Author Topic: Medical Science as Performance Art? - Possible **Spoiler** (but not really)  (Read 602 times)

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Offline flyguy

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Not sure if this really qualifies as a spoiler, because I'm not exactly giving away anything in terms of songs or setlists, BUT ...

... for anyone out there paying close attention, if you watch some of the videos now posted on YouTube of U2's opening dates in Tulsa, there's a very neat, sly little audio/visual moment at the start of the show, just before the stage's near arena-length widescreen opens and Bono appears performing/lip synching LOVE IS ALL WE HAVE LEFT.

Before the song begins, the screen displays what appears to be a massive image of static/interference during which you clearly hear a pulsing, humming machine sound, followed by the sound of a woman saying "Stay (remain) still ... thank you." And then more of the same machine humming and pulsing.

That audio, friends/fellow U2 fans, is the unmistakable sound of an MRI in action, with the robotic female voice being an audio prompt commonly heard by almost every patient to ever undergo the procedure (the patient is told to remain still so that when the machine goes into action and scans whatever body part is in need of examination, the images are clear). The image of static, meanwhile, is what appears on an MRI imagining screen before it scans you.

I say all of this, of course, as someone who underwent MRI's for my own health-related reasons/scares in the past, because I recognized the sound/vision.

I thought it might be worth mentioning/pointing out if only because it seems to be a very sly reference (by Bono and the band) to the unnamed health-scare he underwent (whatever it might've been) without specifically naming or identifying it.

Granted, I'm not sure if this is the first time medical science has been incorporated into performance art, let alone a rock n roll show, but either way ... I think it's nothing short of brilliant.

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« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 08:47:20 PM by flyguy »



Online laoghaire

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Thanks for sharing this observation. I think you've noticed something important.

Offline garyu2

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Donít mention lip-syncing around these here parts.

Folks donít take too kindly to that kind of talk.

Offline skelter

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Donít mention lip-syncing around these here parts.

Folks donít take too kindly to that kind of talk.
lmao stop moaning in other threads. You want brrritchiness ("backlash") try interference.

 Op, thanks. No idea that was mri instructions. I just thought it was a calming lady's voice with space/NASA beeping. What a nice way to start the show with "thank you". Almost anything u2 does artistically/on tour I will think is poetic.

Offline miryclay

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The mix of the intro music is great. Leaves plenty of room for personal thought.

Offline d.darroch

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Thanks you the heads up OP, I didn't catch that. You'd think it would be hard to miss, as I was in an MRI only a month ago. It was deafening!!

Offline flyguy

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You're welcome re: the OP. I was thinking the same thing re: the use of the MRI audio/visual and, to be honest, I'm kinda surprised that nobody else on the forums has either picked up on it or been talking about it - especially given how it basically references Bono's still hush-hush health scare.

Granted, it's not exactly a "hit 'em over the head" moment ... but the fact that it's been so slyly incorporated into the show is rather genius, IMHO.


Offline Catlithco

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Since I've heard that "intro" to LIAWHL the first time, I was thinking of what it could be or could mean. I knew that I know that noise, but I couldn't image of what it reminds me. But I thought that this is a hint in regard to the health incident that Bono had.

To be honest: I don't like that it's in the show.
On the one hand he doesn't want to talk about it, but then they make it part of the show.
And on the other hand, when I've read the first time that this incident was severely serious (in Hotpress Annual 2018 magazine), I was a bit "shocked". Shocked about the fact that he almost died.
That's why I don't want to be reminded of it again and again, and I'm going to see more than one show of e+i  :(
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 05:18:28 AM by Catlithco »

Online laoghaire

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I don't mind at all. The topic of mortality and what's really important is the theme of the album. It's universal, so Bono doesn't have to give his details for it to be relevant to us all. Obviously I'm curious but we know enough.

When a much older family member was reaching the end of his life, we discussed similar things: what stood out as most important to him? What was he proud of? What were his regrets? What advice did he have for someone younger? It was important for him to talk about and important for me to hear.

Offline Catlithco

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I don't mind at all. The topic of mortality and what's really important is the theme of the album. It's universal, so Bono doesn't have to give his details for it to be relevant to us all. Obviously I'm curious but we know enough.

I do mind a bit, but I guess I have to live with.. they won't change the intro for me   :)

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When a much older family member was reaching the end of his life, we discussed similar things: what stood out as most important to him? What was he proud of? What were his regrets? What advice did he have for someone younger? It was important for him to talk about and important for me to hear.

That's right, but he isn't that old, and he wasn't either when the incident happened. At 56, you're not reaching the end of your life...

Online laoghaire

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No he definitely wasn't that old - it's the brush with mortality that triggers these topics, whether you almost died at 56 or you're 90 and facing the inevitable.

Online dwaltman

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I don't mind at all. The topic of mortality and what's really important is the theme of the album. It's universal, so Bono doesn't have to give his details for it to be relevant to us all. Obviously I'm curious but we know enough.

I do mind a bit, but I guess I have to live with.. they won't change the intro for me   :)

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When a much older family member was reaching the end of his life, we discussed similar things: what stood out as most important to him? What was he proud of? What were his regrets? What advice did he have for someone younger? It was important for him to talk about and important for me to hear.

That's right, but he isn't that old, and he wasn't either when the incident happened. At 56, you're not reaching the end of your life...

True, but at 55, I know I've thought about the end of life much more than ever before and I'm relatively healthy.  Classmates have passed on.  My parents both passed in the past year.  Friends have serious illnesses, cancer, and heart attacks.  Giving more thought on how I want the remaining years to go.  So I imagine, if I really had a health scare and came close to dying it would be unavoidable to have those ideas in the art I was producing (if I was an artist).


Offline GoldenStateGirl

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I've been thinking about this since I read it.  It's informing how I interpret the first few songs of the show.  It takes it to a more profound level; for example, "black out"  could refer to a state of unconsciousness.  My only MRI experience is with my son, who had a concussion at age 10 and subsequently needed a CT scan and MRI (everything turned out okay). It was a really terrible 24 hours.

So: MRI, "love is all we have left", the "black out" and thinking about "the lights of home".  All under the theme of experience.  Whoa, Bono.

Or not!  Who knows?!

Offline BlueSquirrel

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Thanks for this insightful thread!

Online laoghaire

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I've been thinking about this since I read it.  It's informing how I interpret the first few songs of the show.  It takes it to a more profound level; for example, "black out"  could refer to a state of unconsciousness.  My only MRI experience is with my son, who had a concussion at age 10 and subsequently needed a CT scan and MRI (everything turned out okay). It was a really terrible 24 hours.

So: MRI, "love is all we have left", the "black out" and thinking about "the lights of home".  All under the theme of experience.  Whoa, Bono.

Or not!  Who knows?!

No, totally, you are correct. You aren't reading things that aren't there - they are there, and much, much more.

Yes, we have the mortality event where everything sort of pauses. The blackout - so glad we are all still here. Lights of Home - gotta get out from under my bed. 100%. And there's more.

Might do a thread sometime with all the threads I'm seeing - there's a lot.