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Old 05-15-2015, 01:02 AM   #1
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Thoughts after watching opening night?

I feel a bit apprehensive in posting this, given that my experience of opening night was via Periscope, and perhaps someone who was actually there can weigh in and (hopefully) tell me I am way off base. But, here goes......

I really enjoyed the show. The screen is amazing, but seems underutilized. Cedarwood Road was THE highlight for me. I'm surprised they didn't do more of that.

I liked the setlist, but then I like SOI. And of course I expected the classics, so no feelings of disappointment there. The band was rusty and it showed, but they will improve.

I have to ask, however, did anyone else completely miss the whole "innocence and experience" theme of the show? If I hadn't read about this prior I would have never picked up on it. It seemed to be there at the start, but quickly faded fast, and I felt like most of the show was more or less the same general vibe and feel as Elevation, Vertigo, and 360.

I did not hear or notice two "acts". I did not pick up on the whole "divide the audience in two with the screen and then bring them together". I liked the show, and the setlist, but I just missed the entire theme. Again, maybe that's just because I was not there, but I just thought it would have been much more apparent, even when viewed via web stream.

The greatest U2 tours have had a very strong theme. A theme so strong that even the classic songs adapt to the theme (think Streets during Popmart or RTSS on ZooTv). I thought 360 was really going to embrace the outer space theme fully, but it always seemed very much in the background.

I just didn't hear or see the theme in this opening night ie show that they have been talking about. Maybe that will change as they adjust and refine the tour. Maybe not. U2 is still my favorite band and this tour is very promising. Here's hoping they embrace the theme, fully utilize that incredible screen, and keep a heavy rotation of the SOI songs throughout the entire tour.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:08 AM   #2
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Forget the setlist, they have a lot of work to do on the basics. Bono was especially forgetful tonight. I've never seen him forget the lyrics to Streets before.

No point in judging the stage design and lighting until you're there.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:15 AM   #3
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Interested to know how Invisible sounded. Did it kick some ass like it should have?
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:15 AM   #4
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I didn't tune into the video feed...what was the crowd reaction like throughout the show? Any serious lull?
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:19 AM   #5
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This show seemed raw and full of mistakes, but that's opening night U2 time after time.

Bono desperately needs to reconsider his delivery of EBW. He’s struggled to sing it every performance so far, and that is exacerbated by placing it in the middle of an already demanding set. Sorry, but the notes toward the end crossed the line from “emotionally raw” to “cringe inducing.”

The screen looks phenomenal, and I think they’ve struck a good compromise between intimacy and innovation.

The second half of the set was rather confused seeming… like they took parts of concerts from their past and hit “shuffle”. It didn’t always work, at least from my armchair audience perspective. The remixed EBTTRT, for instance, is a song that should open parts of a set. Having it directly follow another song seemed a bit jarring.

What they need most is one or two long-missed tunes to complement the other songs old and new. A moment akin to what “Ultraviolet” or HMTMKMKM were to 360 would make lots of difference.

Overall, the real tell for this tour will be how it uses its 2nd, 3rd, 4th nights and so on in each city. 1st nights likely will always be U218 with a bit of SOI mixed in. Subsequent nights would be terribly wasted, however, if they didn’t fetch some relative obscurities.

Such a treat to watch this live, though. Nearly four years is a long time without reading setlist parties!
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by LemonMelon View Post
Forget the setlist, they have a lot of work to do on the basics. Bono was especially forgetful tonight. I've never seen him forget the lyrics to Streets before.
That floored me!
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:22 AM   #7
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They have to work a few things out, but I'm sure the shows will get better. 69 more shows to go...
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:23 AM   #8
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So, what's the deal with the supposed obstructed views in the upper seats? I'm thinking now that they designated those tickets as such because they're in the middle of the arena and would therefore make it rather difficult to see the video screens as you could be looking right down the runway instead of straight at them...then again, you figure audiences on the floor level seats in those areas would have the same problem to some extent, not to mention GA fans having a hard time craning their necks to see the big light shows...

Did anybody view the show from the cheap seats or have an idea as to what the "obstruction" turned out to be?
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:27 AM   #9
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They have to work a few things out, but I'm sure the shows will get better. 69 more shows to go...
They clearly needed a few more weeks of rehearsals based on what we were hearing over these last few weeks. It's like they cobbled together the setlist based on what they knew they could manage to eek out over the first night. If you look at the amount of practice time that each track was actually given, quite a few of them barely had much of a run-through, probably since Bono's voice could only take so much.

I think they honestly do have a plan to chuck in a lot more rarities and that's evidenced by them trying out some of these other rare tunes during the rehearsals. The problem is that there clearly wasn't enough time to pull it off. Yet.

For now, this sort of set is what we're likely to see for some time as the band clearly hasn't even readied all of their typical live suspects given a lot of problems that went down tonight. One wonders if they'd have had more songs prepared had not so much time been spent trying to rework sections of SBS and Bullet, for example.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:30 AM   #10
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Some bits were a little shaky but seems clearly a better opening night than Popmart, and maybe even Vertigo. Hell even on 360 they had to start One over 2 minutes in. But from what I saw the show seemed great. There are some pacing issues, slow song, fast song, slow song..but those kinks need to be ironed out over the next few gigs. After seeing how incredible Invisible and Even Better were inside that screen it made me think maybe the show should open that way. But having said that, I didn't see the opening with Miracle, just heard it. I think Every Breaking Wave should open the encore, so Bono's voice is fresh for it. I love The Troubles, but I really don't think it's a live song, seemed to fall a little flat for the crowd. But if the band was worried that maybe people wouldn't know the new songs that should be put to bed, Iris had a crowd singalong and Wolves got a big reaction. Overall, I'd say lose Troubles, add California to the first set. And move EBW so Bono has time to rest his voice before it starts.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BigMacPhisto View Post
They clearly needed a few more weeks of rehearsals based on what we were hearing over these last few weeks. It's like they cobbled together the setlist based on what the knew they could manage to eek out over the first night. If you look at the amount of practice time that each track was actually given, quite a few of them barely had much of a run-through, probably since Bono's voice could only take so much.

I think they honestly do have a plan to chuck in a lot more rarities and that's evidenced by them trying out some of these other rare tunes during the rehearsals. The problem is that there clearly wasn't enough time to pull it off. Yet.

For now, this sort of set is what we're likely to see for some time as the band clearly hasn't even readied all of their typical live suspects given a lot of problems that went down tonight. One wonders if they'd have had more songs prepared had not so much time been spent trying to rework sections of SBS and Bullet, for example.
In the same way I think the gap between 360 legs really changed things for the show, the gap between this 2015 leg and the 2016 leg will do the same. I look forward to the band refining the set and really tightening up on their sound.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:32 AM   #12
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I started watching Periscope at the end of Desire. From other posters it seems that's the point when things got disjointed.

I enjoyed Sweetest Thing and bringing a girl up to film it. The Hands bit was cool.

Once Wowy kicked it in the rest felt like a legacy act. BD is an old song now. COBL doesn't need to be there every night. California would be a cool start to the encore.

ISHF isn't a great closer. The ending felt like the awesome college town band wrapping up a set at a bar.


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Old 05-15-2015, 01:34 AM   #13
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I started watching Periscope at the end of Desire. From other posters it seems that's the point when things got disjointed.

I enjoyed Sweetest Thing and bringing a girl up to film it. The Hands bit was cool.

Once Wowy kicked it in the rest felt like a legacy act. BD is an old song now. COBL doesn't need to be there every night. California would be a cool start to the encore.

ISHF isn't a great closer. The ending felt like the awesome college town band wrapping up a set at a bar.


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COBL was one of the highlights of 360 for me. It seemed weirdly dull tonight, but if they can get that energy back, I'd really like to see it stay.

(And I'm not even a huge fan of the song, but it was somehow just so great at 360.)
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:36 AM   #14
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For the most part, the last half of the show reeks of a band that is under-rehearsed and trying to win everybody back by playing numbers that they can play with ease and draw a big reaction from concert goers. I agree with Oregoropa that COBL doesn't need to be there every night, for example. It's like they freaked out and just chucked a bunch of numbers at the end that they figured would go ever well, even if there's no need for all of them to be in the setlist, and they lack any real flow or unity.

Closing with Still Haven't Found is a pretty big cop out. It's the number that requires the absolute least effort from all four band members and is usually just a crowd sing-along. It's a cheap way to chuck in a massive hit and let the audience do most of the work for song #24. So, if they're running on fumes by that point, they don't have to worry about actually performing a 24th song.

And it's obviously clear that they never had time to really work out the setlist whatsoever. They started going for something with the first part of Set #1, but then time literally ran out and we saw them just cobble together what they could in order to be ready for dress rehearsal and opening night.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:43 AM   #15
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Just back to hotel. Typed long response and lost it. Best opener I've seen (out of 3, 1997, 2005 and this). Invisible was great. No need to wait for GA. Everyone moved around so much on floor there was tons of great spots super close. I will try and get a video up.
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