U2 Rocks 55K Fans at Scott Stadium

So how to you get up close and personal with your fans? Well if your U2 that’s pretty easy you build a massive round stage beneath a colossal contraption called “the Claw.” Then you invite 55,000 fans to the University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium to deliver a rock show on this scale that has never been seen before.

If you have been following along you know that the tour currently supporting the band’s 12th studio album “No Line on the Horizon,” the boys played on a The stage, designed to offer the crowd a view from any angle, looked a bit like one of those pincers that grabs stuffed animals inside vending machines at Big Lots. U2’s version, of course, was much, much bigger.

“We’re making a space jump,” Bono told the crowd, with a nod to the band’s vaguely alien-looking stage. “We built this thing and been to all kinds of interesting places. We built it to be closer to you.”

Somewhat surprisingly, Bono had a point. Despite the stage’s size, its innovative 54-ton cylindrical video screen gave a clear and intimate view of Bono, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr.

At a few points in the show, Bono referenced Charlottesville’s ties to a certain founding father.

“We hold these truths to be self evident,” he sang during “Beautiful Day.” “A pledge of honor to America, to freedom, to the whole world.”

He also asked the crowd: “Where is Mr. Jefferson? Is he in the house?”

The show marks the third concert at Scott Stadium. In 2001, the Dave Matthews Band played, followed by the Rolling Stones in 2005.

Thursday night’s show drew fans from all corners of Virginia and beyond.

Twitter Fans at the concert posted comments such as “It’s remarkable;” Four people can draw 60,000 people and fill up a football stadium.”

After two encores, two hours, eleven minutes, and seventeen seconds, and “close to a full house,” according to Wilson, the spectacle was over. Immediately after the lights lifted and fans began pouring out, crew members started tearing down the stage.

During the middle of the show, Bono paused to introduce the band he has played with for years– but for Charlottesville, he tailored the intros to fit the college-town atmosphere: the Edge was the nerd, Larry Mullen, Jr was the athlete and team captain, Adam was the lady’s man, all while Bono still had “a lot to learn.” But if the greatest pop-rock tour of all time still has to find time to study, Charlottesville’s music aficionados might have quite a bit of cramming to do.

Tweeter Feedback:“Spectacle” may have been the buzzword of the night, but somehow the production that was U2, the famed four-piece pop-rock act that took the stage at UVA’s Scott Stadium Thursday, never quite became spectacular.“There was even less energy than in DC”

If U2 is just past their prime, then Muse can still look forward to theirs. The 360 Tour, however, hits them at very rich times in their careers. The song cataloges are long and getting longer, performance traits have been developed and worn in and the stage does a lot of the talking. “I feel like I have more to learn,” Bono said. “And I’m going to learn it with these three men.”