September 17th, 2009: Toronto (show 2) - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-18-2009, 12:45 AM   #1
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September 17th, 2009: Toronto (show 2)

First, I owe a huge thanks to a fan last night who, when I randomly asked a security person next to him about how to get a good spot in the GA, told me that he was only in the 5th row behind the railing and arrived around 4:30 pm or 5 pm. I followed his advice, arriving at 4:50 pm or so and was in the same spot. Thank you, good sir!

Oh, my poor feet!
The only draw back to GA, I've learned, is the intense pain to my ankles and feet. I didn't know if I could get through the night by 8 pm. It was so bad, even with 2 extra strength Advils, and the recommended dosage is just 1. Luckily I had enough room around me to, every several minutes, lift my legs and rotate my ankles. I also think that I've now forgotten the intensity of the pain. I think I went through the same thing with Radiohead last year in Montreal.

Possible DVD?
Saw cameras revolving around the stage the whole night and Bono was more explicit in his political statements than last night and thanked Universal at the end. There may just be a DVD involved.

I just wish he had used this to ask hard questions of Canada, as he did to the US and Europe when using Bullet the Blue Sky to refer to arms dealing. Canada and the US should at least question their role in Afghanistan. Bono said nothing about war, but mentioned Iran, which the US and Canada have never engaged in anything but a racist and belligerent way.

Bono thanked Harper again and I booed slightly with a thumbs down... 'cause PM Harper is an anti-Muslim, fascistic, anti-French Canadian bastard.

setlist highlights
So happy that Unforgettable Fire and Ultraviolet were played and that no one in my area knew them so they wouldn't sing along and I could actually HEAR Bono. I really love the acoustic version of "Stuck in a Moment" and was so upset I couldn't hear Bono over the din of obnoxious singers. Regarding the other songs, even though I've starved myself of U2 for 6 months or so, I could predict every note of the Joshua Tree singles, so I sadly got bored during those, even though I know that I really love those songs. Same with "One" and "Mysterious Ways."

HATE the remix version of I'll Go Crazy and Vertigo and don't care for City of Blinding Lights or Beautiful Day or Walk On or Get On Your Boots (except the "Let Me In The Sound" part)

The other new songs sound great, though. Really enjoy hearing those, which could bode well for my regard for the album in the long-term. "Breathe" is such a great opener and "Moment of Surrender" is such a cool closer, but Bono shouldn't start it with singing "Oh, oh, ooooh, ooohh, ooooh, oh". Just like on the album, he should allow the song to build more and then hit you in the face with his rough vocals: "I tied myself with wire!" Yeah, baby!

View from the GA
My view was amazing. I fluctuated between being in the 3rd row from the rail to the 5th, closer to Adam's side. Best of any concert I've ever attended, and it was due to my getting there 20 minutes or so before the gates opened and barely drinking anything all day so I didn't have to go to the washroom or feel like I was holding it in (as happened when I first saw "Lord of the Rings 1").

I gotta say that last night relied on the screen a lot and it was cool to see Bono gesticulating from afar, but seeing the guys up close was incredible. Bono looks in great shape; lucky guy still has all his hair; the rest of the band are in even better shape, as usual.

I didn't need no screen. Just an amazing view of most of the band members most of the time, especially Bono!

Dealing with people in the GA
My having a great view was also due to my asking the woman who drifted closer in front of me to please not lift her camera so high that it blocked my view. As a result, she kept it in front of her face; I'm so thankful that she did this.

This one guy who I met in line and saved a place in the GA when he went to the toilet, though, pissed me off because he kinda kept doing it. I went through hell saving his spot and he seemed like a decent guy but was pretty selfish; he was telling me how on the last tour he came late but nudged through every one to get to the front and I remarked that that wasn't nice laughingly, hoping he'd get the hint.

Anyway, so, minutes after crappy Snow Patrol finish their set and the guy leaves and asks me to save his spot, I feel this huge, fat and tall thug of a guy pressing into me, wanting to get in front. I told him I wouldn't because I'd been waiting for 3 hours and wasn't about to let him through if he hadn't been there before. I've been to too many concerts where selfish jerks come late and then push in and obstruct my view. Anyway, so the guy gets all confrontational trying to make me out to be the bad guy. It's bad enough when people save places for their friends, but this guy wasn't getting past me especially because he was tall. He accuses me of discriminating against him because of his height and how that could be okay. I said, "That's the whole point. You can see from where you are, but I won't if you go in front of me and if everybody did that, it would also push everyone who'd been standing for hours further back. It's not right. Guy won't shut up for half an hour, trying to intimidate me. The others around him were kissing his ass, but I felt much better when the shorter woman next to me reassured me that "he's a jerk." I hadn't seen him the whole 3 hours before and it was obvious he pushed his way through tons of people to get there and had no sense of shame about the whole thing.

In the past, I might have let it go and given in and had a crap time, but I stuck to my guns and I'm so happy I did because I had a great view and that thug raised his arms super high and filmed every damn thing, so I would have been doubly screwed.

I've noticed lots of tall guys with great views who feel the need to jut their arms high up to film stuff selfishly and the people behind them struggling to see. If they just said something, they might lower their arms, but we're always intimidated by those who enjoy the show a way that interferes with others' rights to do the same. We've all got to speak up.

The only other thing that bugged me was this guy behind me who sang really loudly and badly on a lot of hits, and I couldn't hear Bono. I know the band sometimes encourages it, but, if you think about it intelligently, you realize that a lot of this behavior is about being noticed. Why pay all this money and energy and time to go and listen to yourself. Why not LISTEN TO THE BAND in all the subtlety of that once in a lifetime performance?

I've noticed all those who videotape and take pictures of stuff are kinda shallow or, at least, shallow in their fandom. I remember this one young woman at a Cure show in Montreal last year who was obsessed with videotaping everything, but didn't care about the songs at all; she was disconnected and would talk to her friends and then leave for long periods of time, only to return and block the view of those behind her. I was so happy when security told her to put her camera away.

Are they really going to treasure all these crappy vids that are exactly the same on youtube or look at their crappy pictures? Even if they do, they should consider the people behind them who can't see. They were all gung ho during cheesy hits like City of Blinding Lights and great hits like Streets and With Or Without You, but were quick to get bored during the great, lesser known songs.

Your Blue Room was an example from last night, but so were the newer songs and Unforgettable Fire and Ultraviolet. I was so happy they shut up for those. The only annoying thing were these guys who talked into the first verse of Ultraviolet: "Fuck yeah!" "This is from Zooropa or, uh, Zoo TV." "blah, blah, blah". Shut up and listen or let me listen!

A revolutionary approach to making concerts about the performance.
There's this ridiculous notion in the pop rock community that listening quietly as people do in classical music concerts or at the opera is stiff and pretentious, but those who act obnoxiously at concerts, shouting "whoo" during the quiet parts of songs and singing and waving in attempts to be noticed by the band and those around them are the most forced, pretentious people of all. For them, it's all about their desires. For everyone to enjoy a show equally, we all have to exercise a bit of restraint. You don't have to prove your fandom by being loud and putting your arms up all the time. This is partly the fault of rock performers like U2 and The Cure who think people aren't having a good time unless they really prove it to them. I've never had a worse time than my first concert in 2004, when I was screaming and waving and couldn't remember a damn thing about the performance because I had exhausted myself. I had a great time tonight because I relaxed and tried to hear and watch the performance in all its subtleties. And my way of enjoying myself didn't interfere with anyone else's senses. I get the sense a lot of people at concerts would like it to be this way, but are afraid or think it's rude to fight for equal rights. We all have to do our part to make concert going more civil and actually about the performance and not some jackasses chance at getting drunk or proving they're louder than everyone else. Lipsynching can be fun, too.

Although most GAers were well behaved, I overall preferred the average person in the seats for shutting up.

Yeah, so I had a great night, all in all, though I would have preferred a less hits-driven setlist, and more political talk that actually might cause controversy among North Americans because it would actually involve us questioning our role in the world instead of just criticizing Third Worlders.
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:57 AM   #2
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awesome night @ toronto2!!!
first time at a U2 show though they're my favourite band. I did some research before i went and was ready to anticipate the set list a bit as well as be disappointed as many other fans here seemed to have been by this or that thing but, other than annoying tall people with cameras and obstructing my shots and the long exit after the show, i have to say it rocked! for me. loved all my fave classics being done as it was a first for me, loved how bono and the group were well in tune and spot on with their notes, hated sno w patrol's gay moments on the piano - that never got used during their set! (nothing about gays, just it's the best descriptor to buddy's almost humping the piano top and sharing the mic with another guy in the band - they were practically tonguing over the thing! lol)
i have red zone tickets but got way better places in the golden circle and was happy to have the wrist band for toilet and snack privileges. it was a great fun and memorable for my lifetime show. congrats to all others who got to or will get to see the tour.
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by robinbp View Post
awesome night @ toronto2!!!
first time at a U2 show though they're my favourite band. I did some research before i went and was ready to anticipate the set list a bit as well as be disappointed as many other fans here seemed to have been by this or that thing but, other than annoying tall people with cameras and obstructing my shots and the long exit after the show, i have to say it rocked! for me. loved all my fave classics being done as it was a first for me, loved how bono and the group were well in tune and spot on with their notes, hated sno w patrol's gay moments on the piano - that never got used during their set! (nothing about gays, just it's the best descriptor to buddy's almost humping the piano top and sharing the mic with another guy in the band - they were practically tonguing over the thing! lol)
i have red zone tickets but got way better places in the golden circle and was happy to have the wrist band for toilet and snack privileges. it was a great fun and memorable for my lifetime show. congrats to all others who got to or will get to see the tour.
Excellent. How did you get red zone tickets? The U2 fan club didn't say anything about that, when I was buying my tickets.

I'm so glad I'm not alone in the obstructing camera thing. You should try just to ask them politely. I find women much friendlier about it than men, though.

You're not alone in hating Snow Patrol. God, I had to sit through the ENTIRE setlist this time and it was mind-numbing. All their songs sound the same. They're like Coldplay and Keane. Just boring. U2 were playing lots of TV on the Radio over the speakers. How about getting them? Not a huge fan, but they'd be preferrable.
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:27 AM   #4
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what about the big (flat) screen that was behind the band but not used after the show began? at first i thought that snow patrol was allowed to use some of U2's stuff but not all but was surprised to see it not used after when U2 came on. for those close to the stage in the GA areas, the overhead screen is sometimes a backwards bend and with taller people and other stuff in front, not to mention the effects put in there, i felt like i maybe missed out on not having any screen to check out occasionally. although, i loved being where i was and could have moved... this is just for conversation/curiosity sake that i bring it up.
red zone tix i got at the auction that was also listed on the ticketmaster site. funnily, my BF replied to a scalper asking for tix that he'd sell his for 2G (2 thousand) and the guy wanted it!!! we would never have parted with the ticket but it was interesting to see how HOT they were to the scalpers!
i actually kinda like/tolerate snow patrol and have their 4 most known songs in my itunes but live... they were a downer of an opening group albeit, it could have been worse with someone else. marilyn manson was next door in the ACC, maybe we lucked out it wasn't him??? lol
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Old 09-18-2009, 04:00 AM   #5
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Another amazing show, way better energy from the crowd tonight. I was lucky and got in the inner circle both nights and it was insane how close I was. I think tonight was my 30th U2 show, and before the last 2 days I had never been this close.

Here is a pretty cool video I took with my iPhone of Bono bringing the lucky kid on stage.

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Old 09-18-2009, 04:27 AM   #6
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OMG, how cute. Lucky kid. He'll never forget it. Wow, I cried a bit.

I found one:

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Old 09-18-2009, 08:12 AM   #7
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Here is a pretty cool video I took with my iPhone of Bono bringing the lucky kid on stage.
You must have been right next to me...



Will gather my thoughts about my review. It is up there was one of the best concerts I have attended.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:04 AM   #8
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A much better show last night compared to Toronto 1 - and that was a good show too. But the stadium was much more full and the atmosphere was much more raucous. Strange that. It was the same in Chicago too - why is the second night better and louder than the first?

And it was a much better show despite quite a few sound problems. There seemed to be some occasional weird kind of interference or distortion in the sound, and the guitar sound fluctuated like a wave between being heard clearly and drifting away, at least where I was in the top tier directly in line with the front of the stage. The booming bass drum from Toronto 1 had gone too. Edge had a few probs with his guitars, I think during Magnificent, but most amusingly before Stuck when Bono had to improvise a little bit of spiel to fill for him. "Why am I talking to you like this? I'm waiting for the Edge, shall we check in on him?" Nice!

The crowd in my section didn't stand up till Mysterious Ways (knocking Beautiful Day off fifth song spot for the first time on the tour), and even then they sat down again after each song, only to be up on their feet immediately when the next song (another big hit) started.

Bono was again really working the audience between and during songs, continually ramping the atmosphere up. He had a lovely crowd-pleasing intro to ISHFWILF about how all these A-list Hollywood celebs who are in town for the film festival are only flirting with Toronto, "WE own this town, ours is a long-term relationship".

Although Bono did make one quite hilarious faux pas at the end of Unknown Caller when he tried to do his "Toronto, you know your name, so punch it in" bit, but what he said was "Chica- trona ..." and then improvised some new lyrics on the spot with a wry, awkward grimace on his face

He also managed to get the people in the apartment blocks overlooking the stadium involved during Stuck by asking them to switch their lights on and off if they were watching. Quite a few lights began going on and off. So he's now directing people outside the concert too! Stuck was amazing, I'm not a big fan of the song usually but it's superb live.

There was another lovely spontaneous moment at the end of Streets when all four band members ended up on Larry's little drum podium, producing this huge, epic stadium blockbusting sound whilst huddled together into a small space in the centre of the stage.

Bono brought a young boy onto the stage during CoBL for a little jog around the stage. At Toronto 1 the boy ran alongside Bono, last night he raced ahead, leaving Bono trailing in his wake. The boy then started out on a victory lap of honour but Bono called him back.

But a fantastic concert last night, when they're good they're very, very good.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:10 AM   #9
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He also managed to get the people in the apartment blocks overlooking the stadium involved during Stuck by asking them to switch their lights on and off if they were watching. Quite a few lights began going on and off. So he's now directing people outside the concert too!
This is awesome.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:18 AM   #10
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Chickatrona! Hooray, a new Bonoism is born!

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Old 09-18-2009, 09:43 AM   #11
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TO2 rocked, to1 was good TO 2 awesome.

The first 4 songs were the same, but there gremlins we in town. I htink the power supply went batty. At NO line on the HOrizon, The Big screen reset it self and went fully grey and the thing in the centre the organe thing was dark and the lights (martin roboscans) were all up in the reset position.

Anyway the band went into Mysterious ways and the calw lights were used exculisvely for this song.

I was chuffed, casue at TO1 Dallas was palying in furing the one hour check between snow patrol and U2 but they dint play it. Then in the GA line yesterday at the two soundckes, first they playes Mysterios ways and then in the later one new years day.

ISHFWILF was dedicated to Daniel Lanois

At Unknown caller, the audio gremlins came in to say hello with a big buzz epecially on Bonos microphone and on the edges guitar.

At one point sone one form GA gave the band a irish Flag which Bono Draped on the bridge.

The crowd was on fire chanting Edge Edge Egde and then the band went into Tuck in a Moment. Bono stopped before the end so the ga crowd in my area (Adams side in the ring) Does the I was unconcious hald asleep waters warm.... and then like Bono and Edge continue.

COBL Bono gets a kid on stage and runs on the ramp with him and at one point puts his glasses on the kid.

Vertigo, Corwd is on Fire, Uno Doze Trez Quartoze, and Bono belts the song off picth for some reason and then at the Hello Hello part gets back to regular pitch.

some where during the show Bono tells the people in the tall buildings that over look the stadium to turn thier lights on and off and tthe GA (Adams side) which can see the buildings chant as well and some of those tall building folks do flash thier lights it was so cool.

Rock the cashbah hehehehe NOw that was something. Our side of the rial was sining like crazy and dancing like crazy. BUt it was pakced in the GA in the ring you could not move i was on the rail and it was a crush. I dont get people who need to come in and out to go get beer then pee. This older lady (about 45) had like 4 beers and then at 8:45 decide to puke shes about 4 people in front of me its a mess. we had to get security who called emergency who had to take her out, thats why the show started at 9 and not ay 8:45 like TO 1

We had all these poeple who could not ake the smoke who were leaving and that is who the Ga out side got empty.

Great Show Bono was really in the mood and i htink he wanted to play an extra sone but it was 11:15 and they had to stop.

On a side note the minutet he conert got ovre there ust have been lik over a 100 local crew who were tearing things down it was quite insane.

1. Breathe
2. No Line On The Horizon
3. Get On Your Boots
4. Magnificent
5. Mysterious Ways
6. Beautiful Day
7. Elevation
8. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For/ Movin On Up(Snippet)
9. Unknown Caller
10. New Year's Day
11. Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
12. The Unforgettable Fire
13. City Of Blinding Lights
14. Vertigo
15. I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight(Remix)/ Two Tribes(Snippet)
16. Sunday Bloody Sunday/ Rock The Casbah(Snippet)
17. MLK
18. Walk On
<Desmond Tutu Speech>
19. One/ Amazing Grace(Snippet)
20. Where The Streets Have No Name

Encore
21. Ultraviolet(Light My Way)
22. With or Without You
23. Moment Of Surrender
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:47 AM   #12
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BoMac sings a lot worse than he looks. So, he's just a pretty face.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:51 AM   #13
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Mia I came and looked and met quite a few interferers who were qued up but they told me about your care etc. Hope your ok. I didnt go to jack Asstorsa, my feet were really sore and wife was tired too so we deicded tocall it a night and headed home.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:53 AM   #14
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thanks, man. i'm fine. they took my possessions, but not my spirit
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:54 AM   #15
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thanks, man. i'm fine. they took my possessions, but not my spirit
it could have been worse Mia, you could have had to put up with rude people in GA who dared to sing too loudly or get excitied in any way
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