Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Concert of a Lifetime

And you know its time to go
Through the sleet and driving snow
Across the fields of mourning
Light in the distance U2 A Sort of Homecoming

Last night was the U2 concert here in Phoenix. My wife surprised me on Monday night as so:

U2 has been my favorite band since, well since I was old enough to have a favorite band. I guess you could say that their music has clicked with me. And even though I have been a fan forever, I haven't (until last night) attended a concert. I should warn you that if you are going to the concert there are spoilers ahead so be aware that you might get information you would rather see first.

First off, traffic and parking were HORRENDOUS! Traffic I can understand, it's not very smooth on the West side of Phoenix and it took us 2 hours to get to the exit where the stadium was. It took us another 45 minutes to go the last 3/4 mile and then to get in and park. I swear they hired the local elementary school crossing guards to do parking. Several sections of the lot were closed off making the parking even more troublesome. Definitely not worth the $20 fee to park. It also meant that we missed the opening act which was Black Eyed Peas. Now I wasn't that bothered with missing them, but it would have been nice to feed on the energy they have before U2 took the stage.

The stage cost $40 Million (yes Million) to create. Worth every penny if you ask me. There is a screen that shows the band playing and other effects throughout the concert. The coolest thing about the screen is that it is really multiple screens that can be separated and re-integrated. Our eyes are such good integrators that at one point I did a double take because I hadn't realized that the screen had come back together again.

Here is a (not so good) picture of the screen separated:

As for the music, well it IS U2. Granted I didn't know all the lyrics to all the songs (something about having a family and being really busy) but I did remember most of them. The funniest looks I got at the concert is when I knew the lyrics to The Unforgettable Fire. I was surprised that this song would be chosen, but I was very happy as I love that song.

Overall it was a good mix of old and new songs. Many favorites with only a couple of albums not being represented. Probably my favorite songs of the night were:

  • I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
  • One
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday

Now of course it wouldn't be a U2 concert if there weren't a few messages in it. Tonight's message was one of Peace and MLK was dedicated to the Burmese opposition political leader Aung San Suu Kyi. MLK is another of my favorites and a song I sang to my children while rocking them at night. A fitting tribute to someone who is a political prisoner.

There were 2 "encores". The first started with the Reverend Desmond Tutu giving a message about all of us being one. Of course the band came back and played One. A great rendition. The second encore began with an Alien cartoon character delivering a similar One message. The band returned with a "space-like" microphone.

The ending of the concert was weird. I mean it didn't have the same kind of "good-night" ending I am used to at concerts. However, there was nothing wrong with the ending. I left the concert moved which is why U2 is my favorite band. The music has a message and can be applied to several life situations. Matter of fact it was the music of U2 that helped me during a time of depression when I was a teenager. So check one off the bucket list. Hard to beat this birthday gift. I had the best time and will definitely remember this concert.

Here are some more pictures I took during the concert. They're not great quality, but hey that's not the point :)