Monday, October 26, 2009

POPped Review: U2 360 Tour - LIVE at the Rose Bowl - UPDATED

Last night some of us had the opportunity to see U2 at the Rose Bowl. This concert was the largest event in Rose Bowl history. I've heard estimates from 87,000 to 150,000. So we'll just there definitely were at least 30 people there. I will go ahead and start with, really the only major negative of the evening. Parking. I can see how there is no way Pasadena would be ready for an NFL team.

 It was a nightmare getting out of there for those of us who drove, and those that took the shuttles. And if you had to use either the Men's or Ladies Room after the concert, good luck. They locked many of them and the ones that we used had huge lines and the ladies room had a Stall Nazi (Event Employee) yelling at women to hurry up because she wanted to go home. Ahhh.. show business. Still, with an event this size there is not a lot you can do except gripe about it later and say, "Stupid Rose Bowl."

Once inside we grabbed some over-priced food and drinks then made our way to our seats. Not being seen (yet) as legitimate press we took the most affordable tickets we could get and were up towards the moon, but for this set up it wasn't that bad. But we'll get the stage set up later. After spending some time watching a constant rotation of people in the wrong seats all around us, and being squeezed together because people still don't understand what it means to scoot, the opening act came out on stage.

The Black Eyed Peas did an hour set and I have to say, they f***ing brought it. I like some of their songs, but I'm not a huge fan. With that, I have to say that they totally killed. Their set was a perfect warm up for U2. I even found a part of it inspirational as Will-i-am spoke about growing up in East L.A. and driving to the Rose Bowl on New Years to watch the "firecrackers" from the outside and now performing inside opening for U2.

The did their hit singles and Fergie also did her hit single 'Big Girls Don't Cry' from her solo album. These songs all had the crowd grooving and having a good time, then the audience went nuts. Will-i-am brought out a guest performer towards the end of their set. Slash. F***ing Slash! That was cool enough, then he went right into a familiar guitar intro that sent the entire stadium into hysterics..

WARNING: Some language in this clip is NSFW

And this was all just getting the night started. They ended around 10 minutes after 8:00, which meant we had 20 minutes until U2 took the stage. 8:30 came and nothing happened. Then 8:40 came and nothing. In an odd turn, one of the stage techs hit the stage and gave a speech about why they chose Pasadena blah blah blah...this was obvious filler.

Just then I noticed paramedics rushing under the stage (Mission Control for running much of the show.) Some more time passed and nothing. What was going on? I have no idea, but finally the intro music for the show came up and I saw the paramedics come out from underneath escorting an older man and young lady and talking to them. Were they the cause for the delay?  Had it been more than 4 hours and he called them to help?  I have no idea, but finally the show was set to start.

U2 took the stage to screams and didn't miss a step. I'm not saying this just because I'm also a HUGE fan, but they are one of the very few groups that can put on a show of this scope and not have it overwhelm the music.  It's like a good sci-fi movie.  The special effects didn't overtake the story, it enhanced it. They know their tools and they know them well.  They can take an arena anthem like 'Elevation' and get thousands of people jumping, clapping and screaming at the same time; Then take the haunting lyrics of 'MLK' and have it cut into your soul as if they are singing to only to you.

After the past two arena tours it was hard to re-adjust to the stadium venue. But thanks the stage design, it seemed as if they had thought of that.

So, the stage was freakn huge. Seriously.  The tip of it towered out of the Rose Bowl.  The stage design is called The Spaceship, and it really looked like it.  From it's disco ball antenna, to it's spider claw landing gear and it's Hi-Def 360 degree screen that can lower and stretch; Every trick was used to immerse you in this journey through space.  The theme of the tour is space and our place in the universe.  From a technical stand point, the stage is genious.  For the audience's perspective it's just freakn amazing.  With the bands stand point, it gave them a lot of room to have fun. And indeed they did. Whether it was Bono and The Edge reaching out to each other across bridges that swiveled over the audience around the stage, Larry and Adam getting to run around to cover the 360 degrees or Bono grabbing a hold of a mic that doubled as a swing...they were having fun and it translated to us having fun.

They don't limit it to center stage.   The entire stadium as also covered in lighting rigs which made sure that no matter where you sat/stood, you were a part of the show.  By creating scenes of true beauty the stage became the 5th member of U2 and was alive.

In an age where some musical acts won't make any type of appearance without money guaranteed, U2 took a different stand.  They broadcast the entire concert live on YouTube for free.  This allowed people from all over the world to become a part of something that was much larger.  It was a concert of epic proportions and U2 was just the right group to steer this space ship around the world.

If you missed it, take the jump here to watch the entire rebroadcast while it's still available online. (UPDATE: The concert is no longer available to stream due to it being for sale on DVD.)

Now to get tickets for their shows next year... take the jump to see the 2010 tour schedule.

Review POPped by 
Jungle Jesse


  1. So wish I could have gone! I need to get tickets to see them in 2010. Thanks for sharing the vids. That's my fav U2 song and seeing Slash rock must have been awesome!

  2. ohmygodohmygodohmygod! they r coming to miami!!! it was amazing on youtube!