I finally saw U2 tonight and it instantly ranks as the best concert I’ve ever seen. I might change my mind about that over time but right now, a few hours after getting home, I am still playing this one back in my head.
Here are some random thoughts about the show:
- The total show is amazing, with a 164-foot tall stage “canopy” and incredible lighting that does not get in the way of the performance like so many huge sets often do.
- This was the cleanest sound I’ve ever heard in a stadium show.
- They opened with “Even Better Than the Real Thing” and closed the main part of the show with “Where the Streets Have No Name” (which is my favorite U2 song).
- This concert was mostly about the music and an ego-free connection with the audience but of course there were political statements to be made too. You expect that from Bono. He kept in in balance, however.
- He dedicated “A Beautiful Day” to Representative Gabby Giffords, who is recovering from gunshot wounds, and her husband Astronaut Mark Kelly was featured on the video screen during the song; he recited some of the lyrics as the song played.
I call this the best concert I’ve seen, but that needs some clarification. Every concert has elements that connect with concert-goers and that combination of elements adds up to a ranking of the show. It’s probably unfair to rank though because I’ve been blessed to see many good concerts. For comparison, this one shares top honors in my head with the Dave Matthews Band, Bruce Springsteen and Garth Brooks. Each of those has a different set of elements … DMB scores the tops for sheer musicianship, Springsteen is #1 for stage energy and audience engagement, Garth has energy, connection and down-home emotion.
But the U2 show is on top of my list right now for sheer total impact. Awesome just isn’t a big enough word to describe it.
Visit my photo blog for more pictures.