I'm a U2 fan. No, that's not right. I'm a HUGE U2 fan. Ask anyone at our company. The chances of walking into my office and hearing them blasting out of my speakers are very, very good. I caught six shows the last tour and would have kept going but my business partner would have probably killed me. That said, I know it was the best concert he too witnessed (10.17.05) in 2005 if not ever. U2 is a band you simply DO NOT miss in concert.
When my friend Peter Shapiro invited me to a special show at the Dolby Theater in NYC last night I scrapped every plan on the schedule (meaning - I broke an engagement with my couch and remote control). The theater can't seat more than 200 people. I've only seen them play stadiums, arenas and under the Brooklyn Bridge (thank you MTV) so the experience was already special. My two lucky friends joined and off we went to see U2. Fucking U2!
The crowd outside of the venue was buzzing with energy. After all, at 10PM U2 was taking stage for the first time in a while. Time between tours feels like an eternity for U2 fans. If you've ever seen them (even once) you know what I'm talking about. When the doors opened the crowd rushed the theater to take their seats. This wasn't reserved seating - it was stadium style. You know, the style that use to crush fans and start riots? Fortunately there were no such accidents and we scored some premium seats. 10:05 lights dropped. Crowd screaming and clapping, U2 took the stage.
Wait - did I mention this was a video performance?
What I witnessed last night can only be described as the coolest theater experience of my life. I can't count how many concert films I've watched over the years. Some amazing - some not so amazing. As a company (CONCERT.TV is a television network dedicated to this material) we stand by our view that REPLACING the physical experience of seeing a concert is hard (if not impossible) and not our mission. Live music television is entertainment, an incentive to go see a show and a way to see artists actually performing their music. U2 3D has challenged that position. I felt like I was at a U2 show. Had I been standing instead of sitting and drinking a beer instead of water I very well could have been at the Garden. It was that good.
I'm not a techie. I'm not fluent on 3D HD technology. All I can say is that the technology creates the most amazing audio/visual experience you will ever witness. Forget those paper glasses you wore at Friday The 13th 3D or on cheesy amusement park rides in the past. The impression of 3D HD is surreal. You seriously feel like you're part of the experience.
When Bono sings to the camera - it kind of freaks you out. It feels like he's going to grab you. Larry Mullen's drum kit is around you and you feel like you're sitting with him while he plays. It even brought Adam Clayton to life in a completely different way. Sorry, I always have to dig on bassists. But the most amazing part of the experience is the sound. The Edge's guitar is in your ear and the quality is beyond belief. Even the crowd noise (brilliantly mixed into the film) was as if you were standing with them. It's insane. I got every tingle in my spine that I get when I see them in person.
Our theater audience felt like it was transported into a crowd of 100,000... only we had better seats than everyone. Run - don't walk - RUN to see U2 3D. Like their analog tour, I'm pretty certain I'll see this show a few times.
Well done Peter.
New Year's Day
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
Love and Peace
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet the Blue Sky
Pride (In the Name of Love)
Where the Streets Have No Name
With or Without You
Written by Michael Shimbo