Wednesday, October 21, 2009

U2 @ Cardinal Stadium

Going into this, I knew right off that without a doubt... this is the biggest show I would ever see. There is no one bigger than U2. Their shows are always a huge ridiculous event. This show was no different. Absolutely epic!

I remember thinking when they built Cardinal Stadium (University of Phoenix Stadium)... that only two bands could possibly play there... The Rolling Stones and U2. There is reason a for it. Huge! These bands don't do anything small. The stage that U2 brought was insane! They call it the "Claw", and you can see why. Its a treacherous and bewildering creation. It stretched from one side of the floor to the other... and when it's not inside of a rectangle shaped football stadium, it is actually a 360 degree stage. There is giant video screen that wraps around the top of it, so it can be viewed from miles away... and there is a circular catwalk, accessible by moving bridges, that reaches well out into the crowd.

Walking out on to the floor for the first time, I couldn't help but feel like this was my first concert. I could argue that this was the first concert I've been to on this level. I actually took some video while I was walking to my shooting position. (I may post it shortly) Then once in position, all the other photogs were taking pictures and video of themselves as well. Everyone was equally blown away by where we were.

When the show started, it was just such a rush to see these people in person... Bono! The Edge! Crazy. It was so unreal that I didn't even notice what song they opened with. I was just so intent on getting the shots I needed.

The only thing I would say that could even be considered a 'let down', was the use of spot lights. Nearly the entire duration of the time I was allowed to shoot, the band was lit solely by spot lights... which just means, not the most exciting or interesting photos. But that aside, I had an amazing time. The show was just awesome. No one could possibly feel let down in the entire arena.

U2 more than any other band, I think, knows how to connect with the audience. It's pretty obvious when you consider the gigantic venue they played. But the way they deliver themselves to the crowd each tour, it's always new and exciting, and original... and they make damn sure they can get close to as many people as possible. Either by enormous video screens, and massively long catwalks. No one is doing it like them. And that's why they are at the top.

Plus a catalog jam packed with hits doesn't hurt.

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