Saturday, December 04, 2010
U2 in Melbourne
The very first concert I ever saw (aside from going to the Beach Boys with my parents) was U2 in 1992 on the Zoo TV tour at the old Foxboro Stadium. My sister Kerry gave me her ticket so I could sit with her (furious) friend while she sat with her then-boyfriend in better seats. I didn't care about the seating. I was 15 years old and thrilled to be there. And it was fantastic.
I wasn't planning to catch U2's latest tour, mostly because I just wasn't willing to pay $200 to sit in the upper balcony of a large stadium. Apparently this sentiment was shared- the crappy seats didn't sell so they dropped the price. When D emailed me on Monday asking if I wanted to get tickets for $40, my answer was an enthusiastic YES! We were joined by a couple friends and fellow U2 fans.
Jay-Z was opening, which definitely struck me as an unusual choice, but we ended up going into the concert just after he finished so I didn't catch any of his set. I'm just glad that Beyonce didn't make a surprise appearance because that I would definitely have wanted to see. Like most U2 concerts, the stage was huge and impressive and has been dubbed "The Claw." The band started the night off right by walking on stage to David Bowie's Space Oddity. I had been a little worried that they'd focus on their newer material or Bono would get preachy, but that wasn't the case at all. They played an excellent show and the set included many fan favorites such as New Year's Day, Sunday Bloody Sunday, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, and Mysterious Ways. Even though it isn't one of my favorite songs, Bono made a nice dedication to (Aussie) Michael Hutchence before performing "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of." Even though Bono does have a great voice and stage presence, I give The Edge's guitar credit for that distinct U2 sound. They played for a couple of hours and then performed a short encore that included Ultraviolet (Light My Way), which was rather unexpected and, for me, the highlight of the night. When With or Without You came on, I was feeling nostalgic and got Dean and our friend Mel to hold up lighters with me, only to realize that...NOBODY DOES THAT ANYMORE. The crowd was a mix of ages (exemplified by two ladies with their 12 year old sons behind us), but I reckon no one under 20 had ever seen the lighter thing before. Bono did have everyone hold their cell phones up- my how the times have changes.
In the end, it seems like U2 knows what the fans want, and on Friday night, they gave us exactly that. I'm just glad I was there to experience it.