBTTRT just gets better and better every damn tour for example, but funnily enough, those earlier songs… They just feel exactly the same.

The rawness is still there. The energy is still there. It’s rock. It’s punk. It’s songs we can hear over and over again, and have been really, for decades now, and yet… we never get bored of them. And I think neither do they. Maybe it’s part of that fire alright, who knows, I can’t explain it and thank fck for that.

Damn I love music. 

That’s a good thing to end up with. Love. Music. It doesn’t get much better than that right? 

One hell of a late night/early morning on Earth guys. The banter was real and the show, oh so good. 

It was so good actually that we did it all over again the following night – at a more suitable time for the non lunatics – and it felt like the best day in a long time. 24 hours of music, friends, coffee/pints and power naps… Pretty much like an actual show day.

If you’re in good company, with the right band in front of you, those emotions are real, no matter how it’s delivered. 

Now it’s time to rest for a few days – and after that post, I guess it shows right? – because the next stop is going to be absolutely mental.You know very well what everyone’s talking about… I think that’s the one show we’re the most excited about collectively. No doubt that it’s going to be one hell of a party – and seriously, let’s blow up those views big time to send the guys that damn message louder than ever.

WE NEED the boom cha lads. 

There’s never enough Boom CHA!

(Bring it back, pretty please.)

And of course i’ll get up. No one’s too old for that shit. 

(Boom Cha)


GA line this way y’all! 


Jo D

Music lover, helpless dreamer, bit of a nutter. I like to think that the world would be a better place to live in if people smiled up a bit more often. Forever stuck in the intro of 'Streets', I keep bouncing through life and try to escape a boring reality using my very own sense of silliness. Some people think I’m crazy, and thank god they’re right. But the truth is that in the end, I’m just a U2 fan who drinks too much coffee

Twitter @madfl3a
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