Browsing Tag: u2

    Music

    Yes, I’m Still Running

    October 12, 2009

    [Warning: Unusual amount of self-reflection and navel-gazing is about to follow. Feel free to click to the next blog in your feed reader.]

    Bono and AdamIt’s been probably 20 years since I could say that I liked U2’s song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” The version with the choir from Rattle and Hum was way overplayed, and I basically became apathetic toward the song at that time and have stayed that way ever since. Before seeing any of the shows on U2’s current tour, I was talking with a friend named Donna and we both agreed that “I Still Haven’t Found…” is a song we’d just as soon not hear again, even though we both knew that U2 has been playing it at every show.

    I’ve now seen three shows on this tour, and guess what song has brought me to tears at each one?

    Yep. That one.

    Now, it’s not at all unusual for me to cry at a U2 show. I can count on one hand the number of shows that didn’t bring me to tears. (Look, I’ve got almost 30 years of my life invested in this band and these songs. I’ve been loyal to them since 1983 and no other band has even come close to having the same meaning for me. This is the soundtrack of my life.)

    It is unusual for me to get hit hard by this song, though. It seems to happen at the same point each time: When Bono sings the line “Yes, I’m still running”:

    I believe in the kingdom come
    Then all the colors will bleed into one
    Bleed into one
    Well, yes, I’m still running

    You broke the bonds and you
    Loosed the chains
    Carried the cross
    And my shame
    All my shame
    You know I believe it

    For some reason, that line is packed with all kinds of emotion for this 41-year-old. I keep thinking about it, and I think that line says a lot about where I am right now: trying to be a great husband, trying to be a great dad, trying to be a great friend, trying to be a great Christian. Trying to set the right examples for my kids, my friends (the ones who need it), my sisters, relatives, peers, and so forth.

    Realizing that your life is probably more than half over seems to refocus everything. I cherish the Good Things more than ever. I have less and less patience for pettiness, silliness, and stupidity.

    Those lyrics remind me about how blessed I am. They remind me of the sacrifice of the cross. He did that for me. Me! (And you, too, by the way.) They remind me how great life is, especially the past four years. I get to work from home. I get to see my kids and my wife every day. I get to do what I love for a living. I get to run a U2 web site that reaches people on every populated continent and I get to do it with some of my best friends. Every so often I get to hear — face-to-face, fan to fan — how much that site means to other U2 fans, and it’s the most amazingly humbling thing imaginable. I got to hear that last weekend in Raleigh. I also got to hear those lyrics again, during one of the best U2 concerts I’ve ever been to — a night that was filled with unexpected blessings that no one deserves, certainly not me.

    But those lyrics also remind me that, in the grand scheme of things, there’s still so much ahead. I’m going to send my son off to college in 7 years, and my daughter four years later. Then it’s me and Cari time again. We’ll work. Will we move? Will we travel? I hope. Will we be healthy? I really hope! The kids will get married. We’ll have grandkids, and then it all starts again … this time trying to be a great grandparent.

    Yes, I’m still running. Probably always will be. You know I believe it.

    Miscellany

    U2 Fans FTW

    October 6, 2009

    Sometimes I feel like I lead two different lives. There’s my SEO/marketing life … and there’s my U2 life. The first life is the one that puts food on the table, and it’s a life I like. But this weekend reminded me that the second life is the one I love, and probably couldn’t live without.

    For some reason, surrounding myself with fellow U2 fans that share the same deep passion and curiosity about this band renews me like nothing else. It happened in 2003 when @U2 co-presented an international U2 fan event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and it happened again this weekend at the first U2 academic conference. (lots of photos here)

    It helped that I also saw one of the best U2 concerts of my life Saturday night in Raleigh, right in the middle of the conference … and that @U2 hosted a super-fun post-conference event Sunday night in which I got to host a Q&A chat for nearly an hour with my favorite journalist, Neil McCormick.

    But ultimately, it’s being around the U2 fans that wins the day for me. Sure, there are a few bad eggs in every group. But the vast majority of U2 fans I’ve met are special people. They make my U2 life all the better. If any of them are reading this, thank you.

    I’ll probably have some more U2 stuff to write about in the near future. Lots of stuff going through my mind and heart at the moment.

    Music

    Technology is amazing

    June 30, 2009

    It’s 11:03 pm PDT, and I’ve spent the last 90 minutes listening to a U2 concert that ended about eight hours ago: fan-taped, uploaded, and posted online. U2 is cool with this. The audio is on Kevin’s site. He has lots of bandwidth.

    I don’t normally listen to bootlegs but this is the opening concert of the tour. Right now, I’m wrapping up a 14-hour day that I spent updating two web sites, posting the setlist live as it happened on Twitter, digging through YouTube, Flickr, Twitpic, Yfrog, and any other source possible for photos and video, sending out emails to U2 fan mailing lists, and so forth. You can see the results on U2tours.com and @U2 (scroll down through “Bits & Bytes” updates). And I’m not tooting my own horn; I’m tooting my friends and co-workers horns — the @U2/U2tours.com crew was amazing today — posting the setlist in @U2’s forum, spreading the word on Twitter, sending me stuff they found first, and so much more.

    All of this made possible by technology that, if I stop to think about it, is mind-blowing. This was my humble setup today:

    tech

    Probably hard to see, but on the main monitor there I have Tweetie open and a web browser. On the web browser I’m watching live / almost-live concert video streamed by fans via Qik.com. Srsly. There were four fans (that I know of) sending video right from Barcelona to my office. That’s frakkin’ crazy. And then I take what I saw and heard and post it on Twitter and on U2tours.com, and Lisa Z. (from @U2) posts it in the @U2 forum … and tens of thousands of U2 fans know what’s going on immediately. Bono says something, it’s online a minute later (if that). At the same time, I’m watching Twitter and dozens, maybe hundreds of fans inside the stadium are also posting updates. Retweet that stuff, and the world knows.

    In 1997, my first “online U2 tour,” we would rush to the hotel room or our house after the show and post the setlist on the web and send it to the U2 fan mailing lists. You’d get the news within a couple hours after the show, maybe the next morning in the worst case scenario. It was amazing.

    In 2001, friends inside the arenas would call and you’d get to listen to a few minutes of the show (and the audio was terrible, frankly), then they’d call again on the way out of the arena and recite the setlist. Fans would know what happened within 15-30 minutes of the end of the show. It was amazing.

    In 2005, friends inside the arena called and you could listen to the whole show, and the audio was actually listenable. On opening night, three friends at the show called me, Michael, and Scott separately so we could hear. Then the three of us not at the show hopped on AIM together and chatted together about what we heard over the three separate phone lines. It was amazing – one of the most fun nights of my U2 fan life. You could pretty much post the setlist as it happened — literally within seconds of a song starting, it was on U2tours.com. But you had to wait until the next day for audio and/or video.

    And today, live video (and audio) from inside the stadium as the show is going on. Photos all over Twitter and Flickr during the show. Thousands of fans giving and getting the scoop on every detail. The setlist posted as it happened, and broadcast to tens of thousands of fans around the world.

    During the concert today, Sean pulled up a chair and sat next to me so he could watch everything — the videos, the pix, the live updates. I know I was more amazed by what was going on because I remember what it was like years ago. I hope I explained it well enough that he could appreciate it, too. I imagine someday, 10 years from now perhaps, he’ll be updating some web site (will they still exist then?) with links to every fan’s personal video/audio/photo web channel (we’ll all have them for our daily lifestreaming) and maybe he’ll look back and remember what it was like “in the old days” when he sat next to his dad to experience a U2 concert that was happening 5,407 miles away, but seemed like it was right in our hometown.

    Technology is amazing.

    Miscellany

    U2 Fan? Dizzy? One guess what the problem is…

    June 25, 2009

    After dealing with this spinning head stuff for about a month now, I was finally able to get in to see an ENT specialist today. Saw the same guy who did ear surgeries on both my kids when they were wee little ones and had lots of ear infections.

    So, if there’s one condition that would just be too perfect for a U2 fan to come down with … a condition that involves dizziness and spinning heads … what condition would that be? I’ll give you one hint:

    Yep. Unos, dos, tres, get dizzy. I’ve got Vertigo. Technically, I have Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo:

    What are the symptoms?

    The main symptom is a feeling that you are spinning or tilting when you are not. This can happen when you move your head in a certain way, like rolling over in bed, turning your head quickly, bending over, or tipping your head back.

    BPPV usually lasts a minute or two. It can be mild, or it can be bad enough to make you feel sick to your stomach and vomit. You may even find it hard to stand or walk without losing your balance.

    That pretty much describes it to a “T”, but I’m lucky to have not had any vomiting or nausea. Everything else – been there, done that. The doctor gave me an information sheet that also talked about feeling lightheaded for several hours at a time, which is how things were at their worst a few weeks ago — couldn’t get anything done at all.

    On the bright side, it’s really not terribly serious. The most common treatment is nothing. There are some procedures that can be done to minimize the dizziness, but most people learn to live with this. As long as I control my head movements, I should be okay. Driving isn’t a problem. Yardwork has been okay. Playing with the dogs, the kids, doing the shopping – all good.

    I’m supposed to monitor my dizziness for the next week — which way am I turning my head when I get dizzy, what position am I in, etc. And I’ll see the doc again late next week and we’ll decide what, if anything, needs to be done.

    Thanks to all who emailed after the last post about this. Really appreciate the thoughts and support. Now if you’ll just tell my daughter to stop walking around the house singing, “Hello, hello, you’ve got a disease called Vertigo,” everything will be much better!

    Music

    Lookie, lookie at what came in the mail

    March 30, 2009

    u2 ticketsIn 12 years of buying concert tickets online, never have I experienced as quick a turnaround as this. These are Sean’s and my U2 tickets for Giants Stadium later this year — we just ordered these last Monday, and they showed up in the mailbox today. Amazing. If memory serves, Ticketmaster usually waits about a month before sending tickets, unless it’s really urgent.

    Still gonna try to get tickets for the 2nd Giants Stadium show, too, which we’ll both go to if I can get the tix. Then it looks like I’ll be going solo to the Vegas show in October. And that’ll probably be it for me … unless I decide to take on a bunch of new clients and have them finance it all.

    🙂

    Music

    It’s all a matter of perspective

    March 12, 2009
    u2 reviews

    So much of our success in life is about outlook and attitude. Not others’ … but yours.

    By the way, we have both of these articles on @U2:

    U2’s ‘Horizon’ premieres with sky-high sales numbers
    U2’s ‘Horizon’ sales bring band back to Earth

    The same Billboard expert is interviewed in both articles. The same sales figures appear in both articles. And yet you couldn’t find two more different headlines if you tried.

    It’s all a matter of perspective.