U2 concert – mini review

I had promised the day after the show that I’d have a review up soon and here it is the end of the month. Ah well! Better late than never :)

It was, of course, totally awesome. The guys were great, and rocked as usual. The arena was packed and the especially lucky ones were sitting close enough to touch Bono ;-) U2 is like a fine wine – they get better with age.

They did most of my favorite songs … and when they sang “Sunday Bloody Sunday” which is the song that really started it all for them, the house nearly rocked off the foundation.

Side note: I do NOT like the new Bobcats arena. It’s too small, cramped, and it’s uptown – which is a bad idea, at least for this city anyway, because of the parking situation and the congestion traffic can cause during the week when people are just getting off work. Our seats weren’t that bad, even though we were up in the rafters. One thing I didn’t like though was feeling like I had to walk on a tightrope in front of people to get to my seat. One wrong move and someone could just topple over the other rows in front of them. Scary. This arena is to coliseums what compact cars are to the sedans.

Back to the concert, Bono was somewhat political throughout, but I generally don’t mind him getting political too much because he’s a guy who doesn’t pick sides … he tries to work with BOTH, which is rare these days for anyone in the Hollywood crowd to do. He even thanked former NC Senator Jesse Helms for helping a great deal in the fight against AIDS. He’d apparently had lunch or dinner with Sen. Helms earlier in the day.

A couple of things he did that irked me a bit: 1) the a bandana he wore: it read “COEXIST” but the C was in the shape of the Islamic crescent, the X was in the shape of the Jewish Star of David, and the T was in the shape of a traditional Christian cross. He had good intentions behind it, but what I didn’t hear him say and what we likely won’t hear him say is how the bad blood that exists between Islamists and other faiths mainly has to do with radical Islam and their longstanding intolerance for ‘infidels’ – hence the problem with “coexisting.” 2) He had a video of a woman reading the Geneva conventions and the part where she talked about torture brought “yeahs!” from a big chunk of the crowd. I took it as more of an anti-Bush “yeah” than anything having to do with torture itself.

Even with that, I do look at Bono as someone who is very passionate about what he believes in, and he’s someone who will work with anyone – conservative or liberal – in order to achieve it without throwing around the typical stereotypes of one party or another. He’s also not one to bash America every chance he gets, which is far more than I can say for many entertainers right here on our own soil. I know quite a few people who find him pretentious, and there is certainly a bit of that in him (he is, after all, a rock star), but deep down I’ve gotta admire the guy for being passionate about his beliefs and expressing them in a way that doesn’t belittle the US or cater to one party over the other.

On a more general note, I also dig the fact that U2 is a very spirtual band, as this review (from November 2004 written by Kenneth Tanner at NRO ) of their most recently released album “How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb” explains.

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