I’m sitting in a hotel room on a Saturday night, trying to think of what to write about. Normally I randomly choose a song or item from a list, but tonight I scanned through the list and didn’t feel like doing that. It seems like that would be a little odd, given that this week is all about U2 in Chicago (technically, I’ve only been spending my nights with U2 this week, I’ve been spending my days at the SABR convention because I’m also a baseball nerd). But I already wrote about the first two shows, I wrote an extra post about those shows, and I’m waiting until tomorrow night to write about Chicago 3 (duh, because it doesn’t happen until tomorrow night). So I’m trying to think of something to write about that’s U2 and maybe Chicago but not quite.
So I have a topic, and it is U2 and the internet. I’m going to tell you a few of my favorite places and things that are on the internet and related to the band.
The obvious site is U2.com, where I spend surprisingly little time. I have to be honest, for a band site it has very little news about the band. I mean, it has the big things that are happening, like a new show, and it has all the history and videos and music and so on, but if I want up to the minute news about the band, I’m not going there. Usually I’m going to @U2 (atu2.com), and I just noticed that @U2 is right above U2.com in my bookmarks. @U2 has that up to date info, much better and more recent stories about band members, and that’s why if there’s some breaking news about the band, that’s where I go first.
The second site have been regularly visiting is U2wanderer.org, which has a wealth of info about U2 releases. I mostly use this for the discography, to check dates or places or specifics about a release, like how many different versions there were. And the final regular site I have been using for the blog and tour is U2gigs.com, which tells me all about how many times each song has been played, and details about various shows. Both of these sites have been really helpful on confirming facts I have been writing, or to check out something that I wasn’t sure about.
Shows are a little different, there are several ways to follow the band live at a show. The clear and most obvious one is Twitter, where there is a whole crowd talking about the shows, including at least a few of the above. Twitter gives me some immediacy to the shows, both following them online (a few folks like @U2 post setlists as they happen, which is great). It also points the way to other places to check, like when the tour began and I immediately downloaded both Periscope and Meerkat to my phone, and began watching pretty much anyone who would put up video. I was able to watch significant chunks of shows that way, and that gave me good prep for the shows I have seen.
The other interesting thing is that I found myself on Wednesday and Thursday night reading Twitter, to see what was going on at the shows. This, while I was at the shows! I had about an hour in GA before the show began on Wednesday, and I spent a lot of it on Twitter just looking at other people’s photos of the arena (not even trying to find myself in the crowd), just like I had during previous shows. Then I even posted a few times during the show (and texted pictures of the band to my wife). Essentially breaking my own rules about not using my phone during a show (look back a couple of days for that discussion). On the other hand, my post about high-fiving Paul McGuinness on Thursday during the last song (One) got me 35 favorites so far, a personal best. Thank you all.
Now I know there are a lot more U2 sites out there than just these few. These are the ones I use most often. If you have a site you think I should check out, hit me up on Twitter (link at bottom of the page).
On to tomorrow, where I take my son to his first U2 show