Concert Review: U2 – 07.17.11
A few weeks ago, I was pumped to see U2 at the sold out show at Busch Stadium…how packed was it? Packed. Now I had General Admission tickets, so I was down on the floor. There was plenty of room off to the right of the stage, and even though the heat was punishing during the day, the night proved to be beautiful. While Bono’s message sometime gets lost on me, let me explain why U2 is still one of the best shows to catch live.
Months before the concert, I was talking to people about U2. Many people just blew them off, saying that they’re overrated, Bono is a douche, and not worth the money. To some extent I agree, when multi-millionaires use a political message for their own gain, it can get old. Now, don’t get me wrong, I admire the charity, time, and money donated by Bono and the band, but their great-great-great-grandchildren won’t be missing any meals anytime soon. That scraps me the wrong way…it’s kinda like not following through on starting a project. They do bring a lot of lost messages to the forefront…and for that I am grateful…but for $50, 75, 100, 125 a ticket, they could feed Somalia for the next decade after 3 shows. <gets down off of his soapbox>
Now my friends would then say, “It’s like a greatest hits concert…it’s boring”…Hold up…let’s break that statement down a bit. Most bands would KILL to be able to have a collection of songs for a greatest hits album. U2 has enough songs to fill multiple greatest hits albums. Think about that. They could do a handful of shows and not play the same song twice. That’s incredible anyway you slice it.
On to the show, it was in a word…amazing…
First, the stage…it was if a huge claw-like monstrosity landed in center field from outer space. Enormous is an understatement, and it had a huge disco ball on top, that when lit, shot beams of light all over St. Louis. I’m surprised they weren’t blinding airplanes as they flew over. They had 12 camera operators hanging from the set which projected the a live feed onto a huge morphing 360 degree screen. It was the best eye candy I’ve seen at a concert ever. Luckiest kid of the night? The kid that got to go up on stage halfway through the show, run around with Bono, sing, and get the crowd clapping. He had to be around 12 years old…I bet Dad was jealous as shit.
Second, the set…drawing mostly from the 90’s, they played a lot of songs off of Achtung Baby…which I didn’t mind. I love that album. “The Fly”, “Mysterious Ways”, “Until the End of the World”, “Even Better Than the Real Thing”, and “One”…”One” still gives me goosebumps to this day. They also hit some of their later songs like “Vertigo”, “Elevation”, and “Beautiful Day”…which was ironic considering the 100+ degree heat wave St. Louis has been in for the past, I dunno, MONTH. They didn’t forget to add some oldies as well, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, and my personal favorite “Where The Streets Have No Name”. In between those songs they sprinkled in a few other songs that I can’t recall (it all runs together) but they ended up playing for 2+ hours…which is impressive…but in that heat? That’s a damn miracle.
I’ve seen U2 before on the PopMart tour…but this show blew PopMart out of the water. It was a can’t miss show, and I’m happy I didn’t miss it. If you haven’t seen U2, go see them, it’s not just a show…it’s an experience. The way they keep generating music and touring reminds me of The Rolling Stones…that’s a pretty good comparison…they are probably the Rolling Stones of my generation. Not my favorite band, but always solid and a lot of fun.
EDIT: Holy Shit, I totally forgot that Interpol opened for U2…they were great, played their most popular stuff. The majority of the crowd had never heard of them, but ended up loving them. They were waaay better when I saw them at the Pageant a few months ago.