Thursday, September 24, 2009

U2 360 - Magnificent

I’ve been procrastinating on my review of my U2 360 Tour Concert experience. Since this was my first time to a rock concert, there were a few things which I learnt which I’ll explain along the way:
  1. No one brings a backpack
  2. If you’re going to be standing, stand to the front as much as possible especially if you’re in a country where you’re considered short.
  3. Bring something to eat

The reason why I brought my backpack was because I had my bulky camera, water bottle (which I had to throw away because they didn’t allow people throwing bottles at the stage), jacket, wallet, handphone… well, I had everything except the kitchen sink. But I did use them! Still, I was the rare one holding a backpack looking like I just stepped out from a kampong.

It took us close to a full hour to reach Wembley Stadium from London city, passing through smaller parts of London, which was quite interesting. By the time we caught our first glimpses of the stadium, our excitement climbed a few notches higher. The stadium is gorgeous! And huge, of course. It was a sold-out night, filled with U2 fans to its full capacity of 88,000.

The Claw, rising 164 feet high, fitted just nicely in this huge arena but I can imagine if we were in a smaller stadium, it would have looked like an alien ready to take over the place. It takes 120 trucks to transport this moveable steel structure, takes about 44 hours to tear down and it costs USD50mil each (they have 3 so that they can move from one location to the next quickly). There’s a complete description of this structure somewhere on the internet but I’m not too bothered to read about it.

We chose our spots, surrounded by tall Caucasians guzzling beer. KS told me we would be pushed forward the moment the concert starts. However, when the concert started, no pushing happened as everyone politely stood where they were. I ended up doing the slight pushing because right in front of me was this couple who kept kissing and making out as soon as Bono started singing. So I had to move myself to put them out of my line of sight. Hello, I was there to watch U2, not to watch you two!

Unfortunately, U2 started off the concert with one of my less favourite songs of the new album, Breathe. I must say though, throughout the concert, I didn’t feel a wow factor, nor did my hair stand on its end like when I watched the DVDs. Perhaps the fact that we were dwarfed by everyone else which limited our views of the stage contributed to this. Still, I kept reminding myself that I was actually looking at them with my own two eyes. However, when I watch my small bits of recordings of the concert now, I get little thrills just remembering that I was there.

I can’t remember exactly what songs they played but I was darn glad they played Mysterious Ways, one of my favourites. Of course they played “Where the Streets Have No Name”, “Pride (In The Name Of Love)”, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” staples for every U2 concert. For “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, Bono let the crowd sing the entire first verse. That was amazing, just hearing the chorus of voices singing. They also played a remix version of “I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight” (I just realised they have really long song titles) which was simply awesome! It gave Larry the chance to walk away from his drum set and had funky beat to it.

At one point, Bono wore a jacket that had LED lights running all over it. He also held on to a hanging microphone which swung him around the stage, much to the delight of everyone trying to reach out to touch him!

I noticed for this concert, Bono didn’t pull anyone from the audience up on stage as he normally does. Either that or I couldn’t see anything. It would have been nice to have that bit of engagement with the audience.

The two hours passed like nothing at all. Thank goodness the granule bar was enough to pacify my tummy as I didn’t feel hungry for more food, just hungry for more of the concert.

I met the other AirAsia winner, Mark, who is from Perth. He’s crazy, he had seats for the next night too, which made me wish we had our tickets from eBay for the next day too. Yeah, thinking all these while we watched the Baroque performance in St Martin’s the next day.

Would I want to watch them again? Maybe in Australia, where they plan to park one of their Claws there as a permanent concert stage. Or who knows, if I visit Grace in USA and they happen to be performing nearby…


Grace said...

Sounds like a lot of fun. I have never been to a concert myself too. What is the song they are singing?

Grace said...

well they are in DC from 29 from $24 too...

jo said...

i'll wait for the next time around. wonder if it was a sold out concert too...

Mlle Monster said...

unless u are crazy for the band or have a very strategic spot - rock concerts are crap for short people. I would know! Glad u enjoyed urself!