Last night Mrs. Village Idiot and I went to see U2 at the Fleet Center* in Boston. (I know, it's not actually called the Fleet Center this week).
It was the best concert I've been to in a long time.
Before going into any details, let me give a shout out of much thanks to our babysitters for making the whole evening possible. You know who you are.
Bono tries the old Pull my finger gag
Some random thoughts and notes:
-Former Vice President Al Gore and his lovely wife were there. The crowd around us was all a twitter right before U2 came out. Being idiots, we stood up to see what all the fuss was about and there's Al and Tipper, smiling and happy and ready to rock.
-In a much bigger deal, a couple of minutes later, the crowd again was all a twitter, only this time it was New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who wound up sitting in our row. For those of you who aren't football fans or aren't Patriot fans, Bruschi is pronounced "Brew-ski" which means that this guy has the coolest name in the history of professional football.
-Rumor has it that Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and his lovely daughter Liv were also in the crowd, but we didn't see them.
The show totally rocked.
-They played most of their best songs, the sound was awesome and the crowd was very much into it. The stage is small but has an egg-shaped walkway that members of the band occasionally strolled around, so they were pretty close to where we were sitting. The stage, lighting and special effects were all good, but the best technical part of the show was the sound. They were very loud but were also very clear. The Edge's various guitar sounds are remarkable, especially the percussive quality he got out of a Fender Telecaster on Sunday Bloody Sunday.
-Mrs. Idiot has been a U2 fan for over twenty years. She reported that her favorite part of the concert was seeing that the band has aged. Bono, for example, looked great but looked his age. When he skipped around the egg-shaped stage, he looked a little pudgy, and when he took off the rock-star sunglasses a couple of times he looked a tired and haggard around the eyes. Mrs. Village Idiot was very pleased to see that her rock idol has aged along with her, and that his ass has spread over the years just as it should. (As opposed to Mick Jagger who looks to be in better shape than any human should ever be and Paul McCartney who has looked the same since the 1970s).
-I did have a problem with the show in that there are obviously either musicians offstage playing synthesizer and guitar parts or there are recorded music samples that are being played along with the band. I'm ok with a band like U2 using recorded parts or extra musicians, but there should be some mention of it somewhere. I mean, look what happened when Milli and Vanilli didn't come clean.
-There's a "cell phone moment" when the crowd is supposed to text their names to a certain number and join the band's world relief organization, and then hold their cell phones over their head. This was troubling to me, who grew up going to concerts where people held lighters over their heads. The effect is the same, though the eerie glowing blue-green cell phone screens seem a little more sci-fi than rock concerts should. Mrs. Idiot and I had a "senior moment" during the "cell phone moment" as we've never really sent text messages through the phones and had significant trouble with the process, especially as we were well into the beer supply by then.
All in all, despite our idiocy, it was a great time. See them if you can!
City of Blinding Lights
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
Love and Peace or Else
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet the Blue Sky
Running to Stand Still
Pride in the Name of Love
Where the Streets Have No Name
Until the End of the World
With or Without You
Out of Control
All Because of You
Original of the Species
(The crowd closed the show by singing "40")