U2ube – 5/6

Suggested listening – U2 on YouTube

U2 on YouTube: 10 million live streams
U2 on YouTube: 10 million live streams

One – Bono again sports the guitar but doesn’t strum for a while.  I’ve seen this song performed a few hundred times.  This, honestly, is just one more.  Nothing special.  The Edge plays a little lick after the first chorus, but that’s about it for musicianship.  This is choreography.  Unless you haven’t heard the song in ages, or you can get past the faux sentimentality it breeds under mood lighting, it’s not much.  I wish I felt something, but the core of this song’s been undermined by celebrity and pop culture.

Amazing Grace – Bono looks like he’s finger-picking on that green Gretch.  It’s actually pretty fantastic.  I really buy it.  “One” really made me feel emotionally cheapened, but this kind of turns it around.

Where the Streets Have No Name – Another favourite song.  Best version is on the “Go Home” DVD, where Bono just opens his soul and the song comes out.  The cameras go panoramic, though, showing the Rose Bowl crowd, and I start to doubt the sincerity I thought I saw in Amazing Grace.  I know the show’s important; after all, that’s what the hype’s been.  “The stage! The lights! Once in a lifetime!  Just like last tour!”  But I always found sincerity in the music.  Especially in headphones.  I’m streaming this on Gilean’s Macbook, and it looks fantastic.  And it sounds very clean and polished.  But the soul; I can’t find it underneath that giant octopus-spaceship stage.

The band ends and gives an applause to the audience.  Is this the end?  Will they do a second encore?  The octopus turns deep red, and the big screens light up once again.

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