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Monday, September 14, 2009

U2 360 in Chicago = "Magnificent!"

U2. Always an amazing live show. Just when I think they can't do anything even equally as stunning as their last stage production, they go and do something crazy and innovative and blow my mind. "We built this spaceship to get closer to you," mused Bono.

Saturday night, we saw U2 kick off their American tour in Chicago with a sold out crowd at Soldier Field. The beautiful remodeled Soldier Field was a perfect outdoor venue--architecturally and aesthetically.

We left for Chicago at 2:00 eastern time, drove 3.5 hours, got stuck in traffic, met our friend Andy, parked a mile away (to avoid the almost $50 Soldier Field parking fee), grabbed some Jimmy John's and walked into the stadium at 7:00 central time. The show ended pretty late and we drove into our driveway back in Jackson at a little after 4am. The alarm went off at 6:00am making for an interesting sleep-deprived day at church. Well worth it.

Ireland's Snow Patrol opened the show. I liked these guys. Better live than in the studio.

Then, David Bowie's, "Space Oddity" a.k.a. "Major Tom" blared through the best live sound system I have ever heard (serious) and the boys took the stage.

Once again it was a spiritual moment. There's a vibe you can't articulate.

Bono was charming and poetic as always. He has always said Chicago is their favorite American city and, if you read Michka Assayas’ book, Bono—In Conversation” you heard him describe Chicago/the midwest as the “real America” as opposed to the coastal cities. Before breaking into “Still Haven’t Found . . .” Bono said, 'We Irish like to think we played a part in building this majestic skyline . . . we were the clouds.. the rain... in fact we are the wind in this windy city...'

The introduction of the band was humorous and touching. I don’t know if this is an “exact” quote but it is close: "Let me introduce my colleagues, on sky scraping guitar, the man who makes Dr Spock look like Dr Ruth, The Edge . . . On bass guitar, the man who from an early age knew four strings are better than six, a man who is well endowed mentally and physically, the elegant Adam Clayton . . . On drums, the man who gave us our first gig and never ceases to remind us of that fact, the thunder and lighting of the band, and when he smiles the sun comes out . . . Larry Mullen Jr."

"A few words about myself . . ." Bono went on to say people often laugh at him for his lack of humility as a rock star but said it's a little hard to be a humble rock star when you look around and see what he sees in the stadium. "When we get together, this band and you people, anything can happen. There's not much room for modesty."

No Line On The Horizon,
Get On Your Boots,
Beautiful Day,
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For,
Stuck In A Moment (You Can't Get Out Of),
Unknown Caller,
Unforgettable Fire,
City of Blinding Lights,
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Remix),
Sunday Bloody Sunday,
Pride (In The Name of Love),
Walk On,
Where The Streets Have No Name,

With Or Without You,
Moment of Surrender

My favorite moment in the show was "Magnificent." Bono's body language left no room for guessing what the song was about and who it was written for. I worshiped Jesus unapologetically-- following Bono's lead. Singing,

I was born
I was born to be with you
In this space and time
After that and ever after I haven't had a clue
Only to break rhyme
This foolishness can leave a heart black and blue
Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar
I was born
I was born to sing for you
I didn't have a choice but to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise...
Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar
Justified till we die, you and I will magnify
The Magnificent

Bono ended the night by reminding us, "all you need is love . . . and a spaceship."

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