Monday, May 23, 2005

ready to let go of the steering wheel. (u2 set spoiler!) . long version. by Kenyon Hopkin

U2 at the meadowlands. may 18, 2005. =========================

before you read on, let me just say that U2 is one of my all time favorite bands, they were my ..1 for a few years, circa 1989-1992 or so. i have liked them pretty much since they first started, but really got into them seriously in between rattle and hum and zooTV tours. i saw them first in 1992 for zooTV at nassau coliseum on long island (most of which i hardly remember) and twice on popmart in 1997, also at the meadowlands, but giants stadium.anyway, i missed the last tour, i wasn't really interested because i didn't like the direction they were going. in fact, one nite they played madison square garden in oct 2001 i was in nyc seeing spiritualized (!). so by 2004 i was incredibly anxious to see them again, in a more stripped down, "intimate" setting. at the end of january, i basically let a ticket for the first show at MSG slip through my fingers, and i had been mad at myself ever since. (however i later got tickets for oct 10 and nov 21). still, i really didn't think i could handle waiting 6 months! so on tuesday (day before show) i get a call from my editor, saying there's two tickets for me, which i had asked about back in the first week of february, and never thought i had a chance. whoa. amazing. even better, the seats were in section 121, pretty damn close to the stage and catwalk.that all said, it really upsets me that people pay $60, $100, or even $170 (not to mention $10 for parking, etc) to drink beer, talk, play with their cell phone, not be totally focused on U2 the entire time, or even *walk out during a slow song you don't know to go pee or get a drink*! i mean, c'mon, this is one of the greatest rock bands ever playing one of the best shows you'll ever experience. you're ruining it for other people. but whatever, that's your loss. i know a lot of you serious fans on here agree with me, i read your posts.finally, the actual performance. yea yea, kings of leon were ok, whatever. the music on the PA was all like, on the fineline between hip and mainstream, i was surprised. 10 minutes before 9pm, i was getting really pumped. first the killers' "mr brightside", then coldplay "clocks." oh man. then just before 9, some other song which i didn't know, but i was just really feeling it and the music got louder so i stood right up and put my arms up before most, if not all the peopel in the rows right around me, because i knew u2 was about to go on. the lights went off and then of course everyone got excited. the edge appeared on stage playing guitar and then i guess it was a distraction or something because bono then just appeared out of nowhere at the end of the oval catwalk. at first i didn't think "city of blinding lights" was a good choice for an opener, but if they had to pick something to start with, i guess that's the best one. most of the crowd was actually into that song, that was a surprise. "vertigo" of course was next, i could see that coming. however, bono slipping in some lyrics from "stories for boys", which i'm sure not many people knew, was nice."elevation" i dont know why they played that, it seems like a weak pick and they played it enough on last tour. "gloria" definitely made up for that though. "the ocean" was like, wow, i can't believe they're playing this, but overall probably a bad idea because it's quiet and really obscure. "beautiful day" of course picked up the pace again and everyone was into that, no surprise. then three songs from the new album, kinda boring but i was just happy to be there. "sunday bloody sunday" and "bullet the blue sky" kept it going. "running to stand still" i was so into and most peopel in my area had sat down, i couldnt believe it. i was singing "hallelujah" like there was no tomorrow. again, they picked up the pace with "pride" and "streets", no shock there. "one" i don't feel much for, but at least they didn't do the boring "walk on" or "stuck in moment" thank goodness. the start of the first encore was probably the most exciting for me. before they came back on, there were images on the screen that were totally from the zooTV tour. so i got really psyched, yet had no idea what would be next (i never look up setlists before shows). they kick into "zoo station," and i was like yeaaaaaaa! i mean, it's not the best song in their catalog but i have watched the video for zooTV live in sydney like 1000 times and i so longed for that kind of experience. "the fly" was ok, don't like that song much, but again they did the zooTV thing with the "manipulative" words on the screen. "mysterious ways" rocked i guess, but i had my fill of that from last tour. second encore: two songs from new record, and then they brought this local band on stage to play "still haven't found." this was wierd, i didn't know what was happening. so they do the song, i'm not getting into detail about that, other people wrote about it. i didn't think it was the best idea though, honestly i'd rather see u2 do it for real, sorry guys (i actually met them after the show and told them to rock on though).finally, and something i was so much hoping for, was "bad". it was decent, but i needed bono to look more into it, like move around a lot more and seem passionate, walk around the ramp or something. plus it wasn't as long as it could have been. however, they did add the chorus to "40". i've been reading that they've ended previous shows on this tour with a full version of "40", it's too bad they didn't do that here. well maybe it's ok because the crowd just couldn't keep the sing-along going. i'm really glad they didn't do "vertigo" again, that's really dumb to play a song twice when they have so many others. myself and probably 5000 other peopel were waiting for "with or without you" towards the end, but strangely enough, they never played that. hmmm. so after the second encore, the lights stayed off for a few minutes, but then went on, and everyone got teased.i was still feeling the u2, but of course, hardly anyone else did. i'm talking outside leaving the arena. everyone just wanted to go home i guess, but i had to try and get a small group of people singing "40". i mean come on, how often am i gonna have that chance. why doesn't anyone do this? so i probably went up to like 15 different people/groups and just started singing "40". they probably thought i was nuts, half of them i'm sure didn't know the song, i really don't care. maybe you saw me or heard me. some peopel were just totally NOT into it, that's kinda sad (not as sad as t-shirts for $35 though). so i got a few different people to sing with me (you know, "how long to sing this song.") this one guy was actually really hip and he was into primal scream and stone roses, stuff like that, and we started singing songs by those bands, that was sweet, high five dude. so finally me and my friend (who was really awesome for putting up with me) left and drove back to long island. hallelujah!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

have you heard WAZ's I will follow cover? He's pete yorn's original guitarist. I saw him in San Fran last night opening for Frank Black from the pixies...

anyway, check out I will follow cover...