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I peak early in the morning. It's downhill from there.-- Bono, 2004


by scrittoresabino

This tour was approached with much care and thoughtfulness to the music and experience of the Joshua Tree. It captured what it meant at the time for the band, as well as the world then, with prodound relevance to current times.

The Rose Bowl is enourmous, but it is also spacious and wide open. I was there for 360 (similar ticket location) and other concerts. This was the best sound I have heard at any concert, big or small, outdoor or indoor. Every instrument was clear and distinct. The drum and bass were booming without getting muddled, Edge's guitar soared and rang through the air with no hint of the high pitch sting that can pierce yours ears in a bad sound mix/location. I could hear every word Bono sand or spoke, even when whispering, as well as hearing the nuance often lost in the cavernous concrete.

A giant sihouette of The Joshue Tee is on the screen. This is mirrored/shadowed by the B-stage also in the shape of The Joshua Tree. The two are alighed, and connected left of center (they could have put that bstage any where and in any shape). The B-Stage is also distintively a different colorn not only from base color of the tree on screen, but from the rest of the stage as well. This shadowed/mirrored Joshua Tree is reflective of the themes of the album, even perhaps referencing that a potentil title for the album was "The Two Americas". The band start on the small stage with just spotlights and no screen, harking back to their simpler beginnings. the screen does not truly come to life untl The Joshua Tree begins.

Keeping with the orginal tour the red screen heralds in this epic anthem and album onto a truly cinematic screen.  Again, a design choice - not multiple screens with constant feed of the band or multiple screens stimulating your senses with a lot of flashy lights. 1 single screen. Couragously sticking to the manner in which they want this album presented, no image of the band shows up on the screen until the 4th song on Joshua Tree, and even here, the images are highly blurred and distorted. For 7 songs straight, the band is not paraded up on the screen, not even in yourger picture form. This truly is a risk. It is expected, especially on bigger production to have constant video feed on the band/artist. So to go against that, and not even have a hint of band image during any of their biggest hits is indeed a huge risk. Did it pay off? 

The choice of imagery is also distinctively singularly focused, whether a tree, road, mountain range, or thick of trees, every scenere holds pure and steady to its focus, immersing the audience in.

The result: some of the loudest most enthusiastic sing-alongs and responses, without ever seeing the bands faces. Keep in mind, LA crowds are notoriously tame en subdued, too busy posing to be seen really letting loose and getting into the music - Ive seen/experienced this contstantly in this city.

The show is so focused on the impact of the music, even when the visuals do get more flashy. Having watched a little of the videos with this seemingly tame visuals, I was concerned how this would translate live, in the moment. My fears were immediately squaashed by the crowd response and interaction. Unxpected songs received enourmous praise, songs  I was unsure of how they would be received - being B-Sides and not your typical single, or even typical rock/pop song. The crowd went wild for Exit, One Tree Hill, Mothers of the Disappeared and Red Hill Mining Town.

Ending with Bad and I Will Follow made the night.

As always, but very specifically with this show, I left the concert, not just with the music inside me, but with a sense of wanting to be better and make the work better. Ive seen many great concerts from many artists, but none make me think and feel on this level. WHile U2 does this for me in most concerts, this day (and day 2) is more prnounced, and I believe this is due to the thoughful focused approach to the presentation of this music and how relevant the themes are now, both in the world, and personally,

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