Column: off the record..., vol. 12-525
July 29, 2012
I tuned in this weekend to the rebroadcast of U2's third concert in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which the folks at U2.com delivered to its subscribers to mark the one-year anniversary of the last show of the 360 tour. I was quickly transported back to the shows I attended, to what became so familiar for two years. It's always fun to relive any U2 concert, of course, so I take advantage of opportunities like this one whenever possible. From the opening sequence of "Space Oddity" to the closing notes of "Moment Of Surrender," I realized how much I miss these guys when they're not around!
I enjoyed the rebroadcast for several reasons: the crystal-clear music and vocals; viewing and sharing fan comments, memories and photos; and hearing (again) great surprises like "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" and "Scarlet" along with old favorites "One," "Where The Streets Have No Name" and "Walk On." I loved revisiting the video clips from Nelson Mandela and Mark Kelly and the other astronauts working on the International Space Station. By just listening to the show, I also was reminded of the thousands of details that went into making the 360 tour such a huge success -- from the return of the Achtung Baby-era graphics to the participation of local artists in each country to the stats that appeared on the Claw before each show opened to the fantastic lighting and mixing. I am in awe of what these four guys pull off every time they go on stage -- they are consummate showmen with the backing of the best in the business.
I can safely say I had no idea what would happen in my U2 universe between the release of No Line on the Horizon and the end of the 360 tour. I am reminded how much fun it was to anticipate, buy, listen incessantly to and see the band as many times as I can on the ensuing tour. Obsessive? You bet. But I wouldn't have it any other way, and I'm willing to bet my fellow fans wouldn't, either!
It appeared to me as though all of the fans that joined the chat during the rebroadcast enjoyed the show. Thanks, U2.com for the rebroadcast, and please keep the goodies coming!
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band just completed a 26-city tour of Europe to promote his new album, Wrecking Ball. Rolling Stone magazine reports that the Madrid concert lasted nearly four hours, with the band playing revved-up versions of "Because The Night," "Working On The Highway" and "Hungry Heart." Additionally, in keeping with tradition, Springsteen and the band honored fan requests to play completely unrehearsed songs.
Wow! Bruce, 62, is in excellent health and has more energy than many younger performers. I am a longtime Springsteen fan and especially like to see him perform live. The man is a machine on stage. He never slows down. I love his exuberance and passion and the connection he has with his fans. It seems like Bruce and the band, four decades into their touring career, continue to get better.
Their U.S. tour kicks off in August, and dates are only announced through the end of 2012. I'm anxiously waiting to hear when they will be in Texas so I can snap up my tickets.
In a perfect world, I would love to see U2 play longer shows. Four hours at a U2 show would be incredible. It would give the band a chance to showcase music from different eras of their entire back catalog, and to play a variety of versions of their songs – similar to what they did on the 360 tour. I really enjoyed seeing them on different legs of the 360 tour, which changed significantly from the first shows in 2009 to the last concert in 2011. If you were lucky enough to see them on two or three different legs, chances are you got to hear songs ranging from "Zooropa" to "Even Better Than The Real Thing" to "One Tree Hill" and "Out Of Control."
And I think most fans agree it would be nirvana to hear U2 play more songs on request, similar to what Springsteen does. I know this is not a new topic of discussion, but I think fans truly enjoyed it when U2 surprised the audience at several of its stops on the 360 tour by playing an additional song after the show closed. I was in Chicago last summer when they ended the show and then played "One Tree Hill" in honor of Greg Carroll's memory -- it was near the anniversary of his death. I hope I see more moments like that on future tours.
Have a great week!
(c) @U2, 2012.
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