Rome met us with a warm and sunny weather. We as well as U2 were really glad that finally there won't be raining during the concert. Seems like it was raining in every country except hot Greece. It was raining even in Portugal. After unbearably cold Petersburg (my citay) even this single fact could improve our moods. In Rome we could wear only t-shirts. By the way, I never got so much attention to my short before. In some shops I was asked about U2 concert, but when mira_mama had her shirt on too and we went out of our apartment to go to the concert we got cheers from joyful Italians who was shouting to us: "U2-ooooo!! Beautiful".
Since the stadium was almost out of the city, near mountains, we had to walk pretty long. But there were alot of people in U2 shirts, that's why we couldn't miss the road. And these posters were everywhere.
We were looking for an entrance for "Prato" pretty long time too. The stadium was really huge and it takes about 20 minutes just to walk around only one of its sides. At first we came to the "Curva Nord" side. The only positive thing about it was the soundcheck we could hear from there and it was really loud. Larry was improvising something, but when Edge joined him it was a fantastic sound. Then three of them played some familiar songs (Bono of course doesn't arrive that early). There was a big wall around the stadium, but we could see the top of The Claw.
We were listening to them a bit and then we continued to look for our entrance. On one of the walkway we saw alot of people. I asked an officer about our entrance and he answered pointing out to the crowd: "Right here". I also want to pay a special attention to Italian fake merchandise. Italy is a country of fashion after all so they were selling U2 t-shirts in all possible colors: pink, green, red, violet, there were t-shirts with sequins, with crystals, with sparkling stripes, there were even t-shirts with patterns. There weren't only t-shirts, there were scurfs, hats and alot of more stuff. The selection was really huge and I must admit it was pretty looking. Too bad I didn't take a picture of it. When we were going from the concert the whole street was filled with these goods.
Without extra thinking we sat right on the ground in the middle of that road. We were chatting and waiting. Although we had to wait really long. And much more people came before us. These are people who were in front of us. These road went far far up front. People stood pretty close to each other and there wasn't much space. White naked atlantes from the left were definitely waiting for the concert too. They had much better places, because it looks like they were ready to start running and take places at the stadium. The place by the way we were standing in was really beautiful, amazing trees from the right and a mountain ahead.
Atlantes were showing us their booties and from this angle they were looking more like security guards of the stadium. They were looking at the stadium, it was built in exactly Roman traditions.
It was really hot that day. We were standing under the boiling sun and there wasn't any even light wind. And I had jeans on! I felt like my legs were wrapped in hot asphalt. I was looking up trying to catch some moving air. Sometimes I got it, but it was really short and rare. We didn't get a chance to sit much, because in one moment everyone jumped up and stood up. And the rest of hours we were standing squeezed between other Italians. I can say how many hours were standing by the fact that sun was slowing setting, the day was going into the evening and it was getting dark.
Finally we felt some movement in the crowd. We were going by fits and starts so we could only take some steps. This way we went to the very entrance. It was some kind of filtration there. On the entrance gates I read the warning about recording of that night show and that each person could be in the shot. We went through three controls, one of them was the automatic machine we had to insert our tickets to enter, but anyway in Italy it was possible to take to the concert anything you want. You can take the fridge with foot or a huge photo equipment. We had to throw away bottle at other concerts, but this rule didn't work here, everyone was going with bottles and not only with bottles of water, but even with bottles of wine!
We got a place somewhere in the middle of the stadium. I didn't hope to get into the circle, but I wanted to get closer to the rounded walkway Bono was running on, but it was far from me too. Stage looks not too far in pics, but there was on problem - Italians are really tall! I didn't consider myself as a short person, but there were very tall guys in front of me so I couldn't see anything. And when they put their hands up it wasn't possible to actually see anything. Also I noticed that the most part of U2 fans are men, there were much more men then women. And I took this pic with my arms up.
The Claw amazed us one more time. When you see it you can't help being amazed. From the place we were standing in it seemed really huge and was looking really like a spaceship. During the concert I really got a feeling that we all were on that spaceship which landed in the capital of Italy.
Two English girls were next to us, mother and daughter. They decided to have a picnic right there. They put a cloth on the ground and different food: tomatoes, olives, boxes of butter, cheese, bread, etc. And they had a big bottle of wine which was on "the table" too. So they were slowly eating. I wasn't hungry, but I felt kinda uncomfortable looking at them and their food. But we couldn't sit long enough there again, in one moment everyone was stood up. And everybody so heavily was running forward that security started to ask people to make some steps back, since it was kinda hard there, everyone was really squeezed in the crowd.
I was pretty bored so I was looking at different posters fans brought with them. This one was really huge. They will wait... with or without you.
This is also a great job, nice idea.
We have climbed sever hills
We have run through Olympic (?) gates
Only to be with… U2
Only to be with… U2
The rest of pics are crappy, but there was also a big poster with "Thank U2 for coming" and poster "U2 - the soundtrack of my life". But of course there were much more of them. Posters parade was as big as t-shirts parade. People had a bit variety of t-shirts on them, some of them were just masterpieces. I loved the signature on one: "One love. One life. One band. U2".
I won't translate the part about the support band, because I don't want to insult people who may love them. But for me it was the worst support band ever. It was even worse then band PMMP at P!nk concert. I don't know why they were chosen, but after such music it was obvious that U2 would sound like angels whose music will save our ears.
We had to wait longer than expected, U2's clock showed midnight and disappeared in the darkness. Italians were sining, seems like they love to do it.
But with first sounds of Space Oddity the crowd went crazy. Everyone here knew what that sound meant. U2 didn't have to wait long and some moments later they appeared on stage. During Return of the Stingray Guitar the whole standing area almost left the ground, people were jumping really high so I could only let that mighty energy get me too. Italians proved that they had even more energy than I could even expect. Probably because of it U2 was playing all their energetic songs one after another and they didn't give us even a short time to rest. People were sining so loud that I even couldn't hear Bono, they were louder than Bono. First four songs got into some kind of vertigo :D
I knew about a surprise Italians were preparing, but I didn't expect to see it that early at the concert. U2 started playing I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and the whole sitting area started to change its appearance. In some seconds the word One appeared from the left side, Irish flag appeared up front and Italian flag appeared from behind. This moment was really breathtaking. I even couldn't imagine that it would be that amazing. When I just think about it I get bumps on my back. Bono was speechless too and he couldn't sing more. He put his hand on his chest where the heart is and he was staring at that spectacular show just like the whole standing area. He said "Wow" and continued singing, but people from seats kept standing with pieces of paper in their hands till the end of the song. Later, in the end of the concert Bono trying to find right words said that we turned the stadium into a beautiful piece of jewellery. Thanks to Italians who made the final concert of the tour memorable. It's already hard to remember songs, faces, but this global and the biggest ever flashmob will always remain in memory. And we all became its witnesses. There were song's lyrics, picture and some other text on each sheet which people put in the air, so they could save it as a souvenir. I would keep it if I had one. When I think about all efforts volunteers made, about job they did, about people who could create this big visual show just to improve other people's and favorite band's moods, I unwittingly get tears in my eyes. I think that this thing was enough to consider that we were lucky to attend that concert.
Since I was standing in the middle I couldn't take a picture of the whole side. But talented people were able to do it. This amazing photo was taken by Patrizio Severini. Click the picture to see it in the original size.
I was a bit sad that U2 didn't play any new songs, but instead they played many other good songs. Bad was amazing, much better than in Brussels. But the best song for me that evening was All I Want Is You. Even though it was really short, it was enough to get all good emotions from it. Bono only was singing "All I want is…" and public was singing "You". Everybody was sining like it was in Slane Castle or at early concerts. Loudly and altogether. Yes, I must admit that Italians were sining better than any other people. They sing even when there is no music. They are very emotional, sometimes even too much (for example one girl always put her hands on my shoulders and screamed "Jump!"), but I forget bad moments pretty quickly. Yes, there wasn't enough space for everyone, yes, organization wasn't the best, but anyway, there was spirit in everything. And I still can't forget how great Italians were sining...
During Until The End Of The World Bono and Edge were trying to reach each other's hands and they got luck this time. But Edge had to bend so much that it seemed like one extra movement and he would fall down from that "bridge". He was even shaken. I don't know if that "hands reaching" was a reason or if it was earlier, but some small accident happened to Bono. His pants were ripped from the back side. Not everyone noticed it, but "paparazzi" couldn't miss it, they saw everything. So in photos you can see how Adam was laughing at this "accident". But pretty quickly Bono was given some shirt with long sleeves and he put it around his waist to cover the hole. So he had to wear it till the end of the set, he was looking kinda funny that way.
Yes, we went crazy tonight ;) I already don't remember why, I only remember that it was real fun during this song.
During In A Little While Bono took on stage some "MacPhista" named Francesca. A girl with red horns looked pretty good on stage with Bono's head on her knees :D
Miss Sarajevo was really amazing. Bono just didn't have a right to miss notes in front of people who speak that language so he was better than Pavarotti that time. The crowd was screaming really loud from excitement.
Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me was during the first encore. I shouted "Yay!", because I really wanted to hear that song and not Ultraviolet.
During One they were showing footage from Achtung Baby. Young and funny, in fur-coats and coats they were constantly smiling from the screen. During With or Without You they showed footage from Joshua Three. It was so touching that I even can't explain it with words. I could see them like they were before from the past and near them real from the present. In some moment young Bono made some gesture and Bono repeated that gesture too. I was about to explode from emotions. The screen was separated so there were two pars: from one side they were showing old videos and from the second side they were showing the guys on stage. And if there was Larry in video they were showing Larry on the second part of the screen. I couldn't take any decent picture of it, only this one, Hotel Motel :)
At any other concert people had Moment Of Surrender as a final song, but we had 40 as a final song. No, unfortunately U2 didn't play it, but audience made it the way like they did. I felt like I was at Red Rocks concert. Thousands of people were sining: "How long how long to sing this song?". I don't know if U2 heard it, because they already were leaving the stage and they were laughing at Adam who took off his shirt to show everyone his naked chest :D
This concert wasn't like those concerts in Helsinki. It wasn't worse and it wasn't better, it was just different. After those concerts I had a crazy excitement, but after this one I had some sad feelings. Maybe that's how final concerts of tour legs must be ended. The final Bono's speech was really touching. He was talking about a lot of people who thought that this tour was impossible and that he felt very fortunate to be standing on that stage with his three best friends and in front of beautiful people. And the last Bono's words right before they left the stage were: "Don't forget about us". Even don't dare to think about it, no one never will forget you!