Last night U2 brought their Joshua Tree 2017 Tour
to Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey
for the first of two consecutive sold out shows. I had
just bought myself a resale ticket (side stage, row 9)
late in the afternoon and from the moment I entered
the gate, I knew this was a good decision on my part.
The band presented their epochal Joshua Tree album
live in its entirety. The full running order of the album
was played start to finish as the centerpiece of a show
which began with a group of older songs and closed
with a selection of newer ones... crowd pleasers mostly.
U2's ability to engage, excite and involve
60,000 people is as acute as it was 30 years ago.
Watching from a vantage point where I could really
only see the performance (and not so much of the
visuals on the giant scrolling monitors) made clear
the point that while technology is an element they
use well, production doesn't supersede performance.
Also evident was the band's keen ability to make
a giant venue feel intimate with sound and gesture.
Late in the show, a fan held up an
American flag emblazoned with the
words "Love & Kindness". Bono, in turn,
helped hold it aloft to show all those present.
Pre-show, the already beautiful vibe of
the evening had been boosted by the sweet
surprise of running into some friends from
high school. I wonder who I'll see tonight as
I've just decided to go back for a second dose.