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"I'm in an interesting position because I'm the drummer. . . . People say what they feel, and don't feel that they're messing with my art."

-- Larry

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Bono's MRI Starts Experience + Innocence Concert

@U2, May 10, 2018
By: Sherry Lawrence


It was a Scooby-Doo mystery that many U2 fans were trying to figure out: What in the world is going on at the start of the show during the latest U2 tour? The intro song is I Break Horses' "Winter Beats," and then the song fades. Soon, we hear a female voice giving instructions to someone and sounds of what appears to be an MRI machine. Those instructions were transcribed by fellow U2 fan, Jen, on Twitter:

  Just realized the show begins with MRI noises:

We reached out to our resident U2 Nurse, Beth T. who confirmed that the sounds we hear are indeed from an MRI machine. You can hear it for forward to the 3:55 mark.

Looking at the set list, the letters MRI are right at the top next to the intro music. (Set list from Tulsa, Oklahoma opening night)

 U2 Tulsa 050218 Setlist - copyright atu2com

I'm not sure how many shows open with the band's lead singer going through an MRI simulation. When you think of the lead-in song, "Winter Beats," the lyrics from I Break Horses give the plot away a little:

Heart Beats
When your heart in winter beats
Don't let that cold blood freeze
Cause frozen love will bleed

Blood streaked
Streaked with frozen leaves
Leaves broken streets for me
Slips on cold red streets

Winter beats
It strikes for you and me
Don't let that cold blood freeze
Cause frozen love still bleeds

The U2 Experience AR app launches with a giant iceberg that is melting, along with snow falling in the 20-minute pre-show lead-up to the band taking the stage. (Perhaps a reference to "I hit an iceberg in my life, you know I'm still afloat" in "New York"?) In reality, the show begins when the screen changes to the black and blue static. When "Love Is All We Have Left" begins, the image of Bono jumping out of the 80-foot screen is just the torso of the lead singer wearing no glasses and what appears to be a loose-fitting shirt. The question then becomes: Is the AR Bono that's appearing via the app an augmented MRI image of the lead singer?

At least when MacPhisto appears later in the show, he's only looking for a dermatologist and not a cardiologist.

Special thanks to Jen, Beth N., Beth T., Scott, Ken, Kevin and Mason for helping us diagnose the opening of the Experience + Innocence show! This article was originally posted to the atu2blog.

(c)@U2/Lawrence, 2018

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