July 17, 2019

Winnipeg
20° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Opinion

Sunday Spectacular Sunday

The biggest band in the world brings the biggest stage in concert history to Canad Inns Stadium

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/5/2011 (2972 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

When Bono sings "I will follow," Joe Ahoro obeys.

Since 2001, the former Winnipegger has attended 47 U2 concerts, including 25 on the band's current 360 Tour. On Sunday he returns home from Edmonton to see show 48 with his family at Canad Inns Stadium for the Irish band's first show in the city since 1997.

"To me the spectacle isn't as important as it was before," Ahoro says.

"Now I enjoy all the little things: meeting all the fans from around the world and seeing the different cultural nuances at every show. The common bond is the music and it's an easy way to make friends. I love to travel and this is an excellent excuse to go to places I've never been. I went to Australia in December and just got back from Mexico. For me the Winnipeg show is a homecoming: I missed the PopMart show and I've had 10 years of practice to catch up."

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Keep reading free:

Already have an account? Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/5/2011 (2972 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

When Bono sings "I will follow," Joe Ahoro obeys.

Since 2001, the former Winnipegger has attended 47 U2 concerts, including 25 on the band's current 360 Tour. On Sunday he returns home from Edmonton to see show 48 with his family at Canad Inns Stadium for the Irish band's first show in the city since 1997.

"To me the spectacle isn't as important as it was before," Ahoro says.

"Now I enjoy all the little things: meeting all the fans from around the world and seeing the different cultural nuances at every show. The common bond is the music and it's an easy way to make friends. I love to travel and this is an excellent excuse to go to places I've never been. I went to Australia in December and just got back from Mexico. For me the Winnipeg show is a homecoming: I missed the PopMart show and I've had 10 years of practice to catch up."

The 32-year-old, who is studying for a PhD in political science at the University of Alberta, is one of numerous U2 fans who travel the world seeing the quartet — vocalist Bono, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. — which formed in 1976 and is considered one of the biggest bands in the world with sales of more than 150 million albums, 22 Grammys and membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Besides their music, the band members are political activists who have donated their time to various causes including Amnesty International, Product (Red) and Music Rising.

Ahoro got hooked on the band's music and political ideals while attending the University of Manitoba in 2000. Since then he has tried to see them wherever he can and documents his travels on the blog onlineonthehorizon.blogspot.com, which has become ground zero for fans who want to learn the ins and outs of the band's current tour.

U2 superfan Joe Ahoro at the Perth show on Dec. 18, 2010.

U2 superfan Joe Ahoro at the Perth show on Dec. 18, 2010.

 

"There is a good network of diehard fans," he says. "We're very helpful with each other. There were several times on this tour I didn't have tickets and I got them through other fans. We don't scalp, we just trade them amongst ourselves. We help each other out with accommodations and travel and food everywhere. A lot of people know about my blog and fan site and people would approach me with that. The more shows you go to you see the same faces and the conversation always ends with, 'Where are you going to next?'"

One of those people who has been following Ahoro's site is Moorhead, Minnesota's Heather Rix, a member of the band's fan club who will see three shows on the current tour, including Sunday's in Winnipeg.

"I've been to a lot of concerts and it's not the same at all," Rix says. "If you're a religious person, it's better than church; it's incredible. It's not cheesy over-the-top; it's amazing over the top. They haven't seemed to have gotten old like Aerosmith or the Stones."

Or slowed down.

The 360 Tour in support of their 2009 album No Line on the Horizon has made history for a number of reasons: it is the largest travelling concert stage ever constructed, it is the highest grossing tour of all time ($558 million in ticket sales as of April) and by the time the seventh leg wraps up July 30 in Moncton, N.B. it will hold the record for highest attended tour of all time, with sales of over seven million tickets.

About 50,000 of those tickets will have been sold in Winnipeg for what will be one the city's largest shows ever in terms of attendance competing only with the Rolling Stones (50,815 in 1994), AC/DC (46,000 in 2009) and themselves (the PopMart tour attracted 45,000 people). Attendance figures for the Tragically Hip's free 2000 show at The Forks range from 30,000 to 50,000 (not 80,000 as initially reported).

Fans who attend Sunday's concert will be greeted by a four-pronged stage, set up in the south end of the stadium, dubbed the Claw since it looks like a crane used to pull stuffed animals out of machines.

The 50-metre-tall stage is twice as high as the previous largest stadium stage set used on the Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang Tour. Each of the Claw's four sides has its own sound system powerful enough for an entire arena and is surrounded by a circular ramp attached to the stage by bridges. Fans can be situated inside and outside of the circular ramps. There are 2,000 spaces in the inner ring for general admission ticket holders on a first-come, first-served basis.

Fans who purchased Red Zone tickets, auctioned off for charity, have their own special sections on either side of the stage.

The band has been playing an average of 24 songs a night for a little longer than two hours. Denver pop-rock group the Fray — best known for their hit How to Save a Life — open the show at 7 p.m.

Ahoro promises Winnipeggers they are in for the show of a lifetime and can't wait to experience it in his hometown.

"My favourite show I've gone to is Poland," Ahoro says. "I had just got in from Dublin and went to see the shipyards in Gdansk where they started the solidarity movement trying to bring down the government. The song New Year's Day on the War album is about the solidarity movement. When they were playing the song that night everyone on the field brought out red flags and in the seats were the white flags to make Poland's flag. Bono was blown away and I was, too. That's another experience you have to have been there to have seen it. It was the same song, but experienced in a different context."

rob.williams@freepress.mb.ca

Concert preview

U2

Canad Inns Stadium

7 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $70 to $270 at Ticketmaster.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us