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Posts Tagged ‘U2’

Missed a day already – sigh. Stupid flu. So, without further ado:

Day 4 – A Song that Makes You Sad: All I Want Is You, by U2. There are a lot of songs by this band that make me weep, but this one is a real Kleenex-shredder. Combine it with the video and I am DONE.

Day 5 – A Song that Reminds You of Someone: In the Road by Weeping Tile reminds me of Monie Blevins. This is a candidate for “makes me sad,” too, but Weeping Tile has a very specific time/place association for me. Sarah Harmer and other members of the band were semi-regulars at the cafe I worked at in university, and I was introduced to their music there, even though they’d pretty much broken up by then. Monie adored Harmer and I remember her playing this on the ferry over to Wolfe Island for one of the Sleepless Goat parties.

Edit: Arrgh, for whatever reason that second video won’t embed, so above is a link, anyway. Gorgeous tune.

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The stage in Milan, from U2.com

The stage in Milan, from U2.com

U2 was just about the last band on my list of ones I haven’t seen live that I still might be able to (i.e., doesn’t include the Beatles, the Dead or Zeppelin) and so seeing them last night at the Rogers Centre should have been an epoch-marking concert for me.

It wasn’t.

The Irishmen put on a great-looking show, no question. And they seem to enjoy what they do still, which is pretty impressive considering how long they’ve been doing it. But they’ve been so huge for so long that they can no longer play places where, I dunno, you might be able to see their faces without the aid of the giant screens above the stage. Or where the acoustics don’t sound like total shit, because we’re in a cavernous, concrete baseball stadium.

Plus, they spent far too much time on stuff from their post-Joshua Tree albums, which I can understand, as they must get bored with the older stuff. And I did get to hear “Sunday, Bloody Sunday”, “Where The Streets Have No Name”, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “One”, all of which were awesome. But no “Pride”? No “I Will Follow”? No “Running to Stand Still”? When I say that, up until the encore, the only song I teared up at was the opening use of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” – the only song, at a U2 concert – you see what I mean.

Plus, U2 has always been the living embodiment of “equal to more than the sum of its parts.” They make big, sweeping, stadium-filling rock albums, but they’re not really great musicians. Larry’s the most talented one in the group, and while some bands can make great live use out of genius drummers (see: Carter Beauford), it’s usually not good if the drummer is far and away the best performer onstage. So when U2 plays live, there’s not a whole lot to distinguish the music from what’s on the albums, aside from the impact of the stage and Bono Billie Holiday-ing the lyrics a bit. In the interest of fairness, I should say that I’ve been a little harsh in my criticism of the Edge as a guitarist; he’s not a technical genius, but what he’s doing is more complicated than I thought. But this is not a band that brings new meaning to their songs when played live.

Anyway, I can cross them off my list now. But the biggest band in the world, for me, was a bit of a let-down last night. The picture above is obviously not from Toronto, but it gives a good idea of what the stage looked like. Set list below.

  • Breathe
  • No Line On The Horizon
  • Get On Your Boots
  • Magnificent
  • Beautiful Day / Alison (snippet)
  • I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  • Elevation
  • Your Blue Room
  • Unknown Caller
  • Until The End Of The World
  • Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
  • The Unforgettable Fire
  • City Of Blinding Lights
  • Vertigo / Pump It Up (snippet)
  • Crazy Tonight
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday / Oliver’s Army (snippet)
  • MLK
  • Walk On
  • One / Amazing Grace (snippet)
  • Where The Streets Have No Name
    Encore(s):
  • Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
  • With Or Without You
  • Moment of Surrender
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