Review of U2 Concert

Impressions of U2 @ the Oakland Coliseum

by Darrow Boggiano

Live Concert Photography by J.D. Brumback

plus samples of the new album Discotheque

The U2 show couldn’t have been held at a better place. Even in the hugeness of the Oakland Coliseum, somehow the audience was made to feel close to the performers. Bono (in white hooded cape) and the Edge mysteriously appeared in the center of the arena to start the show with “Walk Away, I Will Follow” as they went back up the long catwalk to the stage.

It was apparent from the jump that there was a new image being projected by the band, quite different from the rock/leather that we’ve seen in the past. Bono seemed to be loving the photo opps during the first three tunes and was funny to watch when he was jumping around like a mad but happy orangutan, in spurts throughout the evening.

If not close to dragging, he was definitely in a more fashion conscious state than we’ve seen from him in the past. With Adam Clayton clad in a “pop tart” labeled t-shirt and bono in “elton johnish” sunglasses, clockwork orange hat, and super tight spandex, it was rather obvious that a bi-sexual / gay image was being promoted or at least displayed.

The new tune “Gone” from Discotheque sounded beautiful live – the words seem to tie in with what the band has been going through as a “mega-musical corporation”: ‘what you thought was freedom was just greed’.

Bono was somewhat apologetic stating to the crowd: “You turned us into a big rock band. We got kind of scared of the big corporation. You, start a band to make music, it becomes a huge corporation. Then you have to decide if you are going to eat the monster before it eats you.”

The Pop Mart Tour has some oddities, like a segment in which The Edge karaokes to “Cheer Up Sleepie Jean” (Day Dream Believer) and a coupla’ other tunes while old videos play on the enormous screen.

We heard “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, “Only To Be With You” and “Stand By Me”. The new tune “Last Night On Earth” (You Got To Give It Away) was a definite crowd shaker.

The Oaktown Coliseum accommodates fabulous effects for these gargantuan events.

There was a huge lemon balloon floating beside the stage from the beginning that was later transformed into a huge shining disco ball. It floated into the center of the air space and twirled lights onto the entire crowd, making the place a mega disco joint from the 70’s.

There are a few good tunes on the new album, but it’s no “Achtung Baby”. It seems as though the promotions are teeny-bop shopping gimmicks that either the band was “semi-pushed into” or is not totally pleased with. Since they are going along with this utterly commercial crap, (what’s up with the half-a-McDonald’s arch?), I think they decided to say “what the hell” in expressing homosexual nature that they had not previously exposed so blatantly.

Maybe when all people (are you listening, “Mr. Don’t ask/don’t tell.”; give me a break) understand that bisexuality would be common practice if society and religion didn’t tell us to refuse it, then the superstars won’t have to bother getting over a rainbow that’s been camouflaged by a golden arch. Props to them anyway, for adding some positive to this project that seems to be much more about “mega-money-media-madness”, than music.


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“Staring At The Sun”
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“Last Night On Earth”
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