August 6, 2009 Chorzow, Poland - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-06-2009, 04:28 PM   #1
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August 6, 2009 Chorzow, Poland

Please post your pics, reviews, and experiences for this show here.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:48 PM   #2
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"This comes close!"

Or so Bono said to the audience during ISHFWILF, caught up in the emotion of the moment, after the biggest single stand-out highlight of all the shows I've seen so far: New Year's Day live in Poland.

The flag flash mob was jaw-droppingly spectacular. I thought it would be good, I never imagined it would be that good. I don't know how it compared to the last one four years ago but there were audible gasps around the audience where I was when Adam started the bass line and everyone responded as planned. The floor was a sea of red, the stands were waves of white.

It had been a slightly slow building gig, the audience didn't really get into Breathe or NLOTH. I actually thought parts of the first few songs sounded a bit out of tune or off-key. Boots got the first really big cheer, and Magnificent maintained the pace. Beautiful Day and Elevation took things up another gear (Adam even had a bit of a run around the outer stage during BD!) before the explosion of NYD.

Bono said before One that he wanted to do a magic trick and turn the stadium into the Milky Way. That was the second bit of stadium conjuring of the gig. The first one was to turn it into a huge pulsating flag. I must say that was a privilege to both witness and be a part of.

After that the place was positively throbbing for the rest of the evening. ISHFWILF followed NYD and Bono told the audience about how special Poland was to U2, and that Europe needed more countries like Poland.

I don't think any of this is sycophantic easy praise from Bono. He seemed touched by the collective, patriotic display. He put the Solidarity flag on the stage, readjusting it a couple of times during the show to ensure it was fully visible. He got down on his knees and kissed the stage at the end of NYD, I guess to show his love of Poland, although it also was a vivid reminder of the many times the late Polish Pope John Paul II kissed the ground in countries around the world, including Ireland in 1979. (Bono even mentioned the Pope at the end of the concert.)

He also seemed a bit choked during the first couple of verses of Walk On (where he demonstrated his own hand gestures for each line). And he kneeled at the end of MoS, clearly praying for the audience, getting up after blessing himself with the Catholic sign of the cross (which was broadcast on the video screen). He also tried a few phrases of Polish which were obviously lapped up (despite my Polish host jokingly tut-tutting his pronunciation). A large image of the Poland flag was displayed on the video screen at the end of NYD to fully ram home the point. U2 love Poland. I've not seen such a full-on blatant love-in between band and country elsewhere, (and U2 do love Ireland, the US, Spain, Holland, Sweden, Germany ...)

Anyway, it wasn't only an occasion for patriotic Polish pride. There was a concert too.

Edge had another couple of icky moments in some songs, I'm sure I heard a few duff notes. Although his playing and falsetto on Stuck were superb, as was Bono's singing. The band shared a bottle of champagne to celebrate Edge's birthday. Bono snippeted The Waterboys 'The Whole of the Moon' at the end of Streets as there was a full moon rising up over the stadium. The full moon also made it onto the video screen during the spontaneous version of Stand By Me at the end of ISHFWILF.

Slaski stadium is probably my favourite stadium on this tour for two reasons: there is no roof, and it was completely dark apart from the stage lights. At other stadiums the view of the top of the stage is cut off by the stadium roof, or the stage gets lost in the scaffolding of a closed roof. Also, other stadiums leave the ceiling lights on inside the roof, and have very many emergency exit lights scattered around the stadium. Not in Slaski stadium. Once the house lights go off, there really are no house lights left on at all. Also, Poland must be very far east in the time zone and the sun had completely set before the gig began. Therefore there was no other light to detract from the dazzling 360 light extravaganza. The enveloping darkness and full panoramic vision of both stage and stadium made a perfect setting. And the crowd helped too of course. The Milky Way during One was the most beautiful I've seen yet.

Anyway, I hope this hasn't been too rambling but has helped set the scene for what was a very special concert on many levels.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:14 PM   #3
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^ Are you going to every show on the tour. Just a question. Don't take it the wrong way
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for another insightful review. Where to next for you?
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:45 PM   #5
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^ Are you going to every show on the tour. Just a question. Don't take it the wrong way
Not all of em! But too many. And I'm on a roll with these current mainland Europe ones. I think I'll see about 14 or 15 in Europe in total.

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Thanks for another insightful review. Where to next for you?
Train to Vienna in about two hours - just had about three hours kip. Not a complaint, it's an (expensive) blessing to be doing this, but more sleep would be lovely
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:23 AM   #6
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nice review cathal!
and wow, I'm wondering how this all works. getting from a to b within a few hours lol.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:30 AM   #7
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thank you, thank you, thank you! beautiful review. I will never get over not being able to go. I'm not exactly the most emotional person on earth, but I still have goosebumps after reading this.
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:21 AM   #8
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Damn, why didn't I have connections to Poland. Thanks for the review, though.





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Old 08-07-2009, 04:33 AM   #9
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Sounds like a great show, thanks for reviewing.

Yes, the people in Poland surely know how to organize a proper flash mob.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:07 PM   #10
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Not all of em! But too many. And I'm on a roll with these current mainland Europe ones. I think I'll see about 14 or 15 in Europe in total.



Train to Vienna in about two hours - just had about three hours kip. Not a complaint, it's an (expensive) blessing to be doing this, but more sleep would be lovely
Sleep on the train

Do you travel solo??
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:47 PM   #11
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Not all of em! But too many. And I'm on a roll with these current mainland Europe ones. I think I'll see about 14 or 15 in Europe in total.



Train to Vienna in about two hours - just had about three hours kip. Not a complaint, it's an (expensive) blessing to be doing this, but more sleep would be lovely

Cool If I didn't have a lot of bills I would do more in Europe, but I just can't. I tried saving money last summer and then I needed to get my car fixed.
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:19 PM   #12
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Wow, what a review from Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol


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I had to write about this. I simply had to. I hope I'm not speaking out of turn here as this is U2's site and hallowed ground for all of you but this story needs to be told. The shows so far on this tour have all been amazing and each night the crowd's reaction to U2 has been loud and joyous and passionate. Last night in Poland though was something else. Hard to explain. Let me try.

I have never in my life seen a crowd reaction like that of Katowice last night. Right from opener Breathe there was a daft magic in the air. Insanity everywhere you looked. People's faces clothed in the kind of joy I've only seen in gospel churches and then only on the TV so to see this religious fervour up close was overwhelming. The city outside the stadium could have been under heavy fire from alien spacecraft and I don't think anyone would have heard, saw, or indeed cared that much.



Then The Edge takes to the piano for New Year's Day (playing it guitar pick still between his fingers!) and the place is bathed in red and white instantly. Red cards held aloft by the people on the floor and white cards in the seats to make a giant Polish flag you could probably see from space. It took the breath clean out of me. By the end even Bono was speechless, for a few seconds anyway. The things he said next are lost to me verbatim but what I won't forget is the tears that came to me then. In floods. And when I turned to check if anyone had snared me for blubbing I realised that every single person around me also had tears in their eyes. We were sharing something that simply never happens at rock shows anywhere. A collective emotional and spiritual surrender of epic proportions. This was majesty and tenderness married and that is a rare thing indeed.

Last night was something I've never seen before and I can't quite fathom it. Not sure I ever will or even want to. It will sit alongside the greatest nights of my life and I thank U2 and Poland for that. Also thank you to the Polish U2 fans for giving us the best reaction to our own set we've had on this tour so far. All in all then a night of triumphs.





I would tour with this band (we all, us Patrollers, would) 'til the last grain of sand tipped gently into the bottom half of the hourglass and yes that sounds (and perhaps is, why not) a massive hint hint to stay on this magic carpet ride a little/a lot longer but believe me when I say this: this is the greatest show on earth. Why on earth would you buy just anyone's cockatoo? Long may they reign!

Gary Lightbody, aged 33, Bangor, Northern Ireland, Overwhelmed.x
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:34 PM   #13
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Wow, what a review from Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol
where was this posted???
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:40 PM   #14
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oh sorry, on U2.com
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:06 AM   #15
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Sleep on the train

Do you travel solo??
Bit too tall for sleeping on trains and planes as I can´t usually get comfortable enough. I´m travelling solo for most of this trip but I´ve hooked up with Matt from U2gigs for a couple of trips as he´s been on the same flight.

Lovely review from your man in Snow Patrol, see those Northern Irish, soppy bastards
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