U2 completely kicked my ass at the United Center! The eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour was a two-fold ass whooping. The music being one punch, while the stage show is a whole 'nother uppercut. Check out this footage from"The Blackout" as Bono tries to claw his way out of the video screen.
These four men might be the only band left that can handle a set up this grand while still pulling off such superb musicianship. For anyone who thinks these guys are boring, old, or dead; you're sorely mistaken. Matter of fact, this was one of my favorite shows in a long time.
They had us "Staring At The Sun," as they spun around a fiery stage. Next, we journeyed to the "City of Blinding Lights," where flashing blocks seemed to float magically throughout the area.
Fans were told to hold up their "lights," and an arena full of cell phones now looked like pulsing stars.
Later on, we visited the hometown of U2 by way of a train that spanned the length of the United Center.
We surfed waves of joy and freedom as they took us through a bone-chilling version of "Iris (Hold Me Close)."
The highlight of the show for me was the trifecta of "I Will Follow," "Gloria," "Beautiful Day." How many bands would love to say they wrote just three songs like that? U2 have written thirty or more tunes that good and the hits kept coming all night.
"Sunday Bloody Sunday," Elevation," "Desire," and "Vertigo." It's hard to imagine how good this band is until you hear them live. The songs sound just like the record but more emotional, if that makes sense? Live, Bono's vocals are uncanny, and so are the rest of the instruments. But, that being said, you also have to remember how long they been playing together and how comfortable they are on stage.
One song I never thought they would play was "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me." Released just three years after I graduated from low school (1995), the Batman B-Side still sounded incredible, bringing back memories of grandma, and 4905 Home Avenue.
Another memory maker was "Until The End Of The Word." I used to clean ambulances for a company called Tech Ambulance and that was the theme song to our long summer days of wiping up dried blood. (As I write this I wonder if Nick Ianelli actually saw that tour?)
The augmented-reality section of the show during the opening number was super cool. Viewable to anyone that had the U2 Experience app on their phone, it put a computer-generated Bono front and center on your handheld. It felt like you could almost touch the hologram. Not quite better than the real thing, but close.
The boys from U2 sounded as good as ever, and the show they put on was entertaining next-gen fun.
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