Saturday, May 13, 2017

U2 Joshua Tree Tour

My nephews, Graeme, Andrew, and Alan and my sister in law Adell gave me U2 tickets for my birthday. Laura and I have been so looking forward to this. We’d loved U2 in concert when we saw them here a few years back.
Getting to the concert was it’s own adventure. The Vancouver Taxis as usual were not available on the weekend. The city really does need Uber.  We wasted a half hour waiting and then finally opted to take the bus.  Apparently the bus services are more reliable.  I was driving my truck and it’s a tad too big for Vancouver on a friday night.    I got to take my annual bus ride adventure.  Laura rides the bus daily to an fro work so it wasn’t so exciting for her. It reminded me of my student years and youth, and bussing when I’m travelling.  I remembered we'd taken the bus to then first concerts I attended.   I didn’t have a car when I saw those great early concerts like Lead Zeappelin, Iron Butterfly, Pink Floyd, and Guess Who.  Come to think of it,  back then , I might have thought a car a psychedelic ostrich.   Half the people on the bus seemed dressed to party . When the bus stopped we all seemed to be headed for the concert. .
The line up area was chaos.  It was a scene of increasing bedlam.   Security was necessarily tight, people getting frisked and bags checked but that really was done efficiently. The confusion was way before that.  Once inside everything was fantastic.  Our seats were directly in front of the screen but I was glad I’d brought binoculars.  BC Place is huge. U2 and Fleetwood Mac that last concerts I’d attended in Vancouver had been in the smaller Roger’s Stadium.  Vancouver really is blessed with huge venues.
When Mumford and Sons began to play the place was only half full. Everyone else still outside mulling about. It was odd to be in a concert in daylight too. After the long dark winter the light is still a surprise.
Mumford and Sons were fantastic.  Laura thought the singer  was Bono. I had the binoculars told her these guys looked in their thirties.  Either they were someone else or the whole of the band had cashed in on some kind of youth elixir.
“No,” Laura said, “Bono and Edge are ageless. They never get old.”  She told me loved listening to their records in the eighties after she put her kids to bed. That’s when I first fell in love with U2 too. Danny Donahue the great Winnipeg musician and producer waxed poetic about their ‘wall of sound’ and incredible rhythms.  Danny was so far ahead of the curve on what was great music.
Mumford and Sons was a favourite of friends in Parksville,  psychologist Marion, now living in Mexico.  She also had one of these great ears for music, registering talent early.
Mumford and Sons  are incredible. A truly original sound. They’d started as more of a folky group and graduated to this big stadium sound . Here I appreciated most the maturity of their voices and the way they filled the auditorium with their music.
I had trouble believing they were Mumford and Sons when we learned that after the first song. Laura and I  couldn’t believe we’d lucked out with 2 such great bands on the same ticket.  Laura told me that a friend had told her she was going to hear Mumford and Sons and she’d replied that she was going to hear U2. Her friend was coming for Mumford and Sons not U2 as we were coming for U2.
On Facebook we learned that a half dozen of our friends were here and one of our favourite people somewhere very near us.  We exchanged locations with one group.    I could tell how close some others others were from the view of their photos they took so similar to my own.
When Mumford and Sons finished a great set dusk was setting in and the place was finally packed. Celtic Crazy.
U2 exploded onto the stage with their famous wall of music , Edge on guitar and Bono rocking lyrics, He really has a powerful soothing voice, Everyone was on their feet.  The girls in front of us like most people only sat down for the lullabies. Everyone was dancing. It’s that kind of moving music.  Alright I was up and dancing too but I wasn’t waving my arms about in the air.  I save that for church gospel.  Here it was full body boogey to U2 and everyone was doing it.
I usually try to get up close but this view gave me that sense of the whole thing as  theatre.  It’s perspective. I liked watching the hundreds people thick immediately in front of the stage. They were constantly moving, everyone with their hands in the air.  Where we were was perfect for the huge screen, the musicians like Lilliputian people were in front of this.  That huge screen took up half the width of the stadium.  I love best the movie of the road back ground to the incredible ‘town with no name.”  The joshua tree was perfect. The Salvation Army Band was brilliant.
Typically Bono did his famous activism bit.  The power of the people.  The celebration of women so wonderfully Irish.  My mother would have liked Bono.  He credited a French producer for the following  movie back ground of Syrian refugee camp. U2 is about love and freedom.  I really loved the U2 show.  It’s truly was an extravaganza event with visuals as original as the music.  Stadium  art on huge scale. Even in the intermission between Mumford and Sons and the U2 there had been large screen freedom poetry.  The tribal in the celtic tradition resonated with aboriginal. The music was everywhere. Every nook and crook and cranny was filled with U2 sound.  
Too soon it was over.  Laura was happy. I was thankful to the family for a terrific gift. It wasn’t too difficult to get out. I bought Laura a U2 hoodie and myself a black U2  t-shirt, A change from the black Harley t shirts I normally wear.  I downloaded Mumford and Sons, Wilder Mind album and  U2 Joshua Tree from iTunes as we slowly moved with the crowd to the door.  The U2 concert album will be available June 2.  I couldn’t help but notice everyone really was in good spirits after the show.  Lots of radiant smiling faces.  Probably helped along by U2, “it’s a beautiful day’ number.
And we caught the bus right away.
Pretty soon we were back at Laura’s. Gilbert, the cockapoo was so glad to see us, like we’d been away for days not hours.  While I gave him his late night walk I reflected on the experience.  Wild really.  Thousands of people gathered for this great light and sound extravaganza.  Lots of grey and white hairs like me. But a whole lot of children and lots of young people.  U2 and Mumford and Sons attraction spans three generations.  Amazing.

No comments: