The Forgotten Concert Ticket
While cleaning out my attic, I reached into the pocket of a long-forgotten coat and discovered an old ticket stub.
Last summer I was moving out of my parent’s house into my new apartment, so it was time to take on the tedious but necessary task of cleaning up the attic. Three generations of junk had accumulated up there over the thirty years we had lived in the house. As I stepped up the creaky wooden stairs, I spotted a few dusty old chests lined up against the wall. I opened one of them & looked inside. It was full of hideous 80s clothes that I wore as a teenager — bat wing sweaters, jumpsuits & stone washed denim. Realizing that 80s fashion is now ‘on trend’, I thought it would be a great idea to dry clean them then try selling them online. Who wouldn’t want to own something that was pre-loved?
I walked over to the antique mahogany wardrobe that used to be my grandmother’s. I opened the double doors & sifted through the old clothes hoping to discover something ‘vintage’ that I could re-purpose for myself or possibly sell. There were quite a few evening dresses from the 70s & a couple of blazers with padded shoulders. Suddenly I spotted something familiar, it was an old army parka that I had worn in the 80s. I took it out, dusted it off a bit and reached into the deep pocket. I found an old concert ticket stub from December 31st, 1989.
A Blast From the Past
It was from the U2 concert at Dublin’s Point Depot (now 3Arena) on New Year’s Eve! I’d gone with my best friend at the time. We’d been hardcore U2 fans since we were 15 years old & this was our first show. That summer, we’d both gotten waitressing jobs so we could afford to buy the tickets. On the morning the tickets went on sale, we’d queued for hours outside Golden Discs hoping to snap up the best. We both wanted to be front & center at the show so Bono would pluck us out of the crowd to sing with him onstage.
That Christmas, my mother had gifted me a super cool U2 Rattle & Hum t-shirt. I couldn’t wait to wear it with my stone washed denim jeans & brand new army parka. My friend & I had spent weeks creating our own banner to proudly hold up during the show: “Love Comes to Dublin”. I had also spray painted a white t-shirt with “Spit on Me Larry” in the hopes that drummer Larry Mullen (whom I was madly in love with at the time) would see it!
The Power of Music
The night of the show, following the countdown to midnight, U2 opened with Where the Streets Have No Name. I’d been ecstatic, it was by far my favorite song from the seminal album, The Joshua Tree. As Bono peered into one of the stage cameras, he remarked:
“Take a picture of this, don’t be shy. This is Dublin city y’all.”
Those were the days before smart phones existed. No one around me was recording the show, they were just living in the moment. In my opinion this is the ONLY way a music concert should be enjoyed. Today everybody’s so obsessed with capturing footage on their phones that they miss some of the magic of a live concert. Suddenly I was nostalgic for the predigital age.
Dream Out Loud
To my utter delight & the euphoria of the crowd, U2 launched into I Will Follow. Bono’s charisma is infectious & he has the gift of connecting with a huge crowd. To this day, I distinctly remember his words, they were so fitting & inspiring:
“It’s the future. The only limits are the limits of our imagination. Dream up the kind of world you want to live in. Dream out loud. That’s what we do for a living — lucky bastards!”
We were on the cusp of a new era. The 90s were the dawning of the digital age & the birth of the internet. As a then 17 year old, I had so many hopes & dreams for the future. I wanted to make my life count, I wanted to make a difference in the world. I felt lucky to be alive & sharing this special moment in history with thousands of other fans. Music is the language that unites all.
I suddenly realized that the 30th anniversary of this show is fast approaching but I remember it all like it was yesterday. I’ve been to many great rock concerts over the years but the New Year’s Eve Show at the Point Depot, Dublin is by far the most memorable.
Thank you for reading!