are concerts and there are concerts and this would be the
latter. Already well into their two year worldwide 360 tour,
U2 arrived to the capital of southern Spain Seville, ready
to unleash their audio visual spectacle on the waiting crowds.
it was apparent that this was going to be well attended, as
we noticed the number of fans clad with U2 attire, strolling
the streets of Seville. Newsmedia
later reported a crowd 80,000 strong.
time to spare we took the short walk from our hotel to the
venue the Olympic Stadium, which was starting to fill up in
time for the support act Interpol who played their
set with energy and style.
the 45 minute set a large analogue style clock appeared on
the giant screen amidst the 360 stage dubbed as the “claw”
and we wondered whether it was a countdown?
we were right, once the countdown finished the clock dismantled
itself, shattered and then after a minute or so whilst David
Bowie’s “Space Oddity” played at full volume over the
PA system U2 walked calmly onto the stage amongst a thunderous
Oddity” then morphed into “Return of the Stingray Guitar”,
which followed in “Beautiful Day” at which point the
crowd erupted into an ecstatic frenzy.
band then went through a set list outlining the best of U2s
hits from classics like “I Still Haven't Found What I'm
Looking For” to newer numbers like “Get on your boots”
from their latest album “No line on the Horizon”. We
saw Bono at his very best despite maintaining that he had
a hangover! This did not stop him pulling a girl on stage
as he does each night, this time to sing to her ‘Spanish
Eyes’ during “In a Little While “before beautifully
transforming himself into an opera singer for “Miss Sarajevo”,
an emotional piece from the experimental Passengers
albumduring we which we had a link up to the International
Space Station and some wonderful space visuals overhead. Then
as that song faded we were into ‘City of Blinding Lights’
a powerful crowd pleaser from the HTDAAB album where the circular
screen dropped into an elongated cone of sparkling lights
above the band’s head whilst they worked their instruments
below. My personal favourite of the evening was “Magnificent”
from the latest album with its classic Edge delay laden
guitar lines and hard hitting riffs.
band went to finish with two encores including “Ultraviolet”
where Bono used a special microphone dropped from above the
claw with light effects shining bring light at his face whilst
his special jacket radiated red laser lights around the stage.
No wonder he wears shades all the time!
music was complimented by an astounding light and visual display,
which U2 have specialised and become the masters of over the
last 20 years since the groundbreaking ZOO TV tour in the
early 1990’s, something that really sets their concerts apart
from anything else. Even if you are unfazed by the music,
a concert by this band is well worthwhile for these very expensive
visuals. The giant claw like structure which overwhelms you
as you walk into the venue, with the giant 360 screen which
expands with the amazing light show costs a cool 20 million
Euros to design and construct, and U2 built three of them
to enable the tour to move swiftly round the globe. The building
and dismantling process taking eight days for each three hour
show! That’s show business, or crazy business who knows?
audience was loud and very receptive at times some of the
sing along choruses, to which they knew all the words, where
practically louder than the band itself. Not bad going considering
the awesome wattage bearing down on them.
nice touch was the translation in Spanish of all the dialogue
on both live and from the pre-recorded messages together with
Bono introducing the band and comparing them to top Spanish
football players this certainly got the crowd going. He chose
Sergio Ramos for his persona.
wise The Edge went through a formidable array of guitars for
his performance such as his trademark Gibson Explorer, and
black Strat for the older numbers.
Other guitars included a white telecaster, a Les Paul, SG
and Rickenbacker 330
Adam Clayton also used an
array of Fender Basses (Mostly with sparkle finishes), an
Epiphone Jack Casady
bass, and also his signature buzzard bass also made famous
by the late great John Entwhistle
of “The Who”
All in all a great concert
experience not to be forgotten. Now the tour moves on to Mexico
and the States before going down to Australia and New Zealand,
following which each “Claw” will be left as a permanent concert
venue where and when the circus stops!
Ernest H Slade and Nick Gale. www.gear-review.co.uk