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Old 07-01-2009, 02:16 AM   #1
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Media Reviews of Barcelona 1

I will start with ours!!!

U2 Won’t Stop Until We Get Enough of Its New 360 Tour : U2 Interference - U2 Fans, Pop Culture Webzine, & More

Stand up to rock stars!
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:04 AM   #2
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U2 have landed – and they're ready to take over the world

Independent (London), July 01, 2009

Pierre Perrone

Nothing, not the sneak preview footage on the band's website, nor the pictures on the front pages of the Spanish dailies Qué! or La Vanguardia can prepare you for the monstrous sight that welcomed 90,000 rabid U2 fans inside the home of Barcelona FC.

The aliens have truly landed on the hallowed turf of the European and La Liga champions and winners of La Copa Del Rey. As envisioned and co-designed by Mark Fisher and Willie Williams, the stage for U2's 360° tour looks like a spaceship or a supersized version of HG Wells' War of the Worlds tripod Martian fighting machines with a dash of Catalan visionary architect Antoni Gaudi thrown in for good measure.

It certainly affords every single one of the capacity crowd inside Europe's biggest stadium a clear view of the biggest band in the world returning to the live arena after four years, the longest hiatus in a career that has already lasted three decades and seen them sell 150 million albums.

What looks like four huge tentacles sprout from a central structure wrapped up in video screens and speakers with a radio transmitter on top. The Irish group look like they're about to be squashed like ants. Now I know a fair few people who would like to do just that to Bono, a campaigner for Africa shaming the West into cancelling debt and sending aid but tonight we get Bono the crowd-conducting showman, the frontman of a band that dares to open with four songs from its current album No Line on the Horizon, opening with the startling "Breathe" and the title track. This is an unprecedented move in the annals of stadium rock, give or take Elton John's disastrous presentation of his double album Captain Fantastic at Wembley in the mid-seventies. That U2 just about pull it off says a lot about their daring, their sense of danger and a good natured audience who join in on the big bad riff of "Get On Your Boots" and the chorus of "Magnificent" and are at full volume for "Beautiful Day."

But, it's the first night and guitarist the Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. make fierce eye contact as they struggle to lock into the chiming "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." Bono dedicates "Angel of Harlem" not to Billie Holliday, who inspired the song, but to Michael Jackson and ad libs his way through the late superstar's "Man In The Mirror" and "Don't Stop 'Till You Get Enough," and even Mullen cracks a smile.

The linkup with the astronauts on the International space Station currently orbiting the Earth 40 years on from the moon landing is the nod in the direction of past U2 extravaganzas like Zooropa and teeters briefly on the edge of the Popmart opening night debacle but when they hit the home run of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Where the Streets Have No Name" no band in the world can touch U2 when it comes to life-enhancing spectacle.

Thirty years on, the four Dublin friends still manage to transcend the limitations of stadium rock. After an emotional "With or Without You," they even finish with "Moment of Surrender," another one of the salient tracks on an album that was started just across the Mediterranean, in Morocco.

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Old 07-01-2009, 05:04 AM   #3
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Irish Times:

Brian Boyd

"Ground control to Major Tom," sang David Bowie as the four members of U2 walked onto the stage of Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium last night to begin their "360 Degree" world tour. It was a fitting choice of introduction: on this tour U2 are unveiling a revolutionary new stage design -- "the Claw" -- which looks like a spaceship held up by four spindly legs.

This configuration means there is no stage as such, allowing the band to play in the round. The impression you get is that the band are sitting in the palm of the audience's hand.

Waiting for night to fall in Barcelona so they could show off their impressive light show, the band didn't take to the stage until 10 p.m. local time but they were ecstatically received by a 80,000 crowd. Kicking off with a muscular "Breathe" from the new album, they then turned it up to 11 for "No Line on the Horizon," "Get On Your Boots" and "Magnificent."

Addressing the crowd, Bono welcomed all to "our space station" (meaning the Claw), saying "it looks like it was designed by Gaudi, but then this is Barcelona -- the capital of surrealism."

Digging into their back catalogue as the show progressed -- "Angel of Harlem," "Unforgettable Fire" (the song of the night) and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" -- Bono draped himself in the Irish flag for a stirring singalong rendition of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."

There was an affectionate nod to Michael Jackson, with Bono singing snatches of "Man in the Mirror" and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough."

With a giant video screen relaying all the action in precise detail, the band made full use of the walkways stretching out from the stage that brought them right in among the crowd. What strikes most about this new stage configuration is the clear sight lines and, for a stadium gig, it feels surprisingly intimate. It also helps that there are no banks of speakers on view -- they are all hidden in the Claw's legs.

Continuing with the Space Oddity theme, Bono broke off the music to mention how it was 40 years since man first walked on the moon. He then did a live link up with the International Space Station currently circling the Earth. Band members took turns to ask the astronauts questions -- including if they had seen any UFOs on their travels yet.

Never one to let an opportunity pass, Bono got one of the astronauts to sign up -- from space -- to his charitable ONE organisation.

With their previous two tours -- Elevation and Vertigo -- playing mainly in indoor arenas as they circled the globe, the 360 Degree tour is a throwback of sorts to the spectacle of the Zoo TV and PopMart tours. It's a big, bold rock beast of an affair.

Despite leaning heavily on the new album, No Line on the Horizon, at the front end of the show, the set list takes in songs from all their albums from The Unforgettable Fire onwards.

The recession wasn't far from their thoughts, with Bono saying "We know these are difficult times but we thank you for keep coming back and buying U2 tickets." He also thanked the concert promoters, Live Nation, "for paying the bills."

There are always going to be a few rough edges on a world tour's opening night but they should all be sanded down by the time 360 Degree hits Croke Park on July 24th, July 25th and July 27th. This is a great son et lumière experience -- an event, even -- which will beguile with its sense of giddy, space-age bravado as it traverses the globe. U2 have re-entered the orbit.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:05 AM   #4
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Belfast telegraph

Magnificent: U2 thrills Barcelona at Camp Nou

Belfast Telegraph, July 01, 2009

The waiting is over, the circus is rolling, and the verdict is: wow. After years of planning and months of preparation and practice, U2 got their 360 tour under way in Barcelona last night and stunned a sell-out crowd at Camp Nou with a spectacular show and a performance that perhaps only they could pull off — intimate despite the vastness of its setting.

Taking to the stage just after 10pm local time, Larry, Bono, the Edge and Adam immediately launched into Breathe from their new album, No Line On The Horizon, followed by the title track from the same record.

From there on in the balmy Catalan evening was pierced with Get On Your Boots, followed by the latest single, Magnificent.

Bono said that the aim of the show was to make “the audience like the fifth member of the band”.

Last night U2 triumphed in annexing the 90,000-strong crowd as Barcelona bounced, sang and danced to Dublin's finest. The much trumpeted Claw, the centrepiece of the show, drew the crowd in and the dedicated few who managed to secure a berth between the inner and outer stages were treated to unrivalled views of the band as they hurtled through their set list.

This offering drew mostly from the last decade, with eight of the 23 tracks drawn from before 2000.

Seven songs from the new record were included, and I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight was a standout. The audience was treated to a dance remix of the track, with Larry Mullen coming to the outer stage to play the bongos.

Returning to the stage for the encore, Bono was dressed in a black jacket fitted with red laser lights across the shoulders, the beams reaching to different corners of the stadium with his every move.

Camp Nou was completely dark, and the only visual accompaniment to Bono's lasers were streaks of light which were directed at, and bounced off, a giant disco ball which descended from the centre of the Claw.

The there was Larry Mullen's rotating drum kit, the bridges that swivelled around between the inner and outer stages like the hands of a clock, and the sheer sight of the Claw itself.

It took up almost half the length of the famed pitch, its legs reached to each sideline and its spear like centre even managed to peer out from the peaks of one of Europe's biggest stadiums.

It first creaked to life for Snow Patrol, the vast wraparound screen projecting the Northern Irish band's hits including Chocolate and Take Back The City, to a relatively small crowd which mushroomed as darkness fell.

“I bet everybody is wondering what the hell this is — me too,” lead singer Gary Lightbody said of the Claw.

Then it was U2's turn and the Claw unleashed itself in a blizzard of light and noise.

Walk On was dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese pro-democracy prisoner, as it will be every night on this tour.

Thousands of fans donned masks of Suu Kyi, as the band had requested. U2 play again in Barcelona on Saturday.

© Belfast Telegraph, 2009
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