U2 Reinvent the Stadium Show as 360 Tour Launches in Chicago

September 13th, 2009 by Andy Greene Leave a reply »

Photo: Getty
The last time U2 played a stadium concert in America it was nearly 12 years ago at the tail end of their disastrous Popmart tour. Terrible record reviews and half-empty stadiums for their gigantic production brought the band’s spirits to an all-time low. “If we come back again I think it’s going to be something very different,” Bono had told the crowd at Seattle’s Kingdome. “Because I don’t think we’ll ever be able to afford this again.” Their next two American tours were stripped down affairs confined entirely to arenas, but last night at Chicago’s Soldier Field U2’s 360° Tour returned to American stadiums with the biggest concert stage ever built. It was, in every way, a huge success and proof that rock & roll can work in venues designed for 80,000 screaming football fans.

(Check out photos of Bono and Co. — and their innovative new stage.)

The show began with a recording of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” as steam began shooting out of the claw-like stage the band has dubbed “the spaceship,” making it seem like it was about to launch into orbit. As the lights went out, the band ran onstage and kicked into an electrifying “Breathe” from No Line on the Horizon. It was the first of four consecutive tracks from the album. That’s often a recipe for sucking the life out of a crowd, but the anthemic songs translated perfectly to the stage and few seemed to mind the glut of new material. In fact, the only track played in the first hour of the show not written in the 2000s was a rather tepid version of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

Before “City Of Blinding Lights,” Bono briefly discussed President Obama, who played the track at many of his campaign rallies. It wasn’t t...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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