Working at Sun sometimes pays off in unexpected ways, yesterday was one of those days: being a Sun employee got a backstage pass for the U2 concert at the Amsterdam Arena! The deal was of course that I had to work. John, Danny and Mary already blogged about this and had the same pleasure. What was the deal? In the second half of the concert Bono asks the audience to support the campaign against AIDS and poverty by taking out their mobiles and sending a text message to a certain number. The senders should include their names in the text message and later in the concert their names will be displayed on the large screen that is backing the stage. Why do they need a local Sun employee? The whole thing is run by US staff, but outside the US and UK they need local native speaker to moderate the messages and make sure that no swear words will appear on screen. And guess what, I was one of the lucky ones.

Before the show Robin showed me around and this was the place we had to do our work.

During the show the place looked like this.

And this is me and Robin after we moderated the messages.

I was expecting a lot of creativity from the Dutch audience with regard to swear words, but all the obvious ones were already filtered out by the application and of the few that I had to filter out Ms. Hornyfeet (in Dutch Geilvoets) was the funniest one (what exactly would she do with her feet...). The result of our moderation looked like this, if you look real good you can decipher some names... the place where we were moderating the messages was halfway the field so I could not take a real sharp picture...

The concert itself was great, it started with Vertigo and I will follow and that already blew the roof off (yes, the Amsterdam Arena has a roof they can open and close and although it was a bright sunny day... the roof was closed). Because of the backstage pass I could easily switch places in the stadium and the first part of the concert I was in the first section to the stage. The large crowd on the field was several meters behind me .

Already at the beginning of the concert people at the front of the field were fainting and helped out by the security staff. Glad I had some space around me and could dive into the crowd whenever I wanted ;-) Bono really knows how to play the crowd, here are some other pictures:

During the concert I tried to use my Treo 600 to record a video from the show. The sound was a little to much for the little Treo... one time it even rebooted! The videos that succeeded only had noise as sound, while it was light (start of concert) the visual was reasonable. Of course there was also guys using real video camera's and at least one of them had to turn it in... how stupid can you be... digital photocamera's were allowed and I saw a lot of people taking short video's.

All in all a great experience! I was years ago since I last attended a U2 concert, and definitely want to go to the next!

"I hate testing", that was what James Gossling said during the panel discussion at thursdays keynote during JavaOne. He caught my attention with that statement and he explained it by stating that he'd like to have things "correct by construction", which would make testing obsolete. Still not sure how I should interpret this...