I went to see U2 at the Prudential Center in Newark last night. I’ve been a fan of them for a long time, but had never seen them live. It was a little weird, since the friend I was supposed to go with couldn’t make it, so I went by myself. My seat was in the very last row of one of the “nosebleed” sections, basically as far from the stage as you can get. I’m glad I went though. It was a very theatrical show, with a lot of video stuff and big ideas and a loose narrative of sorts. (Maybe a bit of a muddy narrative, but still, points for effort.) Here a link to the set list. Lots of stuff from the new album, and a handful of “greatest hits.” That worked for me: I like the last two albums a lot. And I don’t mind hearing them play the older stuff either.
There’s some stuff in the show that could induce a little eye-rolling, but if you check your cynicism at the door and give them the benefit of the doubt, you can come out of the show feeling pretty good about things. It’s a been a rough week, news-wise, and U2 doesn’t shy away from addressing that in their shows, but it all ends in hope and catharsis, if you let it.
I do feel like this is probably the only time I’m going to see U2. I’m getting old enough that going to a show like this takes a lot out of me. I limited myself to water (no beer), left early so I could catch the 11pm train, and used earplugs, and I’m still feeling a bit messed up today.