This might be the one that gets me fired from my gig here at Blinded By Sound. I promise, I don’t mean to offend. That said, last weekend the world didn’t end as predicted but the unthinkable did happen – I went to a stadium rock show. You see, I’m not much for a spectacle and tend to avoid big arena shows. But marriage is all about compromise and I’m married to the King of arena shows – and he’s a major U2 fan. So in my continued quest for the Wifey of the Year award I bought him tickets to see U2 in, of all places, Denver, CO.
After a long flight from the East coast, we hit up Investco field and bought our $8 beers. I think we might have been seated in the cancer section because the amount of “medical marijuana” being smoked was pretty unbelievable. That said, hubby and I cast our wagers on how many U2 songs I would even be able to name. You see, Bono is not my thing. So we went with 8 as a guess which proved to be almost true except that U2 songs are incredibly easy to name because most repeat the name over and over again (think about it – “I Will Follow”).
Spectacle doesn’t even begin to describe the stage and the event in general. Giant spaceship stage – check. Bono in sunglasses at night – check. Before the show they had stats on the jumbo-tron outlining eco and socially responsible facts like how much energy was used by video games. Forget video games – forget saving Africa – save Denver! This stage must have arrived in 12 giant diesel fueled semis and is burning energy by the nano-second. Are you really preaching about social justice and an end to poverty while also charging $98 for the cheapest seats in the arena? Really? Maybe it’s time for a rebel song after all.
The lack of a visible set list sparked my curiosity and in consulting with my husband I learned this is the same set list from their tour 1.5 years ago (before Bono’s back surgery). To the point that my hubby could tell me exactly what would happen next, the entire event was a well choreographed event. Which is fine if you’re a fan and seeing it for the first time I guess. But if you’re an uber fan who’s seen multiple shows and you’re shelling out your hard earned coin for $100 tickets it might be a bit of an insult. Liken it to watching a good movie you’ve seen before. You know how it ends and it’s only worth another viewing if it’s on cable and it’s free.
This is where we left (sorry Bono), though I’m sure there was an encore or five that we missed. All in all, I give it a C. No offense intended, but if I’m spending $100 for a ticket I want to feel spontaneity. I want to know that I flew to Denver to see something that would forever change me. Something that would be unique and crafted just for us. What I got was a cookie cutter show that was planned down to the jumbo-tron. You could tell by the moving stage that they knew exactly where Bono would walk next.
I will give kudos to the opener, Denver locals The Fray. They mentioned that they weren’t allowed to use the bridges that connected the track like outer stage to the inner stage. Please tell me this is a joke.
Post show I learned this is the most expensive touring stage set up ever, as well as the highest grossing tour ever. So I leave asking this – where did my money go? To Africa? To Burma? To Rwanda? Likely not. To Bono and friends? Probably. Hope the private jet is eco-friendly.