U2

Without Lyndsay in our lives, Jennifer and I would have a much less interesting existence.  On Wednesday at 5:45, we strode into our apartment, contemplating what to do for supper.  There on our answering machine we discovered a message from Lyndsay saying that she had free tickets to the concert, and would we like to go?  But, of course, we would like to go!

By the time everyone had assembled at the Skydome (aka “Rogers Centre”) and found our various seats scattered throughout the stadium, we only got to hear a few of Snow Patrol’s songs.  They were good.  But U2 was fantastic.

I chalk this up to their almost 30 years of experience touring, the fact that they have the budget to do cool stuff, and the fact that, if you charge people as much as they do for the seats, you’d better put on a good show.  A good show, indeed.

They played some old, some new.  Some songs I knew better than others.  Some I could even sing along to.  And, in true U2 fashion, they made use of their platform to promote the fight against poverty, disease, injustice.  We were made aware of Aung San Suu Kyi, duly elected president of Burma in 1990 who has spent the past 20 years under house arrest because, if she were released, things would change.  There was also a cool video of Bp. Desmond Tutu exhorting us to help the less fortunate since real people can effect change in their lifetimes, as in the American South and South Africa.

We would probably have been content with that.  The band performs very well and the songs are enjoyable, memorable tunes.  But this band will give you more than just some songs.  This tour, they’re bringing their own rocket ship with them.  Yes, rocket ship.  This four-legged entity stood over the stage with a large spike running through the top (disco ball atop it) and a 360-degree screen mounted above the band.  The space ship also shone lights all over the place (including my eyes).

The screen was cool.  They had multiple angles visible on the screen throughout the performance and videos of a bunch of stuff floating across at different points of the evening as well.  The screen, it turns out, was made of numerous narrow hexagons.  These could expand out from each other and down, making the screen bigger whilst being separated.  Also, the screen operated as the fiery engine of the space ship.

Finally, the stage was also pretty cool.  The central stage was an oval.  Around this was another oval with bridges across the portion of the crowd gathered between.  The bridges could move.  The Edge and Adam Clayton were not hampered by wires, so the guitars could move around all areas of the stage.

It’s hard to explain the experience of a U2 concert, especially from one such as I whose last live performance was Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea and whose last rock concert was Switchfoot in 2005.  Nevertheless, it was a really good show; we enjoyed ourselves immensely and I recommend a U2 concert to anyone who can get to one.

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