April 2, 2011 - Estadio Unico de La Plata, Buenos Aires - U2 Feedback

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Old 04-02-2011, 09:53 PM   #1
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April 2, 2011 - Estadio Unico de La Plata, Buenos Aires

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Old 04-03-2011, 09:44 AM   #2
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Hi everyone. I know I have not posted in a long time but I was at the Estadio Unico last night, attending my sixth-ever U2 show. Unfortunately, I have to say that my experience was mixed and that this show was probably in my bottom 2.

PROS
- As much as I dislike Governor Scioli, I think the organization to get us in and out of the stadium was quite efficient. I saw a lot of police on the road and the surroundings and I was back at home in Buenos Aires in 80 minutes after the show ended (pretty impressive since La Plata is 60 kms away).
- The distribution of the stands. One of my main concerns with stadiums is that I am going to end up way too far from the scene, and I was actually quite close.
- The band. U2 is still U2.

CONS
- The crowd. Sorry guys, but when I go to a show in Argentina I expect the wildest-ever crowd... same one I saw in previous concerts and in the U23D film. I do not know if it was the setlist, or the older average age, but the crowd seemed quiet for Argie standards last night. Aboslutely no reaction to newer songs like Magnificent or GOYB.
- The sound. Complete and utter crap. The first 2/3 songs were a total disaster and it was impossible to hear Bono. I will recognize that they then did something and it improved, mildly. A show of this caliber deserves a better sound.
- Bono. I do not know if is because they have been on the road for a while but Bono was not "believable" at all. I know, in the end he is a performer, but he used to put some effort. I particularly disliked the part when he brought up the girl to sing the Mercedes Sosa song... a complete crowd killer. And, I mean, who in the world will believe that Bono knew or cared about Mercedes Sosa?

Overall, a 6/10. I am sorry if I sound grumpy but I always expect the best from the best band in the world.

Cheers!

Pablo
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:24 AM   #3
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(Hey Pablo, I couldn't disagree more ... But then I haven't seen other shows here. If last night was a tame crowd, then ... Jaysus!)



“Wow! Wow!” Bono has often said after UTEOTW at many shows, to lead into his first bit of crowd banter before Still Haven’t Found. He didn’t actually say it tonight; but, my word, he could have said it after every song. The atmosphere tonight was way off the scale compared to other shows. I saw the entire concert, unobstructed, from a seat in the back row of the stand behind the stage.



Like Wednesday, the view of the field going completely nuts in unison was breathtaking, and it continued for the entire show. The action on the field was like a turbulent sea in a storm, rising up with everyone jumping around, and swaying to and fro with great crowd surges across the main field beyond the outer stage. There’s no standing neatly in your own space and respecting the space of others on the field here. If you’re on the field, bring a lifejacket. I was eyeing the field a bit enviously as I thought it would be great fun to empty my pockets and dive into the melee. I’d probably crawl out two hours later missing some useful appendages but declaring it the best U2 concert ever.


As it was, I think it was easily one of the best U2 concerts of the 360 tour, and purely cos the crowd’s madness gave such a tremendous jolt to everything going on. U2, and Bono in particular, looked more loose and spontaneous than during recent shows. But, bizarrely, it all started very quietly and tamely.


Someone in the crew must have had their U2-branded iPod nicked. The pre-gig tunes before the two concerts here have been ice-skating classics, and have acted very effectively as a mass sedative for the stadium. I’ve never seen a stadium so quiet just ten minutes before U2 hit the stage. Even the Mexican Waves were half-hearted. I thought that Wednesday’s crowd was obviously the hardcore crowd, and that Saturday’s would be a tame bunch of observing tourists.


I forget what those things which doctors use to restart someone’s heart are called, but the DJ found the musical equivalent, and managed to kickstart the eerie morgue into a pulsating fiesta in one press of an ‘Add Popular Local Classic Song To Playlist Instead Of More Torvill n Dean Music’ button. They played 'De Musica Ligera' by Soda Stereo whose singer is Gustavo Cerrati whom Bono namechecked from the stage on Wednesday. He has been in an accident and is currently in a coma. I hope he felt the incredible and instant surge of life created in his honour in El Estadio Unico when his song was played. The stadium transformed from lifeless to lively in milliseconds. This crowd wanted to party, this was the tune they were waiting for.


Second time hearing it and I’m completely smitten by this new version of EBTTRT. It’s really very rather fab, with new jolting synthy things n everything. And it’s a surprise and strong challenger to Crazy Tonight as the second best-looking song in the show, with a dazzling disco light display on the Claw. But whilst it’s a good opener (far better than Breathe), I’m not convinced it’s a truly great concert opener for the whole stadium (whereas I think Stingray Guitar was). I’m sure EBTTRT is an absolutely amazing concert opener in the pit, and I’m sure it’s an amazing opener on YouTube. However (and this will probably be heresy to the online setlist spods) I reckon Beautiful Day was actually a better opener on a whole stadium level. (I can almost hear the ‘Unlike’ clicks already.) The back of the bus is in a huff.


There were a few setlist changes. Three songs had their 2011 debuts: New Year’s Day, Stuck In A Moment, and Ultraviolet all of which were superb, especially Ultraviolet. They were as good as having your first three pints after total abstinence during Lent.


But more than these little surprise treats, Bono seemed a bit freer, with more of a spontaneouser spark, mixing up his banter with the crowd. He brought a girl onstage to read the lyrics to a song by Mercedes Sosa (my wonderful host here informs me) called ‘Gracias Por La Vida’. The girl actually began by shouting into the microphone, then talking too quietly, but Bono coached her into reading the poem to a backing track of that crescendic Celtic music they used before Beautiful Day in 2009. Bono also teasingly played “eeny meeny miny mo” during In A Little While (perhaps with my Chilean and Brazilian amigas down in the front row who were probably Spanish-eyeing him), but he was just flirting, and didn’t actually invite any girl onto the stage. Instead he brought someone from the main field onstage during City Of Blinding Lights, which I liked cos some of the girls at the front rail (some of whom I know) secretly hope to be brought up, and there isn’t always such a lovely OMFGly response from them.


And Bono’s singing last night was superb, with the opera piece of Miss Sarajevo even more stunning than usual. He also provided me with more useful Spanish lessons. I learned that Adam has been “probando los bombones argentinos” which my host Augusto has just translated as “tasting the flavour of beautiful Argentinian women”. And he shouted “aguante La Plata” which means a very strong “Come on La Plata”. (Back at the GA queue after the show, some guys from the Argentinian U2 fanclub asked me to say “Aguante U2 todo piola” into a video camera, which I hope isn’t a naughty swearie.)


I must have been enjoying the gig cos I even really liked Crazy Tonight for the first time in a while. Bono told the crowd that “crazy is a Spanish word”, and I thought I heard him say “I know loco crazy”. I think I mishear a lot thought, cos he was spelling something during Crazy which I heard as “P-U-P-L-I-N”. What the hell does puplin mean? Then I thought it might have been B-U-B-L-I-N, i.e. bubbling. But after many pints during a very fun La Plata pub crawl late last night, it occurred to me that it must have been D-U-B-L-I-N. But it could have been pubbin, or boppin, or ... who knows.


The only prob was a screen protest. There’s only half a spike above the Claw here because of the stadium roof. The video screen staged a protest in solidarity with its pointier colleague by refusing to open beyond halfway during City Of Blinding Lights, So we got to peak inside the stage during the Questions / Fez segue. Bono improvised a rap which may have included references to a stuck screen.
Anyway, time’s up. Bloomin incredible gig last night. And for tonight, I’m considering doing a Glasgow ...
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Old 04-03-2011, 12:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U2@NYC View Post
Hi everyone. I know I have not posted in a long time but I was at the Estadio Unico last night, attending my sixth-ever U2 show. Unfortunately, I have to say that my experience was mixed and that this show was probably in my bottom 2.

PROS
- As much as I dislike Governor Scioli, I think the organization to get us in and out of the stadium was quite efficient. I saw a lot of police on the road and the surroundings and I was back at home in Buenos Aires in 80 minutes after the show ended (pretty impressive since La Plata is 60 kms away).
- The distribution of the stands. One of my main concerns with stadiums is that I am going to end up way too far from the scene, and I was actually quite close.
- The band. U2 is still U2.

CONS
- The crowd. Sorry guys, but when I go to a show in Argentina I expect the wildest-ever crowd... same one I saw in previous concerts and in the U23D film. I do not know if it was the setlist, or the older average age, but the crowd seemed quiet for Argie standards last night. Aboslutely no reaction to newer songs like Magnificent or GOYB.
- The sound. Complete and utter crap. The first 2/3 songs were a total disaster and it was impossible to hear Bono. I will recognize that they then did something and it improved, mildly. A show of this caliber deserves a better sound.
- Bono. I do not know if is because they have been on the road for a while but Bono was not "believable" at all. I know, in the end he is a performer, but he used to put some effort. I particularly disliked the part when he brought up the girl to sing the Mercedes Sosa song... a complete crowd killer. And, I mean, who in the world will believe that Bono knew or cared about Mercedes Sosa?

Overall, a 6/10. I am sorry if I sound grumpy but I always expect the best from the best band in the world.

Cheers!

Pablo
Pablo, I really hear you. I was to the Wednesday show and thought it was me. The crowd wasn't a figment of what Argentine crowds have us used to. Have we ever heard of NO chanting after the end of a main set OR the show???? The lack of reaction to Boots on Wednesday may have been due to the fact the opening combo EBTTRT-IWF was absolutely killer (it was the only moment in the show the crowd went into real Argie frenzy) and needed a break, and as for Magnificent it obviously needs reworking to have it showcase its real potential live. More surprising was the mild reaction to BD. In my opinion it was definitely the set list - an utter bore as from BD through to Walk On including the nightmarish Crazy remix. Just shaken a bit by MS (really well performed by Bono though not as emotionally charged as in Vertigo BA2), the eternal classics and the grand finale. And yes, I saw Bono up close from the RZ rail and though intense he gave the impression of just routinely performing. Being a Bono fan it was a bit of a let-down really. Not the case of Edge or Adam who seemed to be into it and enjoying themselves.

I agree the sound wasn't great and was more or less adjusted 2 -3 songs in, but wasn't that bad either. On the other hand, I'm glad they improved the exit from La Plata since on Wednesday it was absolutely chaotic. The show ended at 11.50 and I did not get back to BA until 2.30 am.

And yes U2 is still U2.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:41 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reviews everyone. I'm really tempted to pull up EBTTRT on YouTube but am determined to keep it fresh for the 1st Anaheim show. I love living vicariously through all of you. I hate hearing that fans didn't enjoy the show though...how disappointing after waiting so long and expecting so much.

Good for you Cathal...gotta take a bit of a break sometimes. Was there another soccer match on TV you wanted to watch?
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:23 PM   #6
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I can´t believe I have been to this concert on Saturday. I liked some Muse´s songs, then when U2 rose up the stage, the moment came on:
 The opening with EBTTRT was wonderful, I liked very much, with all the people singing and shouting. (I did notice that.)
 When they played New Year´s Day, one of my favorite songs, another beautiful moment.
 On Beatutiful Day, I laughed a bit when the girl, who he rose up, read the song “Gracias a la vida” shouting “GRACIAS” and Bono had to calm her down
 I insist on this: it´s very sweet to hear him speak a bit of Spanish *-*
 I hope this won´t be the last concert. Although I didn´t manage to see them close, just thinking I was listening to his voice and the other members´ instruments live and not trough a CD or something like that was beautiful. I hope it will happen again.
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