12/06/2010 12:22:00 am

U2 and all that

Posted by Tom French |

The last that you all heard, I was on my way down to Melbourne to watch U2. I was going because I'm on camp in a week which is when U2 is in Sydney and I love U2 so much I didn't want to miss them.

It was also an excellent opportunity to hang out with David and Andreana. I was especially looking forward to hanging out with Andreana because I feel like I don't know her very well. And seeing as she's marrying one of my oldest friends, I reckon like I should at least know a little of who she is. I learnt that she works in a uni and quite likes rain coats, so I feel it was a successful fact finding mission.

I was worried it would be rainy, and Melbourne did its best to meet expectations. I arrived in wet Melbourne after a reasonably normal plane flight. I did sit next to a girl on the plane and I thought "Maybe we will have a conversation and fall in love", but then I found out she lived in Melbourne and wasn't that keen on U2 - two strikes, she's out.

I met David once I hopped off the airport bus, we checked the line at Etihad Stadium and decided it'd be too hard to sneak Andreana in, plus we'd get wet and miserable, so we left to watch a movie. We watched Due Date which was funny, but not amazing. It won't change your life.

Soon it was time to get Andreana from her work that the cathedral of learnings, so we bought some creepy $9 raincoats and went and found her.

We lined up at the stadium for about 45 minutes I reckon, and then we were let in. It was pretty easy. Once in, we got ourselves a spot about 10 meters from the stage's second catwalk. Not bad for turning up at 4:30pm. I reckon it was around then the rain let up, and we were dry for the rest of the night.

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Bored at U2 in our dooby $9 raincoats

Inside the stadium there was just a lot more waiting to be done. Eventually we were given a countdown till Jay-Z, the support act. That was a nice touch. Everyone loves an over sized clock.

Jay-Z was superb. I've never been a big fan, but I always knew he had talent. Watching him and his band was pretty awesome. His band were tight, and brought the funk, and he knew how to engage the crowd. He was massively better than Kanye supporting U2 in '06. I reckon I might even get an album. If you're going to see U2 in Sydney, get his best of before you go, you'll thank yourself.

Once he was done it was back to more waiting.

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Counting down

Finally the second countdown clock we were shown dramatically fell apart, Bowie got piped though the stadium and U2 arrived on stage to masses of sound and lights. The stage is huge. They call it the claw. It is quite impressive. It's looking a little tired, like it's been around the world, which it has. But they utilise the space well, every part of it plays a function throughout the show. Lights, smoke, tv, everywhere. Special.

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The band were in good form. Although, I am such a fan, I'd probably always think they played well. They did many of the classics you'd expect from a U2 concert. Until the End of the World was fantastic, with it's usual sense of theatrics, which also made me wonder about whether or not U2 think Judas was saved. They did a fantastic rearrangement of I'll go Crazy if I don't go Crazy Tonight. Plenty of drums and bass. Jay-z was brought out for Sunday Bloody Sunday, who added a nice rap interlude, but meant that we couldn't pump out fists and shout "No more!". Bono did talk to us about AIDS and Burma but the show was pretty light on for politics, compared to say, the Vertigo tour.

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I think my favourite moment of the night was I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. People have often said going to a U2 concert is a spiritual experience, and it is. In this song I had one of the most significant musical worship moments I've had this year, certainly the most significant I've ever had at a concert. I was there, arm outstretched, eyes closed, singing loud. It feels a little odd singing a gospel song with thousands of others knowing that most people are not singing to Jesus, but it still feels good. I was quite happily then more in awe of Jesus than I was of any rock band, even if I was watching the greatest rock band in the world.

It certainly was a concert worth going to. And going to Melbourne and hanging out with David and Andreana was a trip worth doing. Hooray for being rich and being able to enjoy these many undeserved blessings.

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I believe in the kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
Well yes I'm still running

You broke the bonds and you
Loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Of my shame
You know I believed it

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

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