Monday, March 10, 2008

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

I forgot to write about it last week, but the gang and I saw U2 3D on Wednesday. If this could become a regular-type event -- Metallica 3D! Dave Matthews Band 3D! Hell, Regina Spektor 3D! -- I would fully support that and pay for them gladly. The 3D effects were gorgeous -- they made Captain Eo look like Burned. And the camera work itself is spectacular, giving all sorts of views and angles you'd never see, even in other concert films. (The bird's-eye view of the drumkit, in particular, was quite good.)

The problem with the thing, it turns out, is U2. Now, don't get me wrong: I love U2. And watching them play on the big screen is incredible, and certainly far cheaper than buying a ticket and going to a show myself. They're so ubiquitous on the radio, taking over both contemporary and classic stations, that their music becomes almost pop culture wallpaper at times, and the film is a reminder of just how great songs like "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "One" really are. And these four guys have lost none of their chops as musicians -- one can't walk away from this without thinking very highly of the Edge, whose contributions are highlighted.

But all of the U2 is weighed down by, well, all of the U2!!! With all those great songs comes a great big sack of showy, pompous theatrics. This isn't an intimate evening with the group -- they're not an intimate band, and the big lights and cheese wear pretty thin over an hour and a half. I mean, I guess I can excuse Bono poking his hand at the camera once in a while -- it is 3D, let 'em show off -- but I'm not sure I needed Adam Clayton's bass neck thrust at me every few minutes. And then there's the goofiness of the concert itself: "Bullet the Blue Sky" features Bono blindfolding himself, stumbling around the stage, and setting off an incendiary. If it's supposed to be anything other than corny and stupid, I missed it. And though it looked rather impressive, the avalanche of superimposed words and phrases that covered "The Fly" came off more unintentionally comic that anything else.

And then there's the baffling set list -- they played "Yahweh," but not "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"? "Love and Peace or Else," but not "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of"? "Miss Sarajevo"?!

All in all, a positive (if frustrating) experience. If you get a chance, check it out. If nothing else, you'll get to keep your 3D glasses for whenever the next one comes around -- I'm voting for Radiohead 3D. That would be trippy.

Now playing: U2 - The Fly
via FoxyTunes

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