Canadian Fans Show Their Colours With (RED)monton!

May 31, 2011

Here at Interference.com, we’re always impressed with creative fan initiative. Inspired by the colorful displays at some of the European U2 shows, this week Canadian fans wear red and white and launch balloons, both to represent for their country and for the causes that U2 has so eloquently endorsed. -Ed.

On June 1st, 2011, U2 is headed back to Commonwealth Stadium to play their first show in Edmonton since 1997. To commemorate this, we are asking U2 concert goers to wear a red or white shirt in support of the Makepovertyhistory.ca/ One.org[[WHITE] and [Product (RED)] campaigns.

We are also asking people to please bring red and white balloons to celebrate as U2 takes the stage. These colors also symbolize a massive display of unity to show our Canadian Pride. We ask everyone to keep the balloons deflated until after the opening act has finished.

Please visit us at http://www.facebook.com/redmonton#!/event.php?eid=118969994793020

Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RedmontonU2

For more information please contact: redmonton@telus.net
For those wanting to help with the balloons here’s a link to a bulk/bargain balloon website. We’ve ordered from this site so yes it is legit. http://www.bargainballoons.ca/10browse.asp?Category=12+Inch+Latex&Page=1&Display=High

This is a night for the fans by the fans. (RED)monton here we come!


Winnipeg Loves U2

May 30, 2011

U2 has not played in Winnipeg since 1997 on the Pop Mart Tour. This week they ended that 14-year drought in a big way. The city already was alive with excitement regarding the imminent return of professional hockey. So, when the band arrived earlier than usual in order to perform several Achtung Baby songs at the Burton Cummings Theatre for a documentary about the 20th Anniversary of that album, the buzz was immense.

 

Not only is Winnipeg one of the smallest cities the Tour has visited, it is the first Canadian stop on the final leg of the worldwide U2 360 Tour. The city was not scheduled to be included on the tour until Bono’s back injury last year forced the postponement and rescheduling of this North American leg. Obviously feeling fortunate to have U2 in town, Winnipeg made certain that it would be a memorable night for both the concertgoers and the band.

Fans lining up early for the general admission (GA) line all reported that it was well planned, and that security was friendly and helpful. Once Canad Inns Stadium was filled, the Canadian military jet demonstration team, The Snowbirds, performed a flyover and continued with several loops around the facility.

 

U2 took the stage to David Bowie’s Space Oddity and launched into the Achtung Baby hit “Even Better Than The Real Thing.” Ready for a memorable night, the entire crowd of around 50,000 was on their feet and cheering loudly. Bono, playing his humble self, noted a gaffe in the video preceding the concert. Winnipeg had been misspelled with only one “n,” and he greeted the crowd with, “Hello Winnipeg! That’s Winnipeg with two n’s.”

 

A mixture of old and new songs followed. “Elevation” seemed to be a particular favorite of the crowd with plenty of jumping and clapping to its infectious rhythm. During “Until The End Of The World,” Bono received a bouquet of flowers which he then proceeded to fling one by one into the GA pit as he went on in his charming, yet serious way, “Flowers for Damascus. Flowers for Tehran.” This segued into an uncharacteristically upbeat political message for the night with a special greeting from Aung San Suu Kyi in the wake of her release from detention in Burma, and the singing of “Happy Birthday” for Amnesty International which is celebrating 50 years in its mission to free political prisoners.

As the sun set and the air cooled. Bono, sensing the joy from the crowd and the apparent chill that Edge, Adam and Larry were feeling, turned smartass and announced that the people of Winnipeg, like Ireland are used to the cold and that there are real men and women in Winnipeg and real men and women in the band. It is not clear if this was directed at any band member in particular, or if the cooler weather, or a city curfew played any role in U2 skipping their usual closing song, “Moment Of Surrender.” Both Adam and Larry had extra layers on themselves. And, it was reported by several GA pit fans that Larry vocalized his lack of warmth during his venture around the catwalk during the “Crazy Tonight” remix.

 

Even if the concert ended one song early, the reaction of the crowd was energetic and heartfelt. A mixture of all ages was in attendance, and every song was greeted with enthusiasm, new and old, loud or acoustic. It was great night for the band, and there can be no doubt that Winnipeg made a wonderful impression on them. Whatever the future touring plans of U2, it is unlikely that they would pass over Winnipeg for so long again.

Videos:

Intro & Even Better Than The Real Thing

Heart Of Gold

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

 

Fan Experiences, Photos and Videos:

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Interference Fan Forum

 

 

U2 360 Tour

29 May 2011

Canad Inns Stadium

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Set List

 

1. Even Better Than The Real Thing (Space Oddity Intro)

2. I Will Follow

3. Get On Your Boots

4. Magnificent (Bishop Tutu Intro)

5. Mysterious Ways

6. Elevation

7. Until The End Of The World

8. All I Want Is You

9. Stay (Far Away, So Close)

10. Beautiful Day / Heart Of Gold snippet

11. Pride (In The Name Of Love)

12. Miss Sarajevo

13. Zooropa

14. City Of Blinding Lights

15. Vertigo

16. Crazy Tonight Remix / Discothque / Psycho Killer / Life During Wartime / Please snippets

17. Sunday Bloody Sunday

18. Scarlet

19. Walk On

20. One (Aung San Suu Kyi Intro)

21. Where The Streets Have No Name

 

Encore

 

22. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

23. With Or Without You

 

 

 

By kramwest1

All photos and videos by kramwest1

Thank you to all of the Interference members for their input.

 

Author’s note:

It was my first time in Winnipeg, and my third time visiting Canada. I cannot express how genuinely nice most every is in this country and how welcoming they make you feel. I am excited that Winnipeg is only my first of several U2 shows that I will be seeing this summer and in Canada. Thank you.

With or Without U2: Fan Gets Engaged at Epic Salt Lake City Show

May 28, 2011

Spencer Eastwood’s story from the Salt Lake City show really caught our attention. Not only was it Bob Dylan’s birthday. Not only was there an amazing poem about Utah performed by fans before “Beautiful Day.” Not only does Eastwood share a detailed account of what sounds like an epic show, he transformed this energetic gathering of thousands into something deeply profound on the personal level: he chose this night as the right time to propose marriage to his beloved. Relive the night in his words & with a few (unique to Salt Lake City) YouTube clips.

[Read more]

Get Out Your Stubs

May 24, 2011

We were thrilled to get an email from the folks over at Denver’s Westword weekly, where web editor Nick Lucchesi recently compared ticket stubs and prices from two very different eras of U2: 1981 and 2011.

Check out Nick’s piece here:

http://blogs.westword.com/backbeat/2011/05/u2_ticket_prices.php

Seeing Nick’s article prompted me to peruse a previous piece of my own, where I posted some of my 1987 Joshua Tree Tour ticket stub nostalgia alongside an extended reflection:

http://www.interference.com/8523-the-joshua-tree-files-going-on-tour-in-1987/

What kind of ticket stub collection do you have?

–Andrew William Smith, Editor


Rapture That: U2′s Back in the USA With Bono’s Healed Back

May 23, 2011

A fun, fascinating return to America last night, with a different perspective for me, and some new show elements.

This was the first of the shows that were rescheduled from 2010 because of Bono’s back surgery. Bono told the audience that “some of you were two years younger when you bought your tickets”. The immeasurably lovely Rosa told me during the day that she’d had her ticket for the Denver concert for 560 days. I’m sure for most fans it was more than well worth the wait.

The pent-up craving from US-based U2 fans was evident as it seemed that almost everyone that I met in America in 2009 had all come to opening night USA 2011. It was wonderful to catch up with many people who had travelled to Denver from all over the States to get their overdue U2 fix, especially the glamorously crazy New York and Los Angeles crews.

It’s bizarre how the only country in the world which prohibits fans from camping outside stadiums overnight before the show is ‘the land of the free’. Some fans started queuing the day before the show, but were moved on three times by three separate people who called themselves “head of stadium security”. There were pedantic explanations over exactly which part of the pavement near the stadium was public or private property, with an imaginary line even once being precisely drawn across. In the end, one of the fans who started the queue called the Denver police to clarify exactly which sidewalk fans would be permitted to sit on for 36 hours without breaking any regulations. It’s such a contrast to what happened at stadiums in Mexico, South Africa, Australia, South America and Europe, where the queues are not only permitted, but facilitated.

I was down in the pit for the first time this year (mega thanks to Alice for the ticket). Brad and I trailed a couple of helpful crowd-breakers through the inside of the pit’s perimeter rail during The Fray’s set. We stopped at a spot on Adam’s side around the 5 o’clock position about three rows in from the back rail, where we hoped we wouldn’t block anyone’s views (we’re both over six foot).

Unsurprisingly, the pit is the best place for a lanky git to see the show from, compared to the nosebleeds (I’m learning American), or the seats behind the stage, where I’d been for most of the Latin American shows I saw.

There was a good atmosphere in the pit around us, with many fans launching themselves into expressively enjoying the show. But there were quite a few statically observing arm-folders, mainly blokes. It seemed like anything more than a rhythmic nod of the head might be too much for them. Applause was eventually dragged out of most of them by the end of the show.

One measure of the difference between the atmosphere at the shows in Latin America and the show here in Denver was during Miss Sarajevo. When Bono sings “here she comes”, in Latin America the crowd would loudly sing back “oh oh”, whereas in Denver I didn’t hear the same response. Also, very many fans in Mexico knew the words to Stay, for example, and sang along. There were far fewer people singing along last night. But there was still a good atmosphere in the stadium, just not as nuttily frantic as south of the border.

The green n orange countdown clock didn’t appear before U2 hit the stage. Instead, the current time in cities around the world was rotated around the screen. And lots of eye-popping world facts were also displayed (“number of barrels of oil produced this year”, “amount spent on illegal drugs”, “births today”, “deaths today”, “number of Google searches”). These included “height of the 360 tour stage structure” which is clearly a misspelt anagram of ‘The Claw’.

I whinged after the La Plata shows about Even Better Than The Real Thing not being the most effective show opener. Anyone who has ever been in the pit to see it performed will profoundly disagree. It’s a fantastic, glitzy, boppy opener for fans down the front, it’s quite exciting and great fun. (But I still think its effect wears off quickly in further reaches of the stadium.)

The tinkering with songs continues. There was cool new flashing coloured “The future needs a big kiss” and “Let me in the sound” text on the screen at the start of and during Boots. I think there’s also a slightly longer intro too. It’s odd how I really love the dreamy, Balearic intro to Magnificent, but I’m still missing the old version of the song, although the band are still piling into it with the same old drive, especially Larry.

One of my favourite aspects of being down towards the centre of the pit is to be able to watch Larry up close. I loved watching him hammer several shades of sugar out of his kit during Magnificent, UTEOTW, Pride, Vertigo etc. Seeing Larry pound his drums so ferociously is one of the reasons that I never agree with some of the fans on the forums who claim that U2 sometimes “go through the motions” during a show, or “phone it in”.

And it’s also fab to see just how much Adam enjoys playing live, with his continual smiles, winks and nods to people in the audience, and his unique, dinky style of bopping around the stages.

UTEOTW was a big highlight last night. Bono dedicated it to the mad reverend who predicted the Rapture would be yesterday. He then proved that people were still firmly on the ground, and gravity still worked, by chucking loads of white roses out into the audience.

I tried the ‘keeping my eyes closed’ trick during All I Want Is You. I think the phrase ‘achingly beautiful’ was invented for this song. It’s very powerful live. I think it’s also Edge’s best solo in the show. (Although I missed the Saturday night party atmosphere that Still Haven’t Found always catalyses.)

Bono made a heartfelt speech before AIWIY about his recovery from his back surgery a year ago, and then some hilarious band intros e.g. in a Broadway-topical blurb, Edge was introduced as a superhero bitten by a spider and turned into a nerd.

I was very excited when U2 played All I Want Is You, and Pride, as I believe last night’s show may have been the first 360 concert to include one song (or substantial snippet) from every album. Full career coverage is quite remarkable. The Discotheque snippet after Crazy Tonight was also even better down in the pit. They’ve just *got* to do the full segue, and play the full song. And play Please too.

Bono remembered Red Rocks at the start of Sunday Bloody Sunday, and said “her majesty at Croke Park … beautiful” at the end. (The British army murdered fourteen people at Croke Park, the great symbol of Irish nationalism, on Bloody Sunday in 1920.) I completely agree. It was a great day for Ireland. In fact, I think she should go to Ireland far more often. I’d be very pleased if she could eventually make it to Derry some time for a pint of Guinness in the Bogside Inn.

Nick and I did the U2 pilgrimage up to Red Rocks on Thursday evening. There was a high school graduation starting when we arrived, with the school orchestra and choir warming up. It was a cold, dank, damp evening, with low-lying clouds smothering the hills, just like when U2 performed there in 1983. It was nostalgically weird walking around the amphitheatre, as watching Sunday Bloody Sunday from the Under A Blood Red Sky video is one of my earliest U2 memories. There was a lot of talk about that song, and that performance of that song was a big influence on my road to becoming a U2 obsessive teenager.

The Tutu speech has (finally) been replaced by a quietly inspirational speech by Aung San Suu Kyi to introduce One. It was my first time hearing her speak and I was surprised by her perfect English; it even sounded a little bit like Received Pronunciation (wot the Queen of England speaks). Bono was clearly very proud of the new video, introducing it as something he couldn’t have imagined possible two years previously. “Campaigning works” Bono said later.

Hold Me Thrill Me was another song much better seen from the pit, with Bono swinging out over the crowd. There is a stunning visual effect when the spotlights fighting through the thick dry-ice create ghostly triple shadows. Up to three wispy shadows appear like an ethereal aura around Bono and then quickly vanish as the smoke drifts away.

Before Moment of Surrender, Bono asked Dallas (the fifth most popular person on the U2 stage) to come up and take a bow in front of his home audience.

And then it was time to go and meet my Denver host Travis (who’s a punk fan) and hear his dazzled ravings about how incredible the show was. I love it when people (especially non-U2 fans) who have seen the show for the first time are so impressed. And rightly so. –Cathal McCarron continues to chase the Claw across the world. We are grateful for his frequent reports.

All photos by Lara Mark. laramarkdesigns@yahoo.com


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