Monday, October 26, 2009

I Made It Back Alive!

Here's the full story, in relatively quick format. We've got a couple of friends who had tickets to see U2 in Vegas Friday night. Their flight left Thursday night. He ran into some work issues that he couldn't skip out on and she didn't want to go alone. So that's where I come in the picture... I got to be her surrogate date for the weekend and man was it fun!

We stayed at a time share that was selling off rooms for cheap, the place was super nice but it wasn't quite warm enough for the pool (sigh). So we went to the outlet malls (I questioned this, and had her original date accompanied her she would not have gotten to shop but would have hit every roller coaster on the strip. Needless to say, shopping was her idea. Although I would have been ok with roller coasters too) and had a lot of fun farting around in fancy stores. I ended up getting a couple of practical clothing items that I had been looking for and one totally impractical buttery-yellow leather clutch purse. It is adorable. Because clearly I adore it.

The concert was at Sam Boyd Stadium, which is not the one on the strip but the one 20 minutes outside of town. We were off of the end of the strip right by the airport so we had a bit of a head start. We got there right before doors opened (6pm) for a decent parking spot, then found out we had to go get wristbands since we were on the floor - general admission for fan club members, woot! There was a main stage and a ramp that went around (picture one of Saturn's rings) and the seats between the ring and the stage were the super pricey ones but we were right outside the ring so the view was still epic.

The Black Eyed Peas started around 7:30 and were a good warm-up act. I don't really mind their stuff and was thoroughly entertained by the costuming, they looked like a marching band getting ready to perform their medieval dominatrix-themed Dune field show. However, the highlight was their four dancers (that were not onstage nearly enough), they looked like refugees from a Daft Punk video. They first came out dressed as speakers. Seriously. They had 1/4 speaker attached to each forearm and each thigh so when they stood straight with their arms in front of their faces they just looked like big speaker boxes. If that doesn't make sense it's their fault, not mine. And they danced. They were totally the best part. Fergie Ferg has a perfectly good voice but I don't know why these guys are such a hit. Especially after their wonderfully tactful song about the Now Generation that starts with a Yes We Can-style Obama-related tribute that segues into a chorus of Gimme The Cash or something to that effect. I believe crass is the word I am looking for. And I am so tired of people who can't sing without AutoTune (not Fergie but the dude singer). Also their spare dude singer/rapper/I forget what he did looked just like a Bond villain. Major cheekbones and a black leather jumpsuit with red stripes. This website has pictures of the speaker people among other things, and seems to be run by the guy from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Am I the only one who thought he was dead?

But anyways. The whole stage/ring complex is overshadowed by a giant thing that looks like bug legs. The legs are full of lighting guys (we counted 14) and the center (the bug torso?) comes down in a big circular screen made of a bunch of little diamond-shaped screens. The giant screen thing starts showing a bunch of clocks and then a world map with the international dateline scrolling around the world like crazy and flashing What Time Is It over and over. It then flashes 9:06 and I just have to crack up. Kind of anticlimactic.

Finally they all come out and play a couple of tracks from their new album (only one of which I am excited about) and then start getting into some of the bigger hits. By the time they play Elevation my "date" and I have pissed off the neighboring drunks enough so we're getting a little bit of space. Everybody sings along to every song and it is fun as heck. Bono is a goober, and I love the Edge even more after seeing him up there totally deadpan in a BeDazzled plaid flannel shirt and his standard beanie. He also sings the shit out of a lot of the songs so Bono can do the shout-with-the-crowd bits. And changes guitars possibly every song. Also at one point the drummer (Larry?) comes out with a djembe and jams out on the ramp like 25 feet away from us and damn if I can remember the song (it's gonna bug me now) but he was great! That is one tight band and they put on a great, high-energy show.

Here's the list according to these guys:
Get On Your Boots (I think this is my favorite off the new album, better live than on the album though, of course)
Mysterious Ways
Beautiful Day (YES)
In God's Country
Fix You
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Viva Las Vegas (this was funny)
Stuck In A Moment
No Line On The Horizon
In A Little While (this was cool as they had footage from the space shuttle playing during this and at the end they had one of the astronauts quoting the verse about "man takes a rocket ship into the sky"
Unknown Caller
Until the End of the World
The Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding Lights - this was cute, he pulled a kid up out of the crowd and they were running around the ramp and the kid was wearing Bono's shades.
Go YouTube, whoever shot this was pretty close to where we were, oddly enough.
Vertigo + a hint of All These Things That I've Done (the Killers are from Vegas, meh) you can also see how the screen expanded here, it was pretty nifty.
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight - Ha! This was the djembe song.
Sunday Bloody Sunday (this was rad)

Thanks again YouTubers (I want to breed a new kind of potato and name it the YouTuber), I hated all the people holding up their cameras every time Bono walked close to us but this sure is convenient. And that is the bug looking set I was trying to describe.
Walk On
You'll Never Walk Alone

They bailed but the lights didn't go up so of course they did encores.

One - I think it was during this they talked about Aung San Suu Kyi and had a bunch of volunteers walk around the ramp holding up masks of her face which was kind of unintentionally creepy. Not bad preachy-wise though compared to past footage I've seen.
Amazing Grace
Where the Streets Have No Name

And then they bailed again so we did too. We knew they were going to encore again but it was getting progressively mellower and it took us over an hour to get out anyways so I can't imagine if we had waited that extra ~20 mins. just to leave with the whole crowd. They were starting the whole "get out your cell phone and make this stadium like the night sky" BS and I just don't care enough.

So overall, BEP's were doofy but entertaining and U2 puts on a fantastic show. And I am still tired.


guiltypartner said...

unforgetable fire is the best album ever in the whole world.

but did you get to spit on fergie and tell her it was from me? she needs to know.

Spender said...

U2 continues to be phenomenal and I'm thrilled you were able to attend!
Thanks for the excellent write-up and video links.

The Management said...

That sounds awesome. U2 is (or perhaps were) one of the greatest bands ever, It's unfortunate that the Bono found his inner douche. Glad you had fun and an excellet write-up.

LOJO said...

I saw U2 in phx. during the Zoo tour. It was one of the best concerts I have seen still! Glad you had a great time

Anne (in Reno) said...

gp, Fergie ferg never came out on the ramp so I couldn't get close enough to spit on her for ya. Forgive me?

Spender/Mgmt. glad you liked the writeup, I figure if Pajibites are gonna start showing up here I need to up the caliber of my reviews a bit...

LOJO, I bet the Zoo tour was awesome too, these guys don't mess around when it comes to putting on a show!

Plangal said...

So. Jealous!

6p00e0098f015f8833 said...

And BTW, "Plangal" is actually Christine in DC! Forgot that my google account was logged in...