Music Monday – U2 360 Minneapolis
What a night, what a show. After a week or more of really hot, really humid, really crappy days…and me going through a few rather crappy personal days as well…that show, especially with the rain, was what Minnesota needed more than anything.
I waited two long…very long years for that show. And it didn’t disappoint. My greatest regret is that my friend Jelani couldn’t be at the show, especially because Interpol opened and he liked Interpol quite a bit. So I dedicated Interpol to Jelani to the thousands who were following the show on Twitter. RIP Jelani Brinson, 1984-2009.
But while Jelani couldn’t be there, my brothers could, as well as three other good friends. I hope they enjoyed the show as much as I did, regardless of how familiar they are with U2’s music.
I’m thinking my favorite song of the night was Zooropa. I’ve blogged about it previously, and how I always associate it with rainy days, so to hear the band play it (and miss a verse or two, lol!) while it was pouring rain was one of the more joyous things I have ever experienced. That rainy shimmering guitar was perfect…the visuals blew me away…and the tape recorder sound at the end was there for the hardcore fans like me. Of all the memories I have of that night, I’ll probably remember Zooropa the strongest.
The second strongest though occured at the end of Mysterious Ways. Bono wandered directly in front of us and then to the left a few steps before doing his “Bonoglese”, his speaking in tongues while singing bit. And right when Bono started to sing, and the band began to play the finale of the song, it started to rain. And at the same time, a breathe of wind came over the stadium, warming us and cooling us at the same time. And the only thing running through my mind were all the verses in the Bible about Pentecost and the breathe of the Lord coming upon people. No lie, I felt God’s presence stronger at that moment than I ever have in some religious church service. And I think Bono too, because he kept the vibe going, and he began to worship and dance. I look forward to reliving that moment on whatever bootlegs are released, especially to pick up exactly what Bono is singing in tongues about.
Edge’s guitar dying during the solo of Until the End of the World was musically a bit of a let down, and you could tell Edge was a little upset about it even into the next song, but the rest of the band more than made up for it. Someone threw a bouquet of white roses onto one of the bridges, and Bono picked them up and began riffing with them. And then after Edge’s guitar problems were fixed, and the song continued, instead of doing the reach over the divide Bono and Edge typically do, Bono instead began hurling those white roses into the audience. Epic moment. Spontaneous.
I think the loudest I sung during the show was during two moments. The first, and I guess just because I’m such a huge U2 fan, I knew was coming and timed perfectly: during I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight, after the place goes nuts and starts raving, Bono sings the first verse and chorus of Discotheque. And I shouted it back to him with all my might (I’d like to imagine he heard me). And so did many other people. Dangit, U2, we really want Discotheque and Pop songs to come back! But just that little taste…oh, that quenched something deep within me.
The second moment was during Moment of Surrender. Throughout the show I had of course sang along, often without noticing, but my voice wasn’t sustaining itself as well as it could at times. I didn’t join many others during Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride, or even One or With or Without You. I had to save myself. But that ending to Moment of Surrender…I surrendered, I yielded, and I threw my head back and gave it all I had. And so did Bono! He kept the song going a few seconds longer than it normally does. I missed his rap, but it was just as powerful simply screaming at the top of our lungs. The whole song is praise, and we needed it.
I also got a huge kick out of one of Bono’s comments. He was thanking people at the end of the show, especially people who have signed up and contributed to the ONE campaign…”especially students, because they are in to shit like that.” Awesome. A great example of using a word in popular language in a proper context without it being a swear word at all. It was perfect.
Since of course, nothing is perfect in my world! Sigh…hardly.
I was a bit disappointed they didn’t play Magnificent. Magnificent was one of the demos that was recorded outside of Bono’s house in France way back in 2006, and even through the surf and French talking I fell in love with the bass and the sound of this song. It had been played at the prior show on the U2 360 tour, but the band chose not to play it in Minneapolis. It’s one of my favorite songs easily of the last five years, and while not my favorite song on No Line on the Horizon, it was still one of the ones I had been looking most forward to hearing.
I also would have dropped Stuck in a Moment, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, and Pride (In the Name of Love), if only because I’ve either heard those songs, don’t like them, or am just tired of them. Would much have preferred Stay (Faraway, So Close), All I Want is You, and maybe North Star or Mercy or something. But at this point, I think the big surprises of the tour are done, and U2 will continue to play what works for the final two shows of the tour.
Concluding Thoughts –
And so now the show is done. The night, especially in hindsight, very much felt like a baptism in the rain. It was a cleansing, a way of throwing off all the accumulated crap that has gathered and occured in my life in the past five to six years since I last saw U2. In a way it marked the end of a era for me, the end of friendships, relationships, associations, academic achievements, loss, pain, faith, hope, glory, love, hate. I think I scared my friends by making a bigger deal out of it than it was, but that’s how I feel. It’s a cleaving and a rebirth all in one. A baptism in the rain.
To quote an Irish hymn writer – “Fuck the past; embrace the future.” Looking forward to this future freed of the past.
There is so much more I could write about the show, but this is good for now.
Find me and my friends on the GIGA pixel fan cam! http://www.u2.com/gigapixelfancam/110723/