Friday, October 02, 2009

U2 and Muse

How do you describe seeing one of the best rock bands of all time perform live in concert?

Amazing, awesome, fantastic, awe-inducing, etc. etc. etc.

Nah, those don't cover it.

This past Tuesday at Fedex Field, Dorilyn, Jennifer, Carly and I saw U2 perform as part of their 360 tour. I've been to a lot of concerts in my time, but I've never really seen a rock legend. And yes, you can tell the difference.

These guys have been doing this a long time. But they're performance doesn't feel stale, it just feels effortless. When Bono is doing his thing, you understand why he's a rock star. He just has IT. And the Edge can wail away on the guitar all night, but it still sounds clear and new.

U2 is definitely a political band, so Bono at times would go off on his little rants. I'm a hardcore liberal so I agree with most of the things he said. But I was there to hear him sing, so even I found myself rolling my eyes at times. But then I would feel guilty about it because Bono was bringing up some excellent points. But then I would just want him to sing. It was this whole vicious circle kind of thing. I suppose it's all part of the show though, and part of U2's charm.

In case you are curious, here's the setlist. A great mix of stuff from their current album (which is really good) and the classic songs. The only thing that surprised me was that Pride wasn't played...being in DC I was pretty surprised.

Breathe, Magnificent, Get On Your Boots, Mysterious Ways, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Stand By Me (snippet), Elevation, Your Blue Room, Beautiful Day / Blackbird (snippet), New Year's Day, Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of, The Unforgettable Fire, Mofo (snippet) / , City Of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, Let's Dance (snippet) / , I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight / Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (snippet), Sunday Bloody Sunday, MLK, Walk On
encores: One / Amazing Grace (snippet), Where The Streets Have No Name, Ultra Violet (Light My Way), With Or Without You, Moment of Surrender
comment: No Line On The Horizon misses a 360° Tour show for the first time.

A special shout-out to Muse, one of my new favorite bands, they rocked the shit out of that place. They're sound was much harder in person than on their albums, but Carly and I were loving it. And hurray for sparkly guitars!

I wasn't that enamoured with FedEx Field; it's about a mile hike to and from the metro station and it took us almost 2 hours to get home what with the waiting for trains and riding from one end of the line to the other. So, it would take a big group to get my ass out there to Maryland. But U2 was TOTALLY WORTH IT.

This was U2's set. Most people call it "The Claw." The Washington Post called it "The Colossal Robotic Crustacean That's About to Stomp Off Into Prince George's County and Destroy Everything in Its Path." That about sums it up. It's apparently the largest set in rock history.

The Claw all lit up.

Bono in close-up.

Check out the number of people there. It was the largest concert I've ever been to, but it was so cool to be surrounded by so many people who were into the music. It was really like this gigantic shared experience. Especially when everyone would sing along to songs.

I feel like I haven't done an adequate job describing the concert. Sometimes my lack of a true gift for writing is very frustrating. It's like the words are there, I just can't....quite....grasp ahold of them. Anyway, I guess the concert was one of those "you had to be there" moments. It's definitely something I will be remembering for a looong time and will probably tell my children about; "Mom went to see U2, you guys!" And if I have done a good job with their musical education they will understand how I had my own little place in rock history.

Best numbers:

1. Where the Streets Have No Name

2. Mysterious Ways (my favorite U2 song of all time!)

3. Vertigo

4. Beautiful Day

5. I Know I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (which was remixed in this awesome techno meets disco number complete with bongos!)

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