Ep.465 – U2 Fan Reviews @ Vanderbilt Stadium – Nashville, TN 7-2-11
Jul 5th, 2011
Category: Nashville, U2, Vanderbilt Stadium, Video Concert Reviews
U2 @ Vanberbilt Stadium video concert review
“Welcome to awesomeness!” – a simplistic, yet at the same time, loaded quote said by one of my U2 concert buddies this past freedom-filled weekend.
Although, I have never bought a U2 album; their show has always been on my wish list. People have been raving about the U2 concert experience my entire life. Plus, they are such an iconic, radio-embraced band, what kind of concert enthusiast would I be if I didn’t attend U2’s return to Nashville after almost 30 years?
I knew the U2 360° tour was going to be a ridiculous visual stimulant, but I wasn’t expecting it to be equally spiritual and driven by cultural awareness.
Setup of colossal extraterrestrial “Claw” stage structure began at Vanderbilt Stadium earlier in the week, triggering a wave of Facebook photo uploads from residents, and in turn, heightening the excitement for the show – which only continued to grow until Saturday’s performance date. When U2 comes to town, their presence is known.
U2 pre-parties were happening all over town, and people were posting about being able to hear the band’s soundcheck from miles away. I got dropped off outside of the stadium close to 8:00 PM. Florence and the Machine were playing as I walked up, and I shamed myself for missing her/their performance once again. Last time, I was entering the gates of the Voodoo Experience festival in New Orleans. For what it’s worth, both times she sounded magnificent. Her vocals are strong and enchanting, morphing between dynamics like a modern indie opera singer.
After about a half hour of hunting for a bargain ticket, a couple of military guys who traveled from West Virginia gave me an insane deal. The view from the seat was perfect – dead center and perched enough so I could grasp the full scale of “The Claw” and the magnitude of the crowd in attendance.
I might have audibly gasped walking into the stadium. I felt like a 4-year-old on the “It’s a Small World” ride. You have to see this stage for yourself, and actually, you might be able to. The Wikipedia page for the tour says that U2 plans on leaving the stages (they have three of them) at different locations around the world at the end of the tour, so they can be used as permanent venues! The monstrous tentacles dome around the main stage. Then, there’s a pathway orbiting the main stage with moving bridges connecting the platforms which cross over a moat of fans.
Steam exhaled from the structure’s radio tower, and David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” began playing. The video screen flickered to show U2 making a humble rock star strut to the stage, and then – darkness. Before you knew it, “The Claw” became an illuminated light show. This is when I noticed the shadows of bodies watching from hotel and parking garage overlooking the stadium. Everyone wanted a piece of U2.
Combined with perfect sound, clear skies, and a feel-good crowd, the night was euphoric. My favorite moments were “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” “Walk On,” and “Beautiful Day.” Those numbers were the ones I nearly cried over, as they were emotionally preluded and powerfully executed. Another memorable moment was when U2 paid tribute to Johnny Cash with “The Wanderer,” where Bono actually imitated Cash’s voice! I left the stadium a couple of songs early to get fan reviews, which resulted in me missing a rare moment in U2 history, where Bono pulled a man (who we later found out is going blind) on stage to play “All I Want Is You.” Luckily, it’s on YouTube, thanks to YouTube User: breakoutthegoodstuff
I thought I’d know more of the songs on U2 set list, but the fact that I didn’t wasn’t an issue at all. I was immersed in the moment, specifically with the videography and the morals that were being transmitted from this foreign band and object. What a perfect way to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend!
U2 @ Vanberbilt Stadium 07/02/11 Setlist
1.Even Better Than The Real Thing (Remix Version)
4. Until The End Of The World
5. I Will Follow
6. Get On Your Boots
7. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (With “The Wanderer” snippet)
8. Stay (Faraway, So Close!) (Acoustic Version)
9. Beautiful Day (With “Space Oddity” snippet)
11. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
12. Miss Sarajevo
14. City Of Blinding Lights
16.I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (Remix)
17. Sunday Bloody Sunday
19. Walk On Play Video(with “You’ll Never Walk Alone” snippet)
21.Where The Streets Have No Name (with “Amazing Grace” snippet as intro)
22. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
23. With Or Without You
24. Moment of Surrender
25. All I Want Is You (Performed with a fan)
It hit all my senses straight to my heart and made me feel blessed. Blessed, not only to be an American, but to be a part of that specific peaceful audience and in the company of those that have spend much of their lives to protect our country. Seeing how much these songs meant to them, made me realize how much I haven’t really paid attention to U2. They were just song-after-song engraved in my head. I never really listened, so I didn’t get it before seeing them live.
Video from YouTube User: iagoil
My new military friends helped me. During the show, one of them told me about how watching U2’s 2002 Super Bowl performance made him the ultimate fan. He also shared a great Bono quote with me: “Celebrity is currency, so I wanted to use mine effectively.”
I ended up walking home reflecting on the evening, feeling revitalized and inspired to be a better person. I picked up an issue of the “Contributor” on the way….baby steps, I guess.
Even if you’re not a big U2 fan, I suggest giving it a chance. You’ll have a whole new respect for them and their music. If you don’t…you have no soul. Just kidding; to each his own, but seriously, give it a shot.
Check this out!
It’s a 360° shot of the Nashville audience! Were you there? You can tag yourself and show your friends. While you’re at it, make sure to leave your review of U2 below!