U2 delivers message of hope, equality

Band displays experience despite venue issues


Fair use from U.S. Bank Stadium.

Casually strutting down the stem of his Joshua tree stage to his drum set, U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr. opened up with the ever-revealing drum rhythm intro to the band’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” Following suit, lead guitarist The Edge delivered his part in grand style. The mood was set.

The band delivered its typical world-class performance last Friday, opening with four classics before playing “The Joshua Tree” in its entirety to celebrate the album’s 30th anniversary. Ever seasoned professionals, the band transitioned smoothly and crisply into a frenzied finale of six classics, including audience favorite, “Beautiful Day.”

With a gigantic 200 foot screen behind them, U2 created eye-popping displays with previously recorded cinematics and cameras which captured live movements. Performing “Exit” with an intense close-up of Bono, the band emphasized the hectic beat of the song and flashing lights behind them to wow the crowd.

Lead singer Bono used the stage to spread a message of hope, asking the crowd to demonstrate tolerance and openness. Bono admired those who were volunteering to aid with hurricane relief and asked for the crowd to make donations to help as well. The band also spoke strongly for equal rights for women, emphasizing women’s role in ‘herstory’ through a slideshow of revolutionary women throughout their song “Light My Way.”

Although the band delivered another beautiful concert, U.S. Bank Stadium failed to showcase the band’s quality. Fans noted the echoey acoustics and long lines for expensive concessions. Bono himself made a sarcastic comment to start the show, claiming that the stadium was “beautiful” and the “sound was great”. It’s a stadium best suited for football games.

Although poor in sound, U.S. Bank allowed for a larger stage and light display for the band than other local venues, including The Xcel Energy Center or TCF Bank, where they played in the rain in 2011. These enormous structures helped effectively draw away some negative attention from the echoing music to the incredible on-screen images of The Edge playing guitar or Bono interacting with the crowd. A classic stadium rock tour.

The large venue allowed U2 to maximize the reach to fans of their “The Joshua Tree” tribute, while also spreading a message of hope and equality. Their experience as performing artists helped cover up the negatives of the venue, and in the end left fans satisfied with both the music and message brought by the band.