EDMONTON – 65 Thousand fans agree that U2 is just amazing. Someone would call them a miracle and others just plain amazing will do. The boys (as we like to refer to them) had a busy week. Their marketing machine was in full swing, this week they traveled by plane direct to the show – day of show – like true rock stars. Some fans have called the Edmonton show “The concert of the decade” which we would have to say that title was taken by the Brazil show a couple of months back.
Its been since 1997 when their last appearance was here. U2 remains timeless – 35 years of hits, moods, and tests of the holy sprit. U2 fans are not like other fans, oh sure we have heard that before about other fan bases, however the truth is that U2 fans dig deep and have passion for life, and love of people beyond space and time.
The stage is so massive it sets the tone for a intimate show
Bono was a loose and gangly presence, striding around the enormous spiraling catwalks and moving bridges over a sea of lucky fans in the inner circle as he serenaded the audience. He urged us early, “Come on, City of Champions!” Nice he got Edmonton’s nickname right this time. He talked about rugby, about “ice hockey,” which also seemed go over well with the crowd. He played with his melodies, pumped as much drama into his performance as he could – fully aware that all his flamboyant rock star moves could be taken as ironic. It doesn’t excuse excess, but it sure makes it a lot more fun.
Bono of course knows how to work his audience with a few references to Canada and even a well scripted invite of a female from the audience to recite the lyriices of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” Bono was in the zone, ready bring the passion and power to all those that waited to see them
U2 band took the stage around sunset to open with Even Better Than the Real Thing. Read into that what you want. The Edge’s distinctive chiming guitar led the way in I Will Follow, sounding as fresh as it did when it came out in 1980. Mysterious Ways brought the energy to an even higher level, something that would happen repeatedly throughout the night: Beautiful Day, Pride (In the Name of Love), Vertigo, each song much more than a mere song, but a stadium anthem that invites the mass singalongs that again are thrilling in themselves, just to be there. To elevate, as it were, rock songs into such grand and grandiose statements would seem absurd from anyone but U2.
Fourteen years since their last appearance in Edmonton, Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry have almost perfected the stadium rock experience. They’re not ashamed to make it as big as they possibly can – because that’s what we expect from these guys.