(A very nice photo set of the show from the GA section posted on flickr by Crystal from Arlington - thanks, Crystal.)
The setlist offered something for everyone - from new fans to cranky, old fans that long to stay anchored somewhere in 1982. The photo here is of Edge struttin' his stuff (maybe during "Electric Co."?) on the ellipsis stage plank- U2's contribution to arena-rock advancement & evolution. At any given time during the concert - you could be front-row center for the moment of the show. The show displayed a combination of soul, musicianship, sonic power & energy. During "Vertigo", Bono channeled the Ramones & it appeared that somewhere along the elliptical catwalk he stumbled on a live-wire as he belted notes from Patti Smith's "Rock & Roll Nigger" a moment doused in electricity. (Hadn't heard that song since the seventies & was racking my memory to remember the artist!) A highlight early in the show - "Miracle Drug" from the new album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb . It felt then & there like the band managed to make this basketball & hockey arena lift off the ground & soar. Edge sang a verse all by himself! He's got a fantastic voice, that one.
Bono recalled U2's first stop here in Dallas 25 years ago and thanked the fans for giving them the privileged life they have (very kind of him to say). We were situated in section 124 row W behind the stage. (I think you can make us out a little to the left of Larry Mullen Jr. in one of the Flickr photos.) The rear-of-the-stage vantage point allowed a chance to see Adam Clayton & Larry anchor the band - but they also strutted out a couple of times (albeit a bit tentatively) on the elliptical stage ramp. It must be weird for a drummer to amble out there off his seat into the audience - off the safety of his little drumkit and feel what it's like for the lead singer out there. That's when it occurred to me that I'd never really witnessed anything like that - at a number of points in the show, the band members were equally spread out on the arena floor- rocking the house, yes, but also shrinking the arena considerably from the vantage point of the fans - quite the little magic trick upon reflection - 4 points holding together the music from 50+ yards away of each other. Brilliant!
They played "Miss Sarajevo" & Bono sang Luciano Pavarotti's Italian part beautifully (this, by the way, might be the only way I like to experience opera - in short , minute-long quotations in the middle of a 2+ hour rock show.) But it goes to point out that these guys really do walk the plank - opera during a rock show?! "Dici che il fiume trova la via al mare..." And during "Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own" - he again stepped out on the vocal high-wire - "Can you hear me when I SING, you're the reason I sing, you're the reason why the opera is in me." These moments were exhilarating in the musical sense, but you're also thinking performance-wise - gosh, if he doesn't hit that note - he's screwed. Yes - he hits the note - but you're breathless until he does so successfully because it's a very steep precipice from which to jump. And yes - we ate it up - just like the pasta that Bono said he'd been at!
Other highlights - the kid they pulled up onstage to play guitar with them during "Angel of Harlem". The show is so carefully orchestrated technically that it was really something to see this kid so nonchalantly get up with them & play & not be completely petrified. We were all up there with him.
Also - we got to kick the soccer ball around outside in the AAC parking lot before & after the show. That was way more fun than it should have been considering it was on concrete & while cars are entering and exiting hastily. But it was a great way to channel some of the pre & post-show energy on a beautiful late-October night in North Texas. (Apologies to the guy with the fancy white Lexus next to us. The dent should pop right out.)
Can't wait to hear what everyone else thought of the concert.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Credit George Gimarc & Thor Christensen of the Dallas Morning News for putting together a really nice little retrospective of U2's concert appearances in Dallas. It reminded me of a high school tennis team teammate who said that the Alarm stayed with his family when they came through town (this is Fall 1984). "How cool that the Alarm stayed at your house!" (I remember now as I made that remark, I made a mental note to myself to familiarize myself with the Alarm - as I had no clue as to who they were. Does anyone else remember how back in the 80's, the verdict was still out as to who was a bigger live act- the Alarm or U2?)
Search video.google.com for U2 & you get 3 query pages worth of U2-related videos submitted by the general public. It's fun to check out the beginning of their Boston show from the perspective of Kate Krackenberger's cell phone camera. You can really taste the excitement in the crowd at the beginning of the show.
Feel free here to share your U2 Dallas moments with everyone.
Monday, October 24, 2005
6 days till the Dallas U2 show. I have to admit - I've not had it in the forefront of my mind. My pals Mo & Mo were going on & on about it the past few days & that made me perk up a bit. Took a peek at the calendar & noticed that my hype-level was woefully underpowered.
So - a quick perusal of my music feeds found this Rolling Stone interview.
Put that in your podcast oven & light 'er up. It's an hour + interview with Bono in the tradition of the classic Rolling Stone interview - the kind I used to read in my high school library - with 5 other guys hovering around looking at me to eagerly finish digestion & pass on the mag to them. (And there were plenty of times when I was of the ones floating around waiting for another dude to finish reading the latest Rolling Stone).