Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

U2: First Night in Toronto

What can I say about my ninth U2 concert?  Well, I guess I can say it was my ninth.  That’s a good place to start as it gives me a pretty solid reference point for a short review.

In short, it was a fantastic concert with great songs and visual effects that had your eyes popping out of your head.  It’s my second time seeing them in a stadium and I don’t think it’s their best type of venue.  I saw them at the SkyDome for PopMart back in 1997 and felt the same thing… too much distance from a band that likes to personally connect with the audience.  Plus, it’s difficult to work decent sound in a stadium, especially with the roof open.

However, the stadium gives them flexibility to play with their stage design, and much like PopMart, this one was something to behold.  The Claw (as it’s called) was practically alive with all the movement, pyrotechnics and crazy lighting, not to mention the video screen.  It was rad, for lack of a better word.

I was sitting up in the nosebleeds, so while I was missing the close-up feel, I was able to take everything in at once.

The song choice and order was kind of flat in relation to my other eight concerts, especially their choice of opener and closer.  The performance of Ultraviolet; Light My Way was out of this world, but the rest were sort of lacklustre, leaning heavily on the effects on stage and screen to pump them up.

Having Elvis Costello in personal attendance also meant that there were a few too many EC covers thrown into the songs.  One or two would have been great, but there were a few.

All in all, it was a fantastic concert, as I said.  You’re guaranteed a great show with U2, but I’m sad to say (as I said last night to Danielle, Jared and Par) that this show ranked a nine of out of nine, with Elevation and ZooTV taking a big tie for the top spots.

One personal highlight was cuddling and swaying with Danielle to With or Without You.  I think maybe this review is tainted because I hoped they would play even just a snippet of All I Want is You which was our first dance as husband and wife.  Still, it was romantic, but you expect that from a U2 show.

As a sidenote, Snow Patrol were pretty bad openers, but that’s also expected at a U2 show.  When I saw Garbage open for them on Elevation, I was surprised they rocked so hard and put on a great opening act after seeing bands like Third Eye Blind and Gavin Rossdale’s non-Bush venture bring the pain.  The saddest part was the lead singer actually pleading with the audience to act like they cared about his band.  So sad.

So, it was awesome and if you’re going tonight, skip the opener and have a great time!


3 Comments so far

  1. Jared September 17th, 2009 12:44 pm

    Yeah, Snow Patrol was kind of funny. The singer tried really hard to get the crowd a little more energized and then they launched into Run. Not exactly an uptempo song and killed any momentum they had built up.

  2. Marty September 18th, 2009 12:49 pm

    Best band to open for U2 ….. Primus.
    How that ever happened, I don’t know, but it did, back in 1992.

  3. SSS September 19th, 2009 7:27 pm

    I don’t think I heard many complaints about Arcade Fire opening for them last time.

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