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"Rock and roll loves its juvenilia, its caricatures, its cartoons. The protest singer, the pop star, the sex god, your mature messiah types." — Bono inducting Bob Marley into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame



by Eduardo Rojas

Hi all!
Here go with my two cents:

Having been a long time U2 fan (more than 20 years) and having attended to the very first U2 performance in Chile (how can I forget it, 11-February-1998) I have really mixed feelings about last night's gig

Things have changed A LOT in 13 years, and that's include not only audiences and the band but THE VENUE ITSELF.

Yes, Estadio Nacional was (badly) remodeling in 2009, then the earthquake, then the delays, etc. We were so proud of our 70,000 seats stadium and now it's only 45,000. And I could feel it last night, trust me

Techonologies have changed for better and worse.
Better: sound, visuals.
Worse ... I'll tell you later

Well, let me put a little story first

I live in Via del Mar, that's 1:30 hours by bus and then another 30 min by subway to the nearest station. Add 20 min walking until you stop in the line ... 1:30 to finally get to the field!

As soon I got into the stadium I noticed this huge (and quite weird) stage desing. I was(fortunately) very close to the, how can I say it, "nort-west" part of it and I was glad to see that 80% of the show happened with me looking at the band in side-front. To give you an idea, I saw all the time Adam and Larry, and most of the time Bono and Edge.

Well, why did I say things have changed so much after all these years?
Technology and fanbase aren't the same as in 1998. In those years we chat a lot with everyone around you, share drinks, sandwiches, stories, etc. Now pretty much EVERYONE was much more concerned about their cameras, to take great pics and then (obviously) upload on facebook and the videos on youtube rather than being thrilled to be at the show a few meters from the band, for God's sake!

Muse was a band that I wasn't even heard of, despite I've been in England 2 times. Great energy, unfortunately, sound wasn't up there. The mix was awful, with rumble, with voices sounding distant and drenched in reverb, bass was a mass of distorded low frequency, and drums sounded fat, boomy, with cymbals being shrill.

On the good side, Muse was on time: they started the show at 20:00.

Then the intermission. Since I was with my very best friend (both of us attended to the Popmart 1998) waiting was tired and boring.

A "clock" began to run on the 360 screen, when it clocked 12'00 o Clock it started to disappear. A weird music began, stadium lights were off and immediatly felt the difference with the 1998 audience. There was Popmusik track being played (remember?) and in the middle of the song lights when off and THE MOST AMAZING CHEERING AND SCREAMING began. SO POWERFUL, SO EMOTIONAL, SO EXPECTING.

Now that level of cheering and screaming wasn't even half. To put things worse, there was no spectacular walking on stage with Popmusik, rather a crappy track and the band walking with no the same confidence and no costumes. Music stopped and then ... (WHAT THE HELL?) BEAUTIFUL DAY!

Mofo blew our minds! Beautiful Days was great, we jumped and we did the singalong, but it wasn't the same level of excitement.

Well, fortunately, the second song was I WILL FOLLOW! It was kick-ass, NOW everybody was jumping and singing, like a real Chilean audience. It was even better than Popmart, because of Bono's voice and complete rendition.

Then the obligatory single from the new album. We did the jumping and singing, but at least 50% of the audience was taking photos instead of singing. Magnificent didn't make things go better

Mysterious Ways! what a surprise! it put all us back to the U2 former glory. Sadly, it was not the first time in the night that Bono cut a classic! All of us were waiting for the Edge slide guitar solo, and that never happened

2 high energy numbers were welcomed for all of us: Elevation and Until The End of The World. Great moments. Missed the "torero" moment that Bono and Edge did in 1998. Unforgettable

I Still Haven't Found. All of us were waiting for an audience singalong, and we thought "this is our moment". In fact Bono let us sing the first verse and it was magical. Then the complete song and we did start to do the singalong at the end but I don't know why Bono cut it!

It seems Edge understand much more Chilean audiences because he NEVER started to play a song while we were singing a capella.

After that one of the 2 worst moments of the night: One Three Hill WHAT A CLASSIC ... With Francisca Valenzuela! Who the hell is that girl? she's just a twenty-something girl she believe she's so talented and gifted by in the end is arrogant and full of herself. Of course none of that would have mattered if she actually know how to SING. Terrible, embarrasing moment to say the least. It would have been much better if the band would have played Running To Stand Still, never played in Chile yet.

Pride (in the name of love) Same situation as I Still Haven't Found. Everyone singing with passion and energy, but why oh why Bono cut the singalong! It doesn't feel the same the song if it ends with just a few bars of audience and then abrupt "thank you" and whatever.

Vertigo. I have to admit I don't like it at all but I enjoyed it singing and jumping

I'll Go Crazy (remix) the worst moment of the night. Nobody knew the song and nobody liked it. It was a lesson about how to waste time on a live performance. Terrible

Sunday Bloody Sunday. The return of a classic after I'll Go Crazy nightmare!. Well performed and audience singing. Like a real concert should be (at least for us)

Scarlet-Walk On: We did enjoy that part, so (I have enough English to realise when Bono is missing lyrics) I did notice Bono's mistakes. Fortunately, none of them were in voice. His vocal range was clear, strong and powerful all night. One minor thing: Why did he used to change vocal entonations on some songs, like improvising how to sing the lyrics? I didn't quite like that

One: Definitely not the most emotional version, but a great singinig from the audience. In 1998 was better though Bono missed the second verse a bit. After that the most weird and unclimatic transition to Streets. Everytime I wonder why oh why they can't do Running To Stand Still/ Streets. Arguably the best ever!. Anyway, Streets was great.

HMTMKMKM: WHAT A WELCOMED ADDITION! brought me back to 1998. Cool performance.

With or Without You and Moment of Surrender: At this point, the abrupt cool-down was really to soon for my tastes. We were ready for Desire, Discotheque, Even Better Than The Real Thing or even oldies like Gloria.

A bit of let down came to the end.

Overal: Sound was phenomenal, stage and visuals were unbelievable. Performance was good, but setlist was a let down, really. We're not quiet audiences, we like to singalong, jump, to be one with the artists, and with sets like this, plenty of slow and mid tempo songs, it doesn't work.

Really hope the next time (surely the last time ever) U2 won't waste show space with fillers, slow numbers and remixes. Why not a mini acoustic show in the middle? Also, considering we pay the highest tickets in South America, the show wasn't enough to justify the obscene ticket prices. A good souvenir, without a doubt, but not the show of our lives.

Peace

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