07 July 2011

Review: U2 360° Tour - Chicago, Soldier Field, 5th July 2011

Well, it had been 24 years, 2 months and 6 days since I had seen U2 live in concert.  They continue to amaze me and it was worth the wait.  This was only the 3rd time I've seen them live.  I saw them on the Unforgettable Fire tour in March '85 (UIC-Pavillion) and saw them on the Joshua Tree tour in April of '87 (Rosemont Horizon), both indoor venues.  Seeing them with the gigantic, 7-story multi-media space ship set in a stadium is something that shouldn't be missed.

We had the fortune of being guests of Citicard for this show and that meant a 2-hour VIP party prior to the show with loads of excellent food in the United Club at Soldier Field and an open beer/wine bar.  The garlic hummus was top notch as was the Apple & Chili rubbed pork loin.  This definitely is not how I'm used to going to concerts.  We got special VIP laminates, a program and a nifty U2 360° Tour blanket which isn't available in the regular merch stands.  Cool swag.

Opening band was Interpol and to be honest, no matter how much I've been up on current music, I had no idea who they hell they were.  I had seen on some of the U2 message boards people bitching about this choice but to U2's credit, they had Interpol booked last year when the tour was halted due to Bono's back injury and they stayed faithful to them and brought them back to honor their original offer.  Okay, so prior to Chicago it was Florence and the Machine who is more 'known' at the moment but after listening to Interpol, I've become a fan.  They are a very punk-influenced/indie type band and really put on a nice set.  I'll spend the next couple of days checking out their discography.   I'd say they were a nice mix of Green Day and Franz Ferdinand if I had to put them in a "group".  Funny thing about them is that although they are supporting U2 on the next 8 cities (remainder of the North American tour), they are playing a place called Bogart's in Cincinnati tonight.  Last night playing before 63,000, tonight 1,500.  The life of a road musician!!

As for U2's performance, although I wasn't a fan of the Zooropa/Atomic Bomb albums, their full portfolio will always stand the test of time.  Maybe it's just because it was part of the main soundtrack to my college years, but the 80's songs are still incredibly strong to this day.

I couldn't believe my ears to hear Out of Control performed live.  For you youngsters out there, that's off their 1st album and is now a song over 31 years old!!  I had never heard it performed live and it was amazing and early in the show.

Pride (In the Name of Love) is just, and always has been, amazing and belting out Sunday Bloody Sunday stirs emotions down deep knowing that it was written about the Irish/British struggle and bloody day but now is sung with images of Iran, Egypt and the Middle East in the hopes that Democracy can continue taking its foothold.

The Edge still remains one of the most amazing guitarists in the world and that sound is unique to his own.  Larry still hits the drums as hard as anyone and Adam remains the heartbeat of the band on bass.

Of course, no U2 show would happen without a little political discourse and as they have done the entire 360° tour, they pay tribute to Aung San Suu Kyi, freed Burmese pro-Democracy leader which led into the final song of the main set, Walk On.  Of course, she was released last fall and a video from her thanking all of the voices and of course all of the U2 fan voices that kept her going and helped to eventually free her.  Quite an emotional moment which had people from Amnesty International walk out with giant luminary lights to surround the circular part of the stage.

The encore and show ended with a tribute by the band to the subject of the song One Tree Hill, Greg Carroll who had passed away almost 25 years to the day.

Amazing night overall. Click below to see my pictures from the show.

U2 360 Tour - Chicago 2011


  1. Impressive at Glastonbury too. They can definitely still do it!...I'd like to hear them perform Electrical Storm live though. It's an under appreciated song, in my opinion.