Saturday, October 9, 2010

U2 in Paris

I couldn't believe I was seeing U2. It was over before I knew it. It was a good show, not great, not like NYC. The energy in the crowd was weird - better than DC, but still not what it could have been. And I got behind the same obnoxious people as I did at the DC show. Can you believe that? Of all the people in the world...

I wrote some notes before the show on my phone:

1. Of course, I had to get beside a group of loud Americans.

2. The queue. In the US, it is called a line, and a line it is - orderly and relatively straight. In Paris, it's more like a rugby scrum. Chaos ensued when the gates opened some 20 minutes after they were supposed to. I got in the slow line, each second getting me further from the stage. When I finally got through the gate and the all-to-familiar security check - the next part could happen in any country on Earth - the running for the grass. (Doucement, said the guards.) I went around back and asked in English if I could go in the circle before the guard had a chance to open his mouth. He said yes, I could go in. Then. A guard told him there were too many people and to cut it off. NOOOOO! I had failed by seconds! Perhaps a mere one person in the scrum I had let pass in all the pushing at the gates...


The guy said a certain number could go in. I was one of the last people allowed. I'm not as close as NYC or DC but close enough to be happy.

3. The pushing is tiresome to me, a demonstration of either cultural definitions of space, arrogance, or, well, what else could it be? I am short; therefore, I get pushed around more than others. Shouldn't have worn so many clothes, as it is hot with all these people and I'm feeling claustrophobic.

I put my phone away once Interpol came on, who were quite boring. That was disappointing. Other things that happened:

I got conked on the head with and elbow and saw stars at one point. The guy who did it was apologetic.

There was this giant French guy next to me who spent more time filming than actually watching the show, and HIS elbow was in my face most of the time.

An Indian-American chick peed in a coke bottle right in the middle of the crowd.

The idiot Americans in front of me were taking up more space than anyone else, turned around, ate junk food they had brought the whole time, and complained about the French, while one of them was so upset by how close other people were to her that she didn't move the entire time. Her giant head blocked my view for a good part of the show. They were typically ugly American tourists, and I was embarrassed by them.

I wondered if Bono's back were hurting him a bit. It looked like he was leaning on Larry as they were leaving the stage and he was holding his arm in a strange way.

Bono spoke French (terrible accent, but he knew all the words). Good thing I could understand it, because aside from talking about Aung San Su Kyi in English, French was all he spoke.

The band didn't seem to have much energy - they feed off the crowd, and the crowd wasn't that energetic except when they seemed to think that songs like Elevation, Vertigo, and I Will Follow were for mosh pits. They did it for Beautiful Day, too. That was the first song they played, and all of the sudden, the whole crowd got pushed over several feet, bringing me a bit closer to the middle of the stage.

Listening to the crowd sing along with their French accents was funny.

Really liked one of the new songs they played - I don't know the title. Wanted more new stuff, but it was a bit weird hearing the new songs and not knowing them.

They didn't play enough from No Line on the Horizon. I really wanted to hear Breathe and No Line, but we only got Magnificent, Moment of Surrender, and the Crazy remix.

Got to hear Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me live for the first time, but they did it in place of Ultraviolet, which had been the highlight of the 360 show.

Got to hear Until the End of the World, still my all time favorite song.

I was a little disappointed with the set list, actually. Some of the weaker songs were played while songs like New Years Day were not.

Bono nailed the Italian opera solo on Miss Sarajevo. It really was incredible - I have never heard his voice sound so good. He had people's mouths drop.

Oh, it was awesome.

UPDATE: Some awesome videos of the show. When they are zoomed in, they are my exact view of the concert, minus the hands and the heads in the way. I'm sure my hands are in one of these videos. Really incredible how technology allows us to recall things we might otherwise forget. Man, life is really amazing, isn't it? Why do so many people waste it on warring and anger?

The videos:

Bono is a rock star, but occasionally, he is also a singer. A real one. And this is the proof. Wait until you get to about the 3 minute mark. Incredible. This may have been my favorite moment during the show.

The new song I loved is called Mercy.

My all time favorite song. Jesus, meet Judas:

They want you to be Jesus, and go down on one knee, but they want their money back if you're alive at...53.

The quintessential international development song, turned into a beautiful weirdness, with Larry playing tabla, Adam playing the bass line from Last Night on Earth, and Bono singing lines from a Duran Duran song. In the 360 shows I've seen, aside from Ultraviolet, this is my favorite song they did. If they want to sell more records, they need to put out more weirdness like this.

I am reminded of a very bizarre dream I had last night with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yeah, him.

The beginning of the show. Return of the Stingray Guitar to start. More of this, please. Then, one of the greatest songs every written, Beautiful Day, about finding the beauty in a world full of shit.

Another awesome new song, North Star. New album now, please?

Not my view, but any post without this song would be missing something great. A very underrated song, and a very good ending to a very amazing show.

This is the song when I got conked on the head.

I am blown away by the fact I got to see this. Not sure what I've done to have the luck I've had in my life, but I sure appreciate it, more than words could ever say.

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