surprisingly beautiful

Smug, arrogant, pompous- those are some of the politer words applied to the band U2. They gave away their last album, just because they could. Anyone with an iTunes account got it, and many were really, really annoyed. Such presumption! And then there’s Bono. A peacock in leather and Cuban heels. He thinks he is somebody, with all the jetting round the world to save people, and all that pontificating! Why would anybody take U2 seriously?

Because they are musicians and showmen who give their all, and who keep finding ways to touch hearts. I’ve seen them several times since 1983 and am always surprised. Last night, for the first time, I called their work beautiful. Nobody was more surprised at this than me.

It’s partly the fault of the free album. Boy was the first album I went into a shop and bought for me, with my own money. I invested in that one. The Joshua Tree was a constant for a while. Many memories have that as a soundtrack. Decades later, Songs of Innocence turned up on the laptop and I paid no attention. It was there, I’d listen to it sometime. I’d notice it in the car sometimes, pleasant & unremarkable.

Last night I paid attention. I got emotional at Iris (hold me close) and Song for someone. Maybe it’s my age.

I clapped and waved and sang along. I did some chair dancing and some upright bouncing along. Appreciating the sentiment, and the Paris images, I even sang along to Pride (in the name of love), which I hate.

A key part of the U2 experience is the extra stuff- those bits of the show which complement and expand on the music. When they played in the park at the bottom of our road, we had the huge golden arch and a bi plane. Was that the night of the descending lemon also?

This time round it’s the screens, massive see though screens, along and above a walk way almost the length of the arena. Not only are massive animations projected onto the screens, but the band frequently performs from inside the gap between the two, literally captured inside the whirl of images — humans interacting with digital 1s and 0s. The artistic effect is powerful.*

u2 screenu2 street screen

Today, I am exhausted and sore. I could have avoided some of that, but sometimes it’s worth the payback.

 

 

 

*from http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/05/20/u2-technology-large-screens-silicon-valley-ties/27648129/

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “surprisingly beautiful”

  1. It was even better than the real thing, it was spectacular from start to finish. I thought that Bono was sincere and that he captured the mood of the crowd. It was the right mixture of old and new; amazing!!!!!

  2. It is amazing what some can do with air, light and sound.

    True they don’t come off smelling of roses in other areas over the years, but none of us do.

  3. I own Boy as well. On vinyl. Back then I didn’t have a television, lived in a falt that was at the slum end of the housing spectrum, and listened to Radio 1 every evening. U2 were featured on ‘Kid’ Jensen’s and Mike Reed’s shows. They weren’t famous, but they were good. I also own the Joshua Tree. I don’t listen to them much these days, but after thsi post, I think I’ll be dusting off the vinyl, winding up the gramophone and turning back the years.
    Thanks.

what do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s