Concert Review: U2, July 6, Air Canada Centre


I’ve never seen U2 live before and frankly, I would be wasting your time by writing some trivial shit that you probably already know about them. They are the biggest band on Earth and one of those rare bands where you can name all the members. They have two guys who only go by one name. That’s how big they are, it’s like a Brazillian soccer team or something.

U2 shows have high production, it has been this way since forever although there was no giant lemon this time. They did have a gigantic catwalk stage thing on top of the normal catwalk that also doubled as a screen. It allowed the people in the nosebleeds like me to make sense of what was on stage. Throughout the show, there were definitely some cool visuals that helped enhance some of the newer tracks but it also allowed for creepy as hell visuals like this one taken by my friend Thierry (read his much better written review here):

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That visual really creeped me out when I saw it. I was thinking “Don’t touch The Edge, Bono!” I don’t know why.

There’s really no one like Bono. He conducts the live show like no other would, or could. One minute he’ll be telling us about how he remembers his first show at the El Mocambo, the next minute he’ll be telling us about Irish history. Then he might decide to pull up a belly dancer on stage for Mysterious Ways and after that make her film the band live on Periscope for Elevation. Some of the stuff he says is quite preachy but what is a U2 show without Bono preaching about the world and politics to you? The one thing I can say is after all these years and the millions and millions of dollars he has accumulated, there is no doubt he still tries to put up a great show and create a unique and surprisingly intimate experience for the fans. That’s not a bad thing.

Musically, U2’s show was split into two parts, the new stuff and the old stuff. While the new stuff wasn’t particularly horrific, I feel like U2 has taken this direction in the past decade where they just try to write uplifting rock anthems. A lot of OOOOOOhhhh’s and Woooooahhhhh’s. The only thing is, Bono is very good at doing OOOOOOOhh’s and Wooaooaaaah’s. Of all the new songs, Iris, a tribute to Bono’s dead mother, came off as the most enticing.

I was here for the old tracks. Say what you want about U2, but when they deliver the hits, they really deliver hits. You can’t help but go a little nuts to songs like Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride and With or Without You. Like my friend Dwayne said, the beginning to the track Where the Streets Have No Name is still a goosebump moment. Those goosebump moments are all anyone strives for at shows, and without a doubt, U2 with all their tracks, visuals, technologies and theatrics definitely provide anyone with the opportunity to get theirs.

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts

About Ricky

Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.

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