22 September, 2010 K. Boudewijnstadion Brussels BE - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-22-2010, 04:48 PM   #1
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22 September, 2010 K. Boudewijnstadion Brussels BE

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September 22, 2010 - K. Boudewijnstadion - Brussels BE - Interference.com Photo Gallery (U2 Photos, U2 Concert Photos, Member Photos)
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:09 AM   #2
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Incredible show last night, with one of the loudest audiences I've ever heard.

I was in a pub in Liege on Monday with my old Belgian mucker Neil. They have menus of Belgian beers here which are as thick as telephone directories, there are hundreds of choices of tipple. Everyone last night seemed to be drunk on beers called Richter or Decibel. The stadium was fairly quaking from the volume of the crowd, especially at the end of the gig when Bono was stunned into silence by the crowd response.

I was in a front row seat behind the stage in the corner on Edge's side, immediately next to the tunnel where the band entered the arena. It all began quite raucously with Stingray and Beautiful Day. Then there was another huge kick in the volume of cheering for I Will Follow, everyone around me, and everyone on both levels of the stands behind the stage, was on their feet, clapping and roaring. The pit was bouncing, and the people further back on the field were jumping too. It was an amazing, breathless start to the concert, and soooo incredibly different to the (sitty downy) Breathe-NLOTH combo from last year. (Although I'd love to see both songs back in the setlist.)

Boots and Magnificent kept up the momentum. Mysterious Ways had the entire stadium waving their arms in unison. Then Bono beautifully boosted the party atmosphere with a great speech about the 360 tour being a Belgian tour (cos of the number of Belgian crew and the Claw and screen being Belgian) and the Brussels show being a homecoming gig. The roar this got was shattering.

And interestingly, this was all so well received without any translations of what Bono was saying into French or Dutch on the screen. Neil told me that Belgium is on a political knife-edge currently. It hasn't had any government for 100 days now after an inconclusive election. Apparently there is a huge political divide between the Flemish speakers in Flanders and the French speakers in Walonia. There is even a popular movement within the Flemish speakers for independence.

The language issue is very sensitive in Belgium and I guess it wasn't possible to scroll translations of Bono's little speeches into two languages on the screen. So the Tutu speech wasn't translated. And I finally got to read what the spaceship cartoon characters say in the encore vid, after seeing it in German, Italian, Finnish, Russian and Turkish (it's really not worth waiting for).

But the crowd's singing for ISHFWILF was wonderful. There was a gorgeous happy party atmosphere in the stadium. As much as I love Miss Sarajevo (Bono again poured everything into the solo and stunningly nailed it), Mercy and North Star, these songs do act (perhaps intentionally) as a release valve for the atmosphere. I would love to have seen what would have happened if U2 had kept the momentum going.

As it was, the atmosphere settled, only to rise again for the COBL, Vertigo, Crazy Tonight, (and especially) Sunday Bloody Sunday quartet.

Bono played (improvised?) a lovely little melody at the start of One, sang Amazing Grace with amazing soul. Then it was Streets, whose opening synths sent a surge of electricity around the stadium for the collective lift-off. Everyone seemed to be lifted by it, the view of the people in both tiers of the stands on their feet and clapping was stunning.

Ultraviolet was fabulous again. And, despite what I thought was a relatively poor version of With Or Without You, the crowd response at the end was just crazy. Everyone on the field continued singing, it spread into the stands, and the crowd's energy just fed off itself for a couple of minutes, as they just got louder and louder, especially when they realised that they had stunned Bono into silence. The other band members also acknowledged the crowd's response. There was some big mutual lovin going on and it was beautiful to see (and partake in!).

Bono couldn't talk the crowd back into settling down, despite trying a couple of times. But the slow-build intensity of the intro music of Moment of Surrender brought an absolutely stunning, shared, wtf-was-THAT, quiet reflection across the stadium. Bono then put absolutely everything into singing MoS.

So, a rather bonkers noisy ol gig last night. And as Bono told the crowd, they're back again tonight ... (Hope I can get a damn ticket!)
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:32 AM   #3
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lovely review cathalmc! i want to read your review for the paris gig! where is it?! lol!
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:54 AM   #4
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Wow, sounds like an incredible show!!
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Old 09-23-2010, 06:57 AM   #5
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Great review, cathal

Sounds like a great show and I can't wait to see/hear the WOWY/MOS sequence.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:05 AM   #6
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Sounds awesome!!
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:48 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by cathalmc View Post
(sitty downy)
What, are you Sarah Palin or something?

/American

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Old 09-24-2010, 02:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by corianderstem View Post
What, are you Sarah Palin or something?

/American

I've no idea what you're on about, and I find that very reassuring
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:26 AM   #9
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lovely review cathalmc! i want to read your review for the paris gig! where is it?! lol!
Thanks mama cass. I didn't make it to the Paris gig alas cos I was ticketless and it was nigh impossible to find one outside. My mates who were there said it was quite excellent though!
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:44 AM   #10
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Thanks mama cass. I didn't make it to the Paris gig alas cos I was ticketless and it was nigh impossible to find one outside. My mates who were there said it was quite excellent though!
oh that's a shame!

i was amazed at the amount of people outside looking for tickets! more than usual at the Stade i'm sure! i swear i see more touts than fans normally... i had to sell a ticket for the Vertigo tour show at the Stade a few years back and didn't even get face value for it there were so many people selling...
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:01 AM   #11
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so what do the aliens in small spaceship talk about?
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:43 PM   #12
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so what do the aliens in small spaceship talk about?

hm, something like
'great show'
'My feet are killing me'
'what the heck was that' (when thespace ship comes nearer)
'nevermind it's gone now' (spaceship is out of sight, before entering them from above)
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:52 PM   #13
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^ And in German: Was ist das DEN?

Never managed to find the second N in DENN.
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:59 PM   #14
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Great review Cathal

I loved how he spoke about the Belgians instead of the introductions @ the beginning of ISHFWILF.
it's a Belgian show, a homecoming etc.. wish it could unite the Belgians as 1 poeple though..

Bono asked the band what they liked most about Belgium. Edge said Hedwig (De Meyer),owner of Stageco.
Adam said something what sounds as Walter Von Birkenstock and Bono repeated that as Walter Van Bierenbok (which is a funny reference to us flemish as bier=beer and we call a pint a bok sometimes ) It should be of course Walter Van Beirendonck (I saw him in the mix pit on the second night though, guess he didn't hear that reference himself)

Bono liked Smasher (don't we all??)

it was a great night, band was really loving it and the crowd was indeed very loud and responsive.

I got goosebumps when Bono couldn't speak anymore after WOWY, we just kept on chanting and he tried serveral time to say something until he threw his arms in the air, giving up lol.
But then he held his hands over his heart showing how he loved us
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