Janet Sarduy-Genn, WJSG Internet Radio
Photo: Scott Genn, Sonic Hobo Productions
It seemed like everyone was going to the U2
360 Tour yesterday. Every other person on my Facebook news feed was getting pumped for it. Especially for those who purchased tickets in 2009. The tour, originally scheduled to come to South Florida in 2010, was delayed when Bono underwent emergency back surgery for an injury obtained while rehearsing for the upcoming summer stadium tour. The front man said he could move just fine as he wiggled playfully. “Miami has so many stadiums… Joe Robbie, Pro-Player Stadium, the Sun Life Stadium. And we’ve played them all,” said Bono. The joke being that they’re all the same stadium. To native Miamians though, the home of the Miami Dolphins and up until recently the Florida Marlins, will always be known affectionately as Joe Robbie Stadium.
This being my 3rd U2
concert, I’ve seen most of their displays. Each show has been bigger & more elaborate than the last. In 1997, the Popmart tour held at what was then known as Pro Player Stadium gave you the big yellow arch with the crows nest. The Elevation tour, at the National Car Rental Center, gave us the heart-shaped stage in 2001. 2005’s Vertigo Tour at the American Airlines Arena featured a stage with a round ramp, which probably served as inspiration for their newest set design.
The appropriately named 360 Tour allows visibility from around the whole stadium. The main stage was configured into a circle surrounded by another runway-like circle connected by two bridges which rotated at around the stage to give Bono & The Edge quick access to those with general admission surrounding the inside & outsides of both platforms. The claw, a 164 foot (50 m) tall four-legged steel structure supporting speakers and an expandable video screen, took 120 trucks to transport.
The band played favorites like “With or Without You,” “I Will Follow,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” & “Streets Have No Name.” They also played songs from their newest album “No Line on the Horizon” like “Get on Your Boots,” “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.” Video’s featured NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who was shot in the head during a public meeting outside a Tucson Tucson January 8, 2011. Also featured, a video featuring fan Suu Kyi’s “Thank you” to the band and their fans for human rights efforts, including work with their “One” project and Amnesty International resulting in her release. And finally a tribute to Clarence Clemons.
The stage may change, the theatrics may vary but only one thing remains the same. Yes, everyone sings along with the band at concerts but this is different.Without fail, on key songs of course, thousands of voices join to become one singing about Love. A sincere connection that is awe inspiring. What starts as people repeating lyrics becomes a realization of the message and the power of thousands open to it for a couple of minutes. This is why you go to a U2 concert. My only regrets is how fast that message is lost. Those same people are also South Florida Drives, which are selfish & angry. All that Oneness & Love goes out the window.
But worse than that are the people who don’t get the message at all. There is a whole generation of young adults who didn’t grow up with U2. They don’t get it. They call Bono pompous & arrogant. Their pop star idols have the depth of a kiddie pool. It’s all about playing thugs, bitches & bling. “Look at how great I am” but nothing to really back it up outside of words. I should only hope that they’d be lucky enough to have a U2 for their generation. Then again, maybe it’s better that they don’t like U2 because its less traffic to deal with at the next concert.