Sunday, August 23, 2009

U2 - The 360 Report

Bono & Co truly rocked the house at the Millennium Stadium last night - but that's no surprise. They're pretty good at putting on an impressive show, and it was done this time with the help of a giant 'claw':

Last time, at the Vertigo tour, we were quite close to the front squashed in tight but now we're a bit older we opted for tier seats. We were quite far up but that helped us see the whole stadium and it was quite a sight - tens of thousands of bodies all amassed to worship the Irish super-quartet.

So how was the show??

Well - the first support act was The Hours and were actually quite good - I'd heard a bit of their music before and they hadn't made much of an impression, but they were full of energy and had a distinctive sound. Glas Vegas, on the other hand, were ... well ... bleak. Full of melancholic angst and Scottish moaning. Not my cup of tea. They weren't doing a good job of warming us up for the headliners, but then I figured after such a dreary half-hour U2 would seem absolutely flippin' supernova.

After a long wait, Bowie's Space Oddity came on and it was a bit of a goosebump moment before Larry kicked things off with a short drum solo that then launched into Breathe from the new album.

From then on it was salvo after salvo of classic U2 rock - the majority of songs being newer ones, but with a few classics thrown in (notably The Unforgettable Fire and Sunday Bloody Sunday). The stage show was a barrage of light and imagery all on a grand scale. Even though the four band members were about an inch tall from where we were standing from, the wraparound screen served as a fantastic display to see all the action in detail.

One odd thing about the day was the prolific amount of alcohol that was being consumed by fellow concert-attenders. Quite a few people were getting more and more drunk as the night wore on and I just can't understand why anyone would want to spend a huge amount of money on seeing one of the world's greatest bands perform - only to get sloshed and likely fail to remember much of it the day after.

This nation is becoming more and more obsessed with alcohol - and that, in my opinion, is a bad thing.

Anyhoo - rant over...

Reflecting on the whole experience, I can honestly say it was a spectacle - it made me feel curiously insignificant, wonderfully energised and briefly at one with the thousands of fans surrounding me.

U2's performance has made me think that we all need to experience the spectacular every once in a while ... because only then can we truly feel alive.

What do you reckon? What form of the 'spectacular' have you witnessed?

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