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"The fact that we're not easy to digest means we're a lump in the throat, and a lump in the throat has far more guts to it." — Bono



by dr.owl

First, I am not a casual fan. This was my 25th U2 show. I've used Periscope to view shows this tour and parts of shows. I had read @U2 comments. I thought I was ready -- I wasn't.

First, the narrative arc: This concert starts unlike any other. Voices of nurses. An MRI machine. Images of brain scans. I can only guess Bono's near death event that gave birth to this imagery, this experience, to start a concert. Love Is All We Have Left. What a brave and startlingly effective way to start the show. Lights of Home took on an entirely different perspective seeing Bono on his knees, alone, perhaps as if before God. It started with more than innocence, more of a life-changing perspective, reinforced through Blackout, Beautiful Day, I Will Follow, Gloria. The Ocean transitions us back to a time of innocence, the influences of early years, Iris (mother), Cedarwood Road (friends),  Sunday Bloody Sunday (political environment), Until the End of the World (faith). We watch The Heroes' Journey as we move to experience and those things with which we struggle in life from our desires, temptations, relationships, and the larger issues of our time with which we wrestle. Powerful images from Charlottesville countered with images of Dr King, Jr. Then the final transition to lessons learned from experience. One, Love is Bigger, There is a Light. "Are you tough enough to be kind?" Then the long walk on 13 to the house from years ago, a return of the light. Brilliant theatrics. A U2 concert can be enjoyed as just great music -- but it can also be an experience of great art. This concert was very great art.

The Music: U2 has always been and still is foremost a live band. As great as the albums are, nothing compares with U2 live. The new songs are all fantastic live. The Blackout just blows the roof off with not-to-be-missed graphics and high volume rock and roll. Initially I was disappointed with the repeated animation from the Innocence tour but the screen is higher res and it shows. I did miss Raised by Wolves. U2 explodes on the b-stage. Elevation, Vertigo, Desire, and YES! Acrobat. Well presented visually though McPhisto is scarier. The acoustic set, Best Thing About Me, and Staring at the Sun, excellent. Get Out of Your Own Way was rich and full of life. 13 held its own with One. Nice ending.

The Audience: Another awesome Chicago gathering. As good as Chicago can be, it seemed there was more sing-alongs to the new songs, more reaction, than previous tours. I think packaging the new CD with the ticket may have helped. It is always special to get tickets through U2.com and have another fan you have never met next to you singing along to the new songs, which was the case this night.

VR App: A good idea that needs work. An iceberg, a waterfall that grows over time, "sprites" flying around, then an astral body Bono singing. However, it drained 80% of my fully charged iphone even though I was selective in using during the lead up to the show.

Next up for me, Second Show, Washington DC -- We need Red Flag Day for that show, guys!!!

 

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