May 29, 2005

Yew Too

Michelle had to go back to LA to prepare for the wedding, and she's not a huge fan anyway, so it was Sam and I who drove down to San Jose for the U2 concert. I was the one who got up at 3AM Taiwan time to hit just as the virtual ticket window opened. Even with all that effort and furious clicking action, the best I could do was rear-view, second show tickets. Actually they weren't that bad, more like side view, out of the way of the hocket netting, and pretty close. Woulda been great hockey seats, too, had there been any hockey to be played. Good to see SJ keeping The Tank busy with the Sharks off the ice.

Loved the post-modern entrance, with the band members carrying portable spotlights to illuminate the crowd rather than being spotlighted themselves. They were able to draw just as much attention to themselves as everyone traced the cones of light back to the source.

No question U2 knows how to put on a hell of a show. Everyone there was a fan (better be, considering the ticket prices) ready to have a good time, and Bono understands that the lead-singer at an arena show is more of a conduit rather than the source of energy. He was great at shaping the crowd's emotions and pace the show with his performance and the occasional small-talk or grandiose speech. Even though I hadn't heard much from their last couple of albums, there were plenty of the greatest hits to get the entire crowd juiced, and the new songs are catchy enough that I could sing along and bounce to the beat halfway in. You think someone's told Bono that "catorce icon" doesn't come after "uno, dos, tres"?

the arena sound was hardly audiophile quality, but more importantly, it was loud enough to drown out the crowd, freeing everyone to sing along as loudly (or as badly) as they want. Kinda like a mass-karaoke. The lead vocals was the least of it, really. What I loved the most was seeing and hearing The Edge and The Other Guys (a.k.a. Adam Clayton and Larry Mullens Jr.) bang out the oh-so-familiar rockin' riffs with the energy and volume that only comes from being live-and-in-person. The set itself had plenty of blinkenlights to keep the sense occupied, but not LEDs, though, far as I could tell. We were close enough to have a good look at the stage proceedings, even if we weren't face-on. The band made sure to occasionally cater to the side and rear-view audience, too. All-in-all a kick-ass show, even if $100 for a mediocre seat is totally ridiculous. Hooray for disposable income.

Posted by mikewang on 09:30 PM