Wednesday, December 22, 2010

U2 Concert Review - Night 2

Last show of the Australian tour. Last show of the year. This time I've purchased GA tickets, so I decide to stand near the sound tent. The stadium feels more crowded than the first night, and there's genuine excitement building up in the air. The rain starts coming down lightly during Jay-Z's set. The heavy drizzle continues, prompting the U2 crew to open up these cool-looking umbrellas just above the drumset. But soon the rain stops unexpectedly and they have to close them. U2 takes the stage unusually late tonight.
The sound is much clearer from the front and also much louder, more 'in your face'. And the view is spectacular. Not too far so I can get a good view of the band, and not too near so I can experience the magic of the claw. I think this is the best way to experience U2 360. It's just so surreal, standing amongst the huge crowd -- brings me back to the Springsteen and Neil Young gigs last year. And somehow the light show looks so much better from the GA area.
From the get-go, I know this is gonna be a special night. Stingray Guitar has Bono and Edge going through the same routine (on the outer circle) as last night. But I get the feeling that there's more passion in the performance, and that goes the same for the rest of the night. Tonight Beautiful Day ends with a little Rain (Beatles), and Mysterious Ways with a Beyonce snippet (her hit Single Ladies). A great New Year's Day replaces I Will Follow, and Bono also makes a Christmas reference by having the crowd sing along to John Lennon's Happy Xmas (War Is Over) after I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. I fondly remember him saying at the end "Happy Christmas John. Happy Christmas Yoko." That made my day.
At this point, I really thought we were gonna get Bad finally. But the band launches into All I Want Is You, last played at Sydney #2. The crowd ate this one up. And then came Love Rescue Me, a fairly short version but still great nonetheless. We're one of the lucky ones to hear it. If that weren't enough, comes the Rattle & Hum triple shot. Desire finally makes its live debut this year. Simply outstanding; and it's not often you have Bono playing harmonica. For In A Little While, Bono picks two kids from the front. The following Miss Sarajevo seems more poignant tonight; not only does he show off his operatic prowess, he also makes the song as relevant as ever.
Another snippet: a little Discotheque during Crazy Tonight; seems appropriate given the techno beat. The next song, Sunday Bloody Sunday, never rocked so hard; it definitely blows the previous night's one away. By the end of Walk On, the band's already in another stratosphere. Not to diss last night's performance, but tonight certainly triumphs it. This time Streets hit me more emotionally; I feel like Bono is singing directly to me. We can say whatever unpleasant things we want about him, but when it comes to fronting a band, he's up there with the best, no doubt about it.
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me is rotated back into the set. Awesome awesome song; Edge's guitars rock on this one. Bono also does more swinging around on the mike here. The last surprise of the night comes right before Moment Of Surrender, where Bono leads everyone into singing a bit of Party Girl, as requested by a fan at the front. By the time the show ends, U2 has already gone way past its curfew, but they look like they're in no rush to leave. The last shot we see is them walking to the back and waving & thanking the crowd. Elton John's Rocket Man plays over the PA as the screen shows some fun footage of the astronauts in the Space Station. Now I'm emotionally exhausted. I guess there's a little sadness that comes with it; as we probably won't be seeing U2 in a quite a long time. But I'm glad I managed to witness the biggest and most ambitious tour ever mounted. Just a truly unique way to experience the power that is Rock & Roll.Thank you Adam, Larry, Dave and Paul for giving us so much.