16/12/2006

A BELATED U2 POST

I'd wanted to post my thoughts on last month's superb U2 concert, but I flew out to the US the following day and my feet barely touched the ground for the following ten days as I visited LA, San Diego, Pasadena, Kansas, New York and San Francisco.

It was a very rewarding trip which primarily revolved around visits to CDMA-centric partners of Telecom, such as Qualcomm, Sprint, and Lucent. We arrive in New Jersey the day of the Lucent-Alcatel merger so our planned visit to Bell Labs was canceled. I was gutted. I've always wanted to visit the home of the transistor. The upside was that a great guy called Bob was lent to us for the day so he could drive us around and show us the sights of New York. It was Bob's tour of Manhattan and he did a great job.



Anyway, back to U2. My thoughts on the gig, my second after the Zoo TV show at Western Springs I attended as a 13 year old, are partially encapsulated in the below column. While I thought the show was amazing and incredibly moving, I couldn't help feeling like I was at a corporate rock gig at Oracle World or E3.

There I was 20 feet from the stage and surrounded by a bunch of young people, quietly watching the show, taking photos on their digital cameras. It seems that since people stopped smoking, they made the beer incredibly difficult to buy and security was increased by a factor of ten, the atmosphere has well and truly been drained out of stadium rock concerts.

Don't get me wrong, the U2 show was fantastic, the stage and sound the best I've experienced in a long time. But where was the sweat, the surging crowd, the sheer energy you'd expect at such a major gig? It's a far cry from watching Casey Chaos of Amen fame break a microphone stand in two and stab himself with it in the Garage in London...

Anyway, an update on an earlier column about the initial U2 ticket debacle. I wrote about poor Tina, who made it into the Daily News when she burst into tears after missing out on getting a U2 ticket. She'd queued all morning, like I did and missed out on tickets as well. As it turns out, we both managed to get tickets. I was thinking of her as U2 kicked off City of Blinding Lights. Tina emailed me just before the concert, having only just read my column. Here's what she wrote:

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