Monday, 28 September 2009

A Futuristic Dazzler At Gillette U2

Arrogance? Check. Socially conscious anthems? More than you can imagine. Brogues? You 'betcha. A night of consistent entertainment? Without a doubt. On Sept. 20, U2 rolled into Foxboro's Gillette Stadium to give fans, both young and old, all of this and more within a two hour, 23 song set.Bono, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton, and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. arrived on stage as David Bowie's dreary "Space Oddity" poured out of the sound system. The stage, a circular freak with ramps that lead the band farther into the audience, was described by the band as their own spaceship. At various points during the gig, it changed color and emitted bursts of smoke.The band kicked off the night with a quartet of songs from their latest album No Line on The Horizon, beginning with the upbeat rocker "Breathe." Although the album was only moderately embraced by the American public, each of these songs sounded much more vibrant live, even the inane "Get on Your Boots," a boneheaded track perfectly designed for stadium gigs. It was a risky move opening with four new tracks, but U2 managed to pull it off effortlessly. The set did an admirable job providing the crowd with ample offerings of both new and old. Harder songs like "Sunday Bloody Sunday" sat comfortably beside more mellow tunes like "MLK." U2 demonstrated that they are not a band that relies on hits from the past. Recent radio staples like "Vertigo" and "Beautiful Day" were received just as enthusiastically as an old classics like "New Years Day." By playing about half of their latest album, they made it clear that they are making music today because they're still driven, not just as an excuse to tour.The night was marked by a few epic surprises as well. "The Unforgettable Fire," a song from the underrated 1984 album of the same name, provided audiences with a dose of droning 1980s textured new wave as well as an impressive psychedelic light gig. Also, it was somewhat shocking when the second encore began with "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)," a minor track from the album Achtung Baby.

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