August 3, 2009 - Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-03-2009, 06:45 PM   #1
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August 3, 2009 - Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen

Tonight's gig will probably unfairly be remembered for the hiccups. Unfairly because the gig was very masssive, whilst the hiccups were either relatively small and unnoticeable (apparently there were some screen probs), or wildly appreciated by the audience and only ended up adding to the night instead of detracting from it (the restart of Vertigo).

U2 are human! U2 make mistakes! The errors only made the homage more personal and unique.

It was back to full-on 360 degrees after the 270 homecoming in Dublin and the windswept 350.5 in Gothenburg. The roof was closed but the crowd was open. Open to primal cheering, hearty singing and happy bopping.

It was a very familiar setlist by now, but the hyper crowd added their own unique twist. Elevation received a spontaneous additional accapela verse from Bono when the audience continued singing it after the band had finished. ISHFWILF had the German choir in full clappy flow.

Tonight easily ranks alongside Barca 1 and Dublin 1 in my personal favs from this tour. The band, and Bono especially, clearly feed off an up-for-it audience. Bono has the shaman's ability to create a frenzied atmosphere out of nothing on his own. But when he's handed one on a plate to work with ... Then he can work his real magic. Gelsenkirchen would have danced to his finger clicking. Tonight it danced to his vocal conducting.

The stage was a bit further out onto the pitch compared to other stadiums. When Bono was out on the edge of the walkway during City of Blinding Lights, he was almost right smack in the centre of the stadium. And right where he belongs. If you're going to orchestrate, do it in the middle of your maestros.

I naughtily changed block a couple of times during the show. The sound behind the stage was poor, only Bono and Edge's guitar really being discernible. But no-one else seemed to notice or care. The sound definitely improved after I moved, although the atmosphere was equally electric.

Today and yesterday I was wondering why U2 had chosen such a comparatively small place in Germany to play. I think I can see why now
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:41 PM   #2
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Good to hear the hiccups didn't detract from the show. Sounds like it was another special one. Thanks for your review.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:57 AM   #3
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My last show this tour, after Paris and Amsterdam. Crowd was indeed amazing. Highlight for me was elevation, i really hoped they would play it, and the crowd (including myself) went nuts! The mishap during Vertigo was ok: i really like the intro, and now i heard it twice.
It's been an amazing tour for me, 3 beautiful nights. Now back to reality... Hope they will be back soon for more!
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:33 AM   #4
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Jaysus that wee review of mine is actually surprisingly coherent. I was very quite rather drunk on German beer last night! Which or may not have influenced my appreciation of the gig
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathalmc View Post
I was very quite rather drunk on German beer last night! Which or may not have influenced my appreciation of the gig
Why, are u having second thoughts about how you reviewed the show?
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:32 PM   #6
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The sound was decent where I stood (before the catwalk, slightly to Adam's site). But it was better in Berlin, though better here again than in Amsterdam. I would love if they skipped arenas and just played stadiums.
The crowd seemed, from my perspective, really good. Lot's of movement and singing along. Only sad is that about everyone these days is trying to film or taking pictures. First, you hardly see when you have arms and cameras in front of you, and twice, it takes away some atmosphere. But all in all it wasn't too bad. And I was guilty of taking pictures a few times either. Though it was the last time I brought my camera. Just don't want to be bothered with that stuff.

I had hoped for New Year's Day, but they decided to go back to the standard. Well, I'm still happy. I would never feel otherwise. I neither complain about steady sets nor about mixed ones. And it was nice to get Elevation and Stuck this time. Would have loved to do more shows, but as a poor student three shows is all I could afford (have been extremely lucky to get so many as well). Want to say thanks for the great accomodation this way as well.

I didn't hear anything wrong with Vertigo when Bono suddenly stopped it. Edge somehow managed to lose the cable for the amplifier. Dallas put it back in quickly. When Bono said "Edge broke his amplifier" (at least that was what I heard) I was shortly terrified he meant the amplifier itself, but it turned out it was only the cable.
And during Crazy Tonight the screen didn't go back. During SBS it went back, but very slowly.

All in all, I liked the show much even though I was extremely exhausted and thirsty.
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:33 AM   #7
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^sure no problem. you're welcome at any time!

My littler sister and I, we really had a blast in the first row, right in front of Adam.
We were jumping and dancing all the time and we had enough space. I expected it more crowded.





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Old 08-05-2009, 01:35 AM   #8
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:37 AM   #9
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:40 AM   #10
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:43 AM   #11
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:49 AM   #12
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:53 AM   #13
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omg, I think we nearly fainted when he sat in front of us (during One)





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Old 08-05-2009, 06:02 AM   #14
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Anna, amazing pictures, thanks for posting!

I took some 200 pictures, some of them are blurry, some of them are quite ok, I'll upload them later, because I haven't had time to look through them.

I was trying out some different settings on my camera, but most of the time the pictures don't turn out the way I want them to. It also depends on the lighting and how much the band is moving and all.

Concert was great, I didn't notice the technical hiccups many are going on about, except for Vertigo, which I didn't find dramatic. In fact, they solved it quite elegantly. I was surprised by the atmosphere, crowd was very much into it, a lot of singing, dancing, jumping, and finally no pushing and enough space where we were standing.

U2 came on stage late and the setlist was reportedly changed/cut short before the show, Bad and UTEOTW were supposed to be played (). Don't know why they didn't play it, rumour is that Edge wasn't feeling well, Bono was also asking him in the beginning how he felt. I don't think it had to do with Bono's voice, which sounded very fine to me.

Arena was very hot and sticky, bad air and only decent sound. It sucks so much to have the roof closed, especially with the weather warm and sunny. I think I'd rather stand in the rain. It seemed to be very loud, at least where I was standing, the guitar sounded particularly loud to me.

Btw, there are great videos to watch on the WDR and 1plus websites.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:03 AM   #15
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Amazing photos!
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