O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

10 Observations from the U2 Show

Along with some great friends, my wife and I traveled to Norman, Oklahoma, this weekend to catch U2’s 360° tour. As a long-time U2 fan — I still have my original Joshua Tree cassette! — I was particularly pumped for this concert, which was my first time to see them live.

The show lived up to my expectations and more. By way of summary and recap, here are…


10 Observations From the U2 Show

1. You might think the Black Eyed Peas are an odd choice for opening act, but you’re wrong. Previous stops in the tour have used Snow Patrol or Muse as the openers. And stylistically, those bands seem to fit better. I wondered if the crowd around us — which included hipsters, party girls, gay guys, married folk (like us), and 40something parents — would be hip to the party hip-hop of the Peas. The answer is yes, in fact, they would. People were legitimately excited about the BEP show, and the cheers when they launched into “I’ve Gotta Feeling” to end their show were loud and boisterous. They gave a great performance, despite the inclusion of “My Humps,” which is the most annoying song ever.


2. “My Humps” is the most annoying song ever. And hearing it live didn’t cause me to change my opinion.

3. I didn’t see anyone doing the Oprah flash mob dance to “I’ve Gotta Feeling.” I honestly expected to see at least some group of people-with-too-much-time-on-their-hands attempting to pull it off. But no.

4. I can only judge from my seat, but U2’s crazy-cool stage set-up has to have the best sightlines ever of any huge, stadium concert. I can’t imagine there was really a bad seat in the stadium. Whoever came up with the spaceship-meets-mechanical-spider concept — which included rotating bridges and a 360-degree pathway out into the crowd — well done.


5. U2 recognizes that their fans love love looooove the old stuff, so the show was a great balance between the classics and the new songs. Even “Unforgettable Fire” made an appearance, which was a surprise. (It was an even bigger surprise for some kid in the audience, whom Bono took up on stage and pranced around the bridge/pathway with for entire song.)

6. The boys are still great showmen. I always wonder if they get tired playing “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” or “Where the Streets Have No Name,” but if they’ve bored with those old tunes, they certainly didn’t show it. Lots of energy from song-to-song. They seemed to legitimately be enjoying the experience. How do I know? I could see their faces up-close on the gigantic circular video screen. Adam looked pleasantly amused the entire show, and The Edge hopped up and down a LOT for a guy who’s almost 50 years old.


7. Bono didn’t preach as much as expected. I honestly wasn’t sure how much of his social justice stuff would make it into a concert setting. I love his activism, but I paid for the music…so I wasn’t sure how much time we’d spend related to his causes. In my opinion, it was just enough. The main emphasis was on Aung San Suu Kyi, the elected prime minister of Burma who has been under house arrest for most of the last two decades by the military junta running the country.

8. There are a lot of Christians who go to U2 shows, especially in Oklahoma. How could I tell? I counted the number of hands raised when Bono led the crowd of 60,000 in singing “Amazing Grace.” Those weren’t rock fists.


9. Despite #8, Oklahoma is not as Bible-belty as you might expect. For instance, the drunk guy directly in front of us was simultaneously hitting on the girl to his left and the guy to his right. He left with the guy after the first encore.

10. Outdoor concerts in October are cold. It was 50 degrees with a blustery wind. Pretty cold. I kept wondering if The Edge’s fingers would get really cold and stiff and we’d end up with a wonky chord that would bounce around the stadium for the next 35 seconds due to his delay/reverb. But, no, he didn’t make any mistakes I could tell.


Here are a couple of photos I took from our seats:


Have you attended a U2 concert? If so, what were your top observances from the show?

Comments read comments(10)
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Everett Bracken

posted October 20, 2009 at 11:33 am

Jason, I saw them in Atlanta, and like you I have been a long-time fan, and this was my first concert with them. I post my top 3 moments on my blog at

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posted October 20, 2009 at 11:46 am

I saw their show in Toronto last month. Also for the first time. Snow Patrol opened.Observed:1. The Edge is underrated. As a vocalist, especially. "Stuck in a Moment" was breathtaking.2. The Edge also looks great in plaid. True story.3. They've somehow mastered the art of creating an intimate show for 60,000 people. I don't understand, but I like it.4. "One" is a perfect song.5. "Mysterious Ways" is magic. It catapults every single person out of his/her seat. It's actually impossible to not stand up. Weird.6. It's the perfect father/daughter date night. U2 is probably the only band we'd both rearrange our lives around to see.7. I'd go again. And again.8. U2 is God's favorite band. Maybe.

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posted October 20, 2009 at 11:47 am

I had the privilege of seeing U2 in concert in Johannesburg in the late nineties. It is still one of the highlights of my life, and I hope to get to see them at least once more here on earth, as I am sure they will be a permanent feature in heaven some day.They have an ability to entertain unlike any other band in history, and continually refine their ministry to the masses.

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Jason Boyett

posted October 20, 2009 at 11:51 am

@Nadine:Totally agreed on the compulsiveness of "Mysterious Ways." That was the first fist-pumping, singalong song of the night. And The Edge wore plaid in Oklahoma, too. Must be his costume for the Tour.

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Misty Mays

posted October 20, 2009 at 12:18 pm

U2 totally rocks!!!!!!

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posted October 20, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I saw them in November 2001 in St Louis. People were still so raw emotionally after 9/11. Their show was, as always, entertaining and energetic. But it was also loving and spiritual. I believe they helped to soothe some broken hearts during that leg of the tour.

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Terry Foester

posted October 20, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Nice top 10! Saw them in DC a few weeks back.

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the J in PJs Til Noon

posted October 20, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Oh. My. Word. We saw them in Charlottesville Va & it was amazing. Muse rocked the house but everyone was there for U2.I was surprised at how much spiritual content was worked into the show. It was a great night!

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posted October 21, 2009 at 8:32 am

"My Humps" is the jam. You totally don't know what you're talking about…LOL

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posted October 22, 2009 at 3:14 pm

We were at the Oklahoma show as well and I agree with your observations. I was pleasantly surprised at how long they played, two hours. The last thirty minutes were somewhat of a blur to me as I was so cold! Other than that, great show, great music, great fun!

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