Before last year my live concert ace of spades was seeing Ben Folds when he came to OU in Ot Five. It was, in a word, rockin', which is appropriate for Mr. Folds.
And yet my mountain top concert experience wouldn't come until later.
Last year I had the exquisite fortune to see both Willie Nelson and B.B. King live in, to my surprise, Wyoming. This proved the fact that amazing things really can happen in a desert. Just ask the Israelites. And how.
So Willie and B.B. are hard to best. They are truly world class. Their stage presence and musicianship are sweeter than honey. And I saw them both for FREE. I have great friends...
And then we have U2 last night, which is in a different category all together. I was still in the womb when the Irish rockers last played in Norman. It was June 1983 and, sadly, my parents weren't fans at the time so I don't have a nifty "I was there in the oven" story. If only...
And I won't belabor the point with personal anecdotes, but U2 was a true sensory explosion, to the point of overload at times. I was agog, and taken back to the numerous moments of singing along over the years, which all led to the concert Sunday. Sheer beauty.
And if they say Sesame Street ruins your attention span I'm not sure in what state a concert like U2's leaves you. Perhaps time will tell, but I hope it won't ruin smaller venues; a once-and-done Debbie Downer on all future concerts. But I don't think it will.
So indeed these are interesting times. I would say I'll never see a display like that again, but I don't think that's true, as the bar's been raised to unbelievable heights the world round (see Beijing last summer). And there's little limit to what mankind will hatch up.
So it seems U2 is the new sensory mountain top of the Grandiose Genre. For now, it's my new ace.
The Mothership stage pano. Unbelievable. 70 semis worth of gear to set it up! (although half of those are actually just beer trucks for the Irish techies). At least you have to agree the concert was better than what we've mostly been seeing from the football team in Owen Stadium this year...
Justinius, pre-concierto. Excited, yet timid.
Black Eyed Peas opener. I'll admit, I yelled 'LOUDER' after they said 'PUMP IT!' My Humps...hmm...still powerfully non-ideal.
But on to the real deal! Meet the cast: Adam Clayton, arguably the most underwhelming and replaceable of the troupe. Also showing his age the most of the quartet. But he's still grooving it out, old school.
Larry Mullen Jr.! Still rockin it. Has anyone heard this man speak ever?
Delicious. Our old friend, The Edge. You know it's serious when you have THE as a first name. And he's earned it, certainly. He's definitely my fav. You can keep Bono. I was so hoping for a solo of Van Dieman's Land from this character, but what can you do. These aren't the golden 80s anymore. But man, even this guy's walk screams ROCKER.
I wanted to cry when he lit into the opening riff for Where The Streets Have No Name. That song made my night.
Bono Vox. Fun Facts: his real name? Paul David Hewson.
Yeah, not as cool. If you're worth 200 Mil you get a cooler name too though, so there's hope.
Captivating stage presence all told.
Desmond Tutu telling us to care about the impoverished world.
Sunday Bloody Sunday, while drawing attention to Iran's recent political injustice.
Sensory explosion rock out.