2015-07-27 - New York
Escrito por phenshaw - 1 año atrás
So a bit of background, which will add or detract credibility from my review!
I’ve seen them 7 times (Zooropa / Zoo TV 1993 at Roundhay Park, Leeds - no overstatement to say that this was a life changing experience for me and one of my friends; we’d both choose that day if we could go back in a time machine to one point in time!), 2 Popmart (Leeds and Wembley), 1 Vertigo (Manchester), 2 360 (Sheffield and Cardiff), now MSG (and O2 London to come!).
I could listen to Achtung Baby every day, probably twice, without getting bored. Its my ‘need to cheer up or snap into gear’ music of choice!
I’d then choose Pop over Zooropa or Joshua Tree (I know…). It is just my era - I got into dance music at that time, I really enjoyed Popmart, and it didn’t seem over-produced; if anything the opposite. The remixes and reworking of some of those tracks on the Best Ofs and singles just seem overblown to me - and that’s probably my disappointment in a number of the albums since; they seem to have less rawness and are joyless in comparison. Hey ho.
I saw that tickets were on resale on Ticketmaster when I bought tickets for the 02 in London, and was looking to take my wife away for the weekend just after her birthday - she’s a fan too, been to a number of the shows I listed above, so was keen to indulge me if it also involved a trip to NYC too! I’d always wanted to go to MSG - box sports fan, and some of the bands who’ve played there, big sporting events and fights there make it a venue I’d always wanted to visit, and tickets on the front row of Section 210 pretty much dead centre middle were cheaper than nosebleed seats at the O2. Hmmm. Less said about that the better! However, what a bonus!
The venue is great - not as big as I imagined, but fantastic arena, and the seats were perfect. Great atmosphere (and unlike a typical Brit venue it wasn’t full of people totally hammered being generally annoying!) so thumbs up there! It didn’t seem totally sold out, at least to begin with - we both said ‘I’m amazed this hasn’t sold out, unless it fills up really quickly!’ minutes before Bono made his entrance at the rear of the venue; looking, I have to say, a bit comical these days! Its fair to say my wife’s not a fan of the new look… Good entrance though! Onto the stage and into the intro to Miracle. Loved the guitar intro - first few notes really powerful and get the crowd going. Sound quality is good, plenty loud enough and clear. If anything, the new speaker locations is a bit disorientating if you’re half way back… the sound coming from straight in front of you whilst you’re looking to the left / right to see the band. Maybe that’s just me!
Two Hearts took me by surprise, as I’d done my best to avoid setlists before the show, and sounded great - in fact the ‘punk’ / high tempo first few tracks all worked, and its a great start. Iris, with the screen kicking into life, underlined that the new songs sound much better live - I refer you to the ‘overproduced’ comment earlier, a bit of a bugbear of mine. Raw and loud, and with the narrative of the animations on the fantastic screen backdrops they really make sense.
For those asking / questioning ‘why is Bono spitting at the crowd?’ - its a watered-down (hmmm) punk thing; horrible I know, but the punk bands of the 70s (and the fans in return) used to spit at each other apparently. Nice. Its not full-on spitting in fairness, he’s spitting a bottle of mineral water out, which is a bit more upper class! Still odd if you don’t get the reference!!
Duds and goods then -
Dud (for me):
One sounds a bit tired now (which I know will wind people up) - not sure if its Bono’s inability to play guitar (its always been a 2 guitar setup), and his voice having gone by that point, but the singalong thing didn’t seem to work. Some may disagree - didn’t seem like the crowd really got it, and probably weren’t as familiar with the words as Bono hoped! You can’t win ‘em all.
Its a BIT staged / choreographed…but I guess it always has been. I genuinely don’t know how much is spontaneous any more! I’ll see in a few months at the O2 I guess!
Not sure about the getting people on stage thing; no idea who Amp was (I believe he’s been on stage earlier in the tour - can’t work out why they got him up again?), and the Chilean guy playing guitar. Sounds a bit joyless, but seems to break the rhythm up a bit and appears a bit clumsy, as Bono and Edge have to talk them through everything.
Sounds great, and new songs are really good with the visuals and the raw, stripped down (loud) production. 360 was amazing, but musically at times it sounded like U2 playing over backing tracks - I know its them, but it didn’t seem 100% ‘live’. This is way better and more like 4 blokes making a racket, which I always love, and where they’re at their best.
UTEOTW sounds (as always) amazing, and the screen interactions make it even better - same with Bullet.
Invisible performance and effects are fantastic.
Edge just gets better and better - fair play.
The screen and the band’s interaction and integration with it (will make sense when you see it!) is brilliantly inventive.
The narrative (from bedroom / lightbulb to Cedarwood Road to the Berlin Wall and beyond) is a tremendous idea - like U2 decided to put the Spiderman musical to bed by doing a real musical with real music.
Fantastic experience, and really enjoyed being in NYC to see it. It sort of had the feeling of a last hurrah - however they do it I hope they go out on a high, and this just might be it.
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