Friday, September 25, 2009

U2 at Giants Stadium

Last night I had the fortune of seeing U2 perform at Giants Stadium, the third time I have seen Bono and the boys, arguably the biggest band in the world these days, perform live. I am not going to spend too much time breaking down the show or the setlist, which was a typical mix of new songs from their latest record and interspersed among their hit classics. Rather, I will briefly discuss the quality about this band and its shows that I think makes them the elite live act they have been for years.

Every time I have seen U2 perform, I have been absolutely blown away by the extents to which they go to in order to make their shows a spectacle and an unforgettable experience. Given their popularity and the quality of their music, they could very easily just play a normal endstage show in stadiums and arenas, play their 15 popular songs for 2 hours and they would easily sell out. They would still make millions upon millions of dollars and probably be just as successful. If I was that successful, that's probably what I would do. Indeed, that's what most bands do. But not U2.

Every single tour, they have some sort of need to push the envelope further and turn their concerts into more than just the musical experience that most concerts are. On this tour, they introduced The Claw, an enormous, spectacular spaceship-like sound and light stage with rotating and swiveling bridges that allow the band members to access the various catwalks around the stage. Having been lucky enough to secure general admission tickets and gain entrance to the innermost circle of The Claw's borders, we had an up close perspective for all of its abilities. It was one of the most amazing productions I have ever witnessed.

Simply put, this band "gets it." They have been playing for 30 years and are likely the biggest band in the world, yet they still act like they have something to prove, like if they don't do something fresh and mind-blowing, they won't make it as a band. That sort of attitude is one I think very few people apply to their careers, and they deserve tremendous praise for it. As long as they keep touring, I will keep going to their shows. Let's hope they continue for many years to come.

Get On Your Boots
Mysterious Ways
Beautiful Day / She's A Rainbow (snippet) / Blackbird (snippet)
No Line On The Horizon
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Stand By Me (snippet)
Unknown Caller
Until The End Of The World
Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
The Unforgettable Fire
Mofo (snippet)/City Of Blinding Lights
Vertigo / It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It) (snippet)
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight / Miss You (snippet)
Sunday Bloody Sunday / Rock The Casbah (snippet)
Walk On / You'll Never Walk Alone (snippet)
Encore Break
Amazing Grace (snippet)/ Where The Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love(snippet)
Encore Break 2
Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
With Or Without You
Moment of Surrender

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