thoughts on U2

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The concert was good. I had not been before, but had heard from a number of people that they were A.) very impressive live, and B.) very political. I was impressed, but because I have a very active imagination, it is hard for me to be truly surprised by anything I see, once it has been built up (this is also why I hate hearing about movies ahead of time).

The stage in the Palace was circular, with fans standing in the center area; and if my boyscout skills serve me correctly, was offset to the South end of the arena. The floor lit up like a video game during most of the songs and spun around, in what I think was a hat tip to the Vertigo them of the tour. They did do one thing which I thought was pretty innovative. They had strands of lights (think Christmas lights) hanging from the rigging overhead – these lights were each pixels and were programmed to display pictures. Its hard to describe exactly, except to say that it was like a TV that could be viewed from all side, and layered. At one point Bono parted the curtain TVs and walked through…that was cool, becuase it made the “screens” wave around a little as they settled back into their original position. They played a great mix of old stuff as well as offerings from their newest album.

As far as being political. It wasn’t too bad. I mean if I had gone to U2 and hadn’t had a little American guilt, I would feel cheated. They really pushed the One campaign, which is an international campaign to end world poverty. THis group actually seems to be doing some good, and I joined several months ago, and have not recieved any overly partisan emails. He also did this wierd “exist” – sons of Abraham thing that was so cryptic I wasn’t sure if I agreed with or understood. It was, I think, an ecumenical movement to bring together people according to what unites, rather than separating on issues that divide – who could disagree with that on the surface? He was very Bono, but pretty palatable even still.

I was sitting behind the ambiguously straight duo the whole time. The guy on the left was wearing a “Bono is God” shirt and was constantly emoting. He tried to start the crowd clap-along single-handedly several times, and his friend was always eager to stand up with him in unison and join right in, constantly looking over for approval frm the alpha super-fan. I am a pretty jovial guy, but I am also a low reactor; I tried to remind myself that these were probably decent guys, but they were always standing up (in my line of site) and being uber-fans. Uber-fans drive me nuts. They are just musicians guys. Maybe I have a social disorder…

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