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Friday, July 29, 2011

U2 at Spartan Stadium (and a few other items)

Hello, I'm still alive and checking in. I can't give a legitimate reason for my absence. I suppose it has to do, mainly, with the fact that it's summer and there is not too much going on that interest me enough to write about it. Oh, and when I am on the computer, I'm wasting most of my time on Facebook. Damned Facebook, it should change its name to "internet crack".

So what's been going on since May, you ask? Well, on June 26 I saw U2 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. The concert was originally scheduled for May 2010, but the band was forced to postpone the show due to Bono severely injuring his back. (Yeah, all that "saving the world" stuff takes a physical toll). Anyway, U2 were amazing, brilliant, fantastic. I saw them back in April '87 at the Pontiac Silverdome and it was the most mesmerizing concert experience I'd ever had. I thought there was no way it could ever be topped, but I think U2 actually were better this time around. And I can't say I was excessively geeked for the show beforehand.

Out of a sense of duty, I've bought every U2 studio album since Under a Blood Red Sky (and, of course, when I first got into U2 in the mid-'80s, backtracked to pick up Boy, October, and War) but was underwhelmed by their latest offering No Line on the Horizon. As the concert drew nearer, I was happy to being seeing them, but not necessarily expecting an amazing experience.

Well...it WAS an amazing experience.

Was it just a tad huge and over-the-top? Of course.

Did the guys in the band appear to be the size of ants from our nosebleed seats? Naturally! (Though the wraparound 360 megascreen was helpful in actually seeing what was happening on stage).

Did the concert thoroughly kick ass? Hell yeah!

From the opening salvo of Achtung Baby tunes, to astronaut Mark (Mr. Gabby Giffords) Kelly's big screen introduction of "Beautiful Day" (wherein he quoted David Bowie's "Space Oddity": "Tell my wife I miss her very, very much"), and Bono marveling at the beauty of Michigan and MSU's campus ("Edge wants to buy a cottage on Lake Michigan"--which elicited huge applause from the crowd), it was an electrifying and deeply emotional evening.

Since the U2 show, I've been listening to them fairly regularly since. I picked up one of their compilations that I didn't already own, The Best of 1990-2000, and have been catching up on some of their more obscure tunes that I hadn't heard before, like the wonderful "Electrical Storm", "Miss Sarajevo", and "Lady with the Spinning Head". (I love the bonus disc with the b-sides, many of which are brilliant, particularly the remixes).

To top things off, I scored a big collection of mint condition Joshua Tree/Rattle and Hum 12" singles from the library "Book Burrow". Not that I really needed them, mind you. But nice to add to the collection.

Other than that, the summer has been defined by the heat and humidity, and we've had more than our share of that so far. I'm definitely not a hot weather aficionado, and find myself yearning for the mild temperatures of autumn.