U2 360° Denver, Colorado

Photo Credit: Erin Williams © 2011
Photo Credit: Erin Williams © 2011

A couple weeks ago my old man, the lovely Miss Erin and I packed up our beach balls and bootlegging equipment to check out U2’s 360° tour stop on the grounds once occupied by the original Mile High Stadium. I’m not one for stadium concerts and I can’t recall the last one I attended, but the band has held a fond spot in my life for the past decade or so since I “rediscovered” The Joshua Tree. So a few years ago when the tickets went on sale we decided to go. Postponed by a back injury*, we finally got our money’s worth on the 21st.

Photo Credit: Erin Williams © 2011
Photo Credit: Erin Williams © 2011

The highlight of the night was two fold. One, my father’s enjoyment of the evening. Two, the shere eye-candy and multi-media display the evening provided. I’ll relate the experience to a highly refined Broadway play. The production, the set and the performance are meticulously planned and orchestrated to perfection. Normally, I’d prefer an improvised performance in an intimate venue, however, in this case, I enjoyed and was impressed by what was provided. For the evening was not about going to see a rock show, it was about attending a production, and that it was.

Photo Credit: Erin Williams © 2011
Photo Credit: Erin Williams © 2011

While the 360° stage was presented as a way to make the audience feel closer to the performers, I cannot say I felt that way. Despite having decent seats, we were miles from the stage in comparison to seats I’ve had in the past to see the same and other big name bands. Having said that, the lax of proximity was made up with a unique transformation of the venue. With a stage tipping its hat to a close encounter, a venue normally dedicated to the congregation of 75,000+ to witness a game of football was morphed to fields of intermingling colors and patterns. Sure, I didn’t feel any closer to the stage, but I did forget for a moment that I was at a concert in a stadium, especially as a result of the lighting effects.

U2’s set at the Denver stop (and for the majority of the third leg of the tour):
Even Better Than The Real Thing
I Will Follow
Get On Your Boots
Mysterious Ways
Until The End Of The World
All I Want Is You
Stay (Faraway, So Close!) **
Beautiful Day
Pride (In The Name Of Love)
Miss Sarajevo
Zooropa **
City Of Blinding Lights
I’ll Go Crazy / Discotheque
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On

Where The Streets Have No Name

Encore 2
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
With Or Without You
Moment Of Surrender **

*Please note this is the second rock concert I had tickets to which was canceled or postponed by an aging rock-star. Back in my high school days we missed seeing Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes tour as a result of another back injury. Ironically tickets I also held with my father. I’ve been lucky enough to see Robert Plant up close and in person while attending a taping of Letterman. Hopefully someday I’ll get to see Jimmy.

**My favorites of the evening.