Ten Things...

…Regarding Last Night's U2 Concert

10. After dropping the kids off at my sister's house (thanks again, Cheryl), I asked Kristen if she was more excited to see Bono, or to have a night away from the kids. She answered number two without hesitation.

9. After we got to our seats, Kristen had an insatiable desire for a churro. Unfortunately we were both so winded from hiking across the U of U campus then up to the 61st row of Rice-Eccles Stadium, neither of us wanted to walk back down the stairs to brave concessions then up again.

8. In my post about the Paul McCartney concert last year, I disparaged "all the people who seemed more concerned about getting a lousy photo of the side of the stage with their mobile devices rather than just enjoying the show." But I must admit, last night I was guilty of repeatedly pulling my phone out to take lousy photos like this one on the right.

7. Even though we were only a few rows from the very top of the stadium, it really didn't feel like we were that far away since the stage is so massive. I've watched the Rose Bowl concert blu-ray several times, but that still didn't prepare me for just how imposing "The Claw" is in person.

6. Kristen was in fine form throughout the evening, declaring that all white people look dorky when they dance, even Bono. And everyone looks like an old man when they wear white pants, especially Adam.

5. We also have a running joke that Larry's wardrobe consists of only t-shirts. White, black, sleeveless—you name it, he's worn it, as long as it's a t-shirt. So naturally we were shocked when the band emerged and Larry was donning a loose-fitting collared button-up shirt.

4. The band played two songs in a row off No Line on the Horizon early in the setlist, and I swear I heard a restless fan behind me pull a Homer Simpson by yelling, "Play the old stuff!"

3. Really, restless fan didn't have much to complain about, as it was a pretty even mix of eras. Every album was represented (October and Pop were the most fleeting), and by my count there were 8 songs from the '80s, 9 from the '90s, and 8 from the '00s.

2. I made a joke on Facebook yesterday poking fun at hardcore fans who complain when their favorite band doesn't play some obscure song ("If they don't play 'Elvis Presley and America'… I will renounce my fandom!"). But I thought U2 did an admirable job peppering in deep cuts like "Love Rescue Me" and "Zooropa."

1. I always chuckle when bands incorporate the name of the city into the lyrics and the crowd goes wild. ("OMG! HE SAID SALT LAKE CITY! THAT'S WHERE WE LIVE!") But Bono took pandering to the locals to another level by bringing three sisters up on stage to help him recite the poem "Utah" by Minnie J. Hardy. Hey, that's what makes him Bono.


Krissy said...

Glad you posted a pic of Adam in his old man pants. He really should keep dying his hair because he looks like he could be Larry's dad.

Quixotequest said...

More comments:

1. At concerts we always yell "Springfield!" or "Springton!" in homage to the Simpsons "Spinal Tap" episode where they aren't so good at hiding their pandering to the locals.

2. The "sisters" could have used vocal rehearsal to not enunciate like ditsy rubes. Plus LDS underwear flash when getting on stage: eeww.

3. We sang happy birthday to Robert Zimmerman. I don't know what the rest of you were doing. ;-)

4. Adam just barely pulled off the white-pants look fine without looking "old man" because of the glittered basses. He just needed some glam glasses to finish the ensemble. Definitely beats the orange jumper he was wearing when last playing Rice-Eccles.

5. Nice to see Edge in a streamlined and updated take on his Joshua Tree-era gypsy-pirate look.

6. Good thing Bono called off the stunt of hanging that "Love" towel off the back of his pants before things got too tacky. At least he ignored the persistent posers standing in the circle near us who kept trying to get him to wave their Rastafarian "one love" flag.

7. What was up with processing Bono's voice throughout -- and especially near the end? Were they deliberately trying to make him sound mousey? When they allowed rawer sound to get through he sounded much better.

8. If you gotta have stagehands work that hard to blow smoke up your ass it's time to lose the laser beam jacket. As visually awkward as when Edge used the handheld spotlight circa Rattle and Hum.

9. Larry Mullen usually wears fashion that hearkens to the 50s era he admires. It often manifests itself in T-shirts on stage, but he handsomely wears collared and sleeved shirts regularly off stage.

10. The whole show worked amazingly well with rarer songs (Love Rescue Me), big hits and new refits (I'll Go Crazy...) -- except for Zooropa. The instrumentation mix was way off and the video screen was a mess by putting up a visually cluttered barrier to intimacy with the band.

11. Some bands (The Fray) are best as studio bands, and some lead singers (Isaac Slade) shouldn't get close ups. (The facial contortions are painful even seen with the charismatic gloss from watching next to the stage.)

Christie said...

I don't have anything nearly as in depth to say as the previous comment.. I loved the show. Russ and I did laugh about the age of the crowd (we felt relatively young).

And Kristen, be glad you didn't hike down for a churro.. they were stale (and I almost missed Bono coming on stage to get one!)

Jessica said...

HAHA when I opened your blog and I saw "10 things..." I thought to myself "only 10 things??" I am glad it was a great concert... It is nice when bands play obscure stuff though cause if you're a "fan" then you know it and all the people that just wanted to come to a concert won't. Doesn't that make you feel cool just a little bit?? Whenever I think of U2 playing in Utah I always think of Prom our Junior year. Prom or U2 was everyones decision. (it was our junior year right?) Glad you two got out for a date night!!!

Cheeseboy said...

Great review. I agree with every point.

The only song I wish they would have sung that they didn't was Bad, my favorite U2 song. They played it last time I saw them and it was really the defining moment of the entire concert.

I thought the absolute highlight song of this concert was "Until the End of the World". That one blew me away, even though a couple of the crazies behind me were getting restless with it.

Finally, I must say that this was the first U2 concert that I have attended that I did not feel "hip" being there. The crowd was filled with 50 year old Cougar fans and their 5 kids.

Dave said...

Here's my hardcore fan obscure song wish: I really wanted them to dust off "Last Night on Earth" at some point on this tour. That song was a scorcher on the PopMart tour. Here's a video clip—the last minute and a half will melt your face (in a good way). Plus, the band frequently refers to the 360 stage as a spaceship. It seemed like a logical choice.