This past Thursday I had the good fortune of going to see U2 at Giants Stadium with some good friends. First, even if you think U2 is overrated and are convinced that Bono is the antichrist, you should really go see a U2 show. Second, even if you don’t have the money, go find a treasure in someone’s property, sell everything you own, buy the field, and resell it so you can buy a ticket to see U2. If that’s too impractical, then remember the good Lord created you with two kidneys. The one is essential for life and the other is your U2 concert fund.
I’ve seen U2 in concert a few times (yes, I was born with a surplus of extra kidneys) and each show has been an incredible experience. It is not an exaggeration that I’ve been to over 100 concerts – Bob Dylan a few times, White Stripes, Sufjan, Death Cab, Arcade Fire, Wilco, to name a few. I’ve even seen Geoff Moore and the Distance and can tell you that U2 is a life altering experience – truly amazing. I am not sure I’ve ever felt that kind of electricity before (I mean except for our church on Sunday morning).
I love the sound. From the Edge’s guitar to Larry’s drumming to Adam’s baselines, they sound great. And of course, I love Bono’s words –
“I can stand up for hope, faith, love
But while I’m getting over certainty
Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady” (from Stand Up Comedy)
“Dressed up like a car crash
The wheels are turning byt youre upside down
You say when he hits you, you dont mind
Because when he hurts you, you feel alive” (from Stay)
I love that each show tries to be bigger than the last one. Now a couple of things regarding the show. I understand the criticism that it’s similar to the Dismantle … Bomb tour, the circle stage from All You Can’t Leave… but this was a stadium tour. The feat is that they have 70,000 people seeing and hearing the music in amazing quality. While I won’t go so far and call it a miraculous feeding of 5000, you are hard-pressed to find a concert experience of this quality for so many thousands of people. My only disappointment was that the stage was not directly in the middle of the field. We have our theories why but it’s not worth mentioning.
Speaking of the stage, it is incredible. Ths year featured “The Claw” and it’s a sight to see. It takes 4 days to set up, two to tear down. They have 3 sets because of it’s setup time and they use a crew of 500 people and 189 semi-trucks. While it may not be the most environmentally friendly tour (as if there actually was such a thing), it’s certainly helping the economy (for those who keep track of that sort of thing). Frankly I am not bothered by these things. Some concerts are like wedding celebrations to me and practicality goes out the window. I mean do the guests of the bridegroom while he is with them? (Yes, that is used in its proper context ;-)
I also love that Bono uses his celebrity status for good causes – Third World Debt in Africa, apartheid, freedom in Iran and creating awareness of Aung San Suu Kyi’s unjust home confinement in Burma.
I love how spiritual these experiences are. Some may think that Bono is drawing people to himself but I and millions of people will tell you that Bono and friends are used as vessel to draw people into community, solidarity, promote love and justice and force us all to realize there’s someone greater that is behind and in front of all this. – I really believe that.
Please know that this is not an apologetic of my huge claims but a witness.
I went to a rock n ‘roll show and communed with God.
For those interested, this was the set list:
Get on your boots
Beautiful day – She’s a Rainbow – Blackbird
No Line on the Horizon
Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For/Stand By Me
Until the End of the World
The Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding Lights
I’ll go crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonite
Sunday Bloody Sunday/Rock the Cazba
Where the Streets Have No Name – All You Need Is Love
Ultra Violet Rays
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender