U2 In Toronto

U2 is a huge band, perhaps the biggest in the world, and I knew this before seeing them Saturday night at the ACC in Toronto. Being the world's biggest band I knew people loved them. I knew people loved them before Petra and I met twin redheaded dudes from Belfast (now calling Bowmanville home) in The Irish Embassy who had seen all 13 U2 tours and still loved the hell out of the band even though they had met the band and thought Bono was "a wanker". But after seeing them live for the first time, I now know that people LOVE U2 LONG TIME.

During my time in Toronto I've seen plenty of shows at the Air Canada Centre, but the U2 crowd was by far the loudest yet. I thought the ear-piercing screams unleashed by the ladies at the Usher show when Mr. Raymond removed his shirt would be impossible to top, but I was wrong. Simply by making their appearance and launching into City Of Blinding Lights, they set off the loudest crowd response I've ever heard in that building. There were times near the beginning that I could barely hear Bono singing, which was kind of unreal.

It also sort of helps me to understand Bono a little more. Since their new album dropped, people have been hating on the guy, calling him Jesus for his campaigns to end world poverty. But he's been playing these shows, where 20,000+ people are hanging on his every word, for over 20 years, be hard for anyone not to develop a little bit of a god complex in that situation. After they played Love Peace Or Else and sequed into Sunday Bloody Sunday with Bono playing a drum on the front of the ramp and Larry Mullen kicking in after, Bono could've told the crowd to run outside and tear down the CN Tower. I'm thinking about %90 of the crowd would've headed for the exits.

Not to say I don't understand why Bono gets on the nerves. For the most part, he takes himself very seriously. To use Petra's description after the show "he's very dramatic". I'm the first one to admit that celebs telling people who to vote for and what charity to support drives me batty, but I can't front on Bono's results. He has unprecedented access to the world's most powerful people and is trying to do something positive with it. I doubt there's any other musician going who could've got private meetings with world leaders at the G8 summit.

But I'm not hear to defend U2 or try and convert people like Herohill's own Ack who hate the U2. We take shots at celebs when they're too self-absorbed and we take shots when they put themselves out there trying to help people, we're some hard f@ckers to please. I'm not even a huge U2 fan, I'll readily admit that the old songs are where it's at for me, but bottom line, U2 rocked out at the ACC in 2005, which is fairly impressive considering they debuted in 1980. Hard to think of many other bands that have started in the 80's and are still relevant.

@ 12:06 PM, c kicked the following game:

hey, nice post.
i probably fall into the worshiper camp, but i liked what you had to say from an objective perspective. long-time u2/bono fans take him with a pinch of salt. he's serious, but he is also very, very funny sometimes.i understand why some people take his ego the wrong way, but so much of it is a front, and is done with a wink and a smile. and no one can question that he lives life with humility in terms of serving others.
anyway, cool blog.


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