All the Colors Bleed Into One

I fell in love with U2 at a fairly young age in large thanks to my dad’s repeat plays of the arguably perfect Best of 1980-1990 on weekend trips to the lake. The “four Irish boys from Dublin” were instrumental in my early realization that rock music had the ability to transcend and, upon discovering the Rattle & Hum documentary years ago, I’ve been determined to experience them in person. Unfortunately for one reason or another, I’ve had to settle for DVDs and tapes for the past 15 years.

As recently publicized, my much anticipated wait finally ended last Saturday after the opening night of the North American 360 tour at Soldier Field. Suffice to say, I feel confident claiming that I’ll never attend a bigger show for the rest of my life:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The video above doesn’t necessarily do the much-hyped stage justice, but I loved how Bono and Edge decided to cover Ben E. King at the end of the video. Spotting the top of “the claw” as we approached Soldier Field from Grant Park, I knew the stage was going to meet and exceed expectations. For a better grasp of the enormousness, take a look at these designer fun facts:

  • Designed to support 180 tons, the steel structure is 90 feet tall with center pylon reaching out 150 feet
  • Cylindrical video screen weighs 54 tons opening to 14,000 square feet (as big as 2 doubles tennis courts)
  • LCD video screen is made up of 1 million pieces (500,000 pixels, 320,000 fasteners, 30,000 cables, 150,000 machined pieces)
  • Takes 4 days to build and 12 hours to load in screen, stage, and universal production equipment
  • Takes 6 hours for production to dismantle stage and 48 hours to dismantle and load it out of the stadium

Referred to as “our spaceship,” the stage allowed the band to reach all corners of the stadium, thus eliminating the possibility of having a bad seat in house. I felt like I was on stage with the band instead of just another one of the 65,000 fans in attendance. Without a doubt, the band earned their “biggest band in the world” tag Saturday night.

As we stared and admired the stage monstrosity in front of us before the show, Christina asked if the night could potentially claim the top spot in my personal all-time favorite show list. While the production was certainly the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen, I can’t say that I felt as emotionally connected as I have at Springsteen shows.

That being said, U2 embraces their rock-star status and the live show further amplifies that image, so comparing them to Bruce is unfair. I will always be moved by U2’s powerful messages (especially up through Acthung Baby), and last Saturday night certainly felt like one I will never forget.

One Response to “All the Colors Bleed Into One”

  1. JimmyBean Says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Great site…keep up the good work. 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

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