Author Topic: **SPOILERS** Night 2 in DC Review  (Read 1047 times)

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Offline hollywoodswag

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**SPOILERS** Night 2 in DC Review
« on: June 21, 2018, 03:04:05 PM »
My wife and I went to night 2 in DC. We had GA and opted for spots right near the b-stage. We showed up at about 7 pm for the 8 pm start, and I was suprised by how empty the floor was back in that direction. Folks were a bit deep in the direction of the main stage, but I'd say that from about the halfway point of the center walkway to the back there were only crowds of about one to two people deep, if that. It didn't seem like it ever really filled in much during the night save for the migration of the folks from back end of the main crowd working their way toward the b-stage during that segment.

The show itself was genuinely very good, and my opinion of it has improved as the days have gone by. I'll get to the highlights, but I want to start with my criticisms.

- The volume near the b-stage was, at times, excruciatingly loud. The chorus of The Blackout just sounded like a continuous explosion, and I felt like I missed out on enjoying some other portions of the show because the volume was just too high. This was a similar criticism I had of the Tampa show last year, and I will probably consider getting seats in the future. It's awesome to be so close to the band, but I don't like leaving and feeling like I can't hear. Mind you, this problem somehow rectified itself as the show went on, but I will say that I feel like The Blackout and Beautiful Day were songs on which I really missed out a bit, and I am sad about that because I really like both a lot.

- GOOYOW, Iris, and (I'm sorry to say this) Acrobat are duds. None of those three really did anything for me. Granted, I never much cared for those three as it was, but the live setting didn't redeem them. Also, in light of the vocal fans of Acrobat getting their wish, I politely request that the vocal fans of Please discontinue efforts to get that one until I get Zoo Station or Last Night on Earth, haha.

- The encore was a total letdown. LIBTAIIW was, I guess, supposed to be the heavy-hitter here, but while I enjoy the song, it's not Streets or Bad or one of the other anthems that I guess it was supposed to replace. On their own, I don't think that any song in the encore was really lame or anything, but that trifecta just had no power behind it. I think that 13 was a spectacular choice for the role it played, and as much as I would have preferred the other number song that is 27 greater than this one, 13 was a nice touch for this tour. It just had to follow a duo that didn't have much power behind it, and the encore as a unit became a pretty lackluster ending to the show.

- The MacPhisto Snapchat filter segment suffered a bit due to the filter cutting in and out frequently. I LOVED the return of MacPhisto, but I would have preferred something more faithful to the original. I think Bono had enough costuming going on as it was, so I would have preferred something a bit more...engaging, at least as opposed to just staring into that little screen.

With those out of the way, though, I want to acknowledge the highlights, and there were many.

- Lights of Home was really solid live, especially during the "Free Yourself" refrain at the end. This was probably the biggest surprise of SOE during the show in terms of how enjoyable it was. I didn't really dislike the original, but it never stood out much to me.

- I Will Follow is a monster live. I'm sure that might sound a bit silly to those of you with more live U2 experience, but this was only my second show ever (the other was Tampa last year), so I'd never seen it live. Despite the solid Lights of Home, THIS was the song that really started the show for me. Absolutely spectacular.

- Not one, not two, but THREE songs from Atomic Bomb? This was basically Christmas. All three were high points during the show for me, with Vertigo being the real monster. I felt like it was kind of a dud in Tampa last year, so this show redeemed it. I'm also really glad that I got All Because of You instead of Gloria. Even though I like the latter, the former is a huge favorite of mine, and it was just spectacular. City of Blinding Lights was a great closer, too. I love the album, and as someone who wishes he could travel back in time and experience the Vertigo tour, this was an unexpected gift.

- Until the End of the World I was pretty familiar with most of the setlist going into the show, and I was a bit bummed to see this song yet again when there are other songs on AB I would rather see live, but oh my, am I ever grateful for it now. This was the best song in the show in my eyes. It did what Elevation did in Tampa for me last year, and I thought the arena roof was going to blast off into space.

- Cedarwood Road? I get it now. I should have appreciated it earlier on, but I get it now. Forgive my delay.

- Can we talk about how epic much of the b-stage portion was, especially after UTEOTW? I loved the Influx intro to Elevation (I'd never really understood what it was before) and I felt like it really built that song up, and then following it up with Vertigo and Desire just made that whole portion one of the most spectacular live experiences I'd ever seen. Our location right against the b-stage only amplified it. If only they hadn't followed it with Acrobat...*ducks*

- The pair of acoustic songs was surprisingly good, and hooray for getting something from Pop!

- I was initially bummed to see Pride on the set, but it turned out to be a really nice fit, and the extended intro was good.

- The show definitely had a thematic flow to it, and while I think that many great songs got shelved in favor of a bit too much SOE, I still think it flowed nicely.

- I appreciated the limited SOI representation. That might be a bit harsh of me, but I was very worried that they would use the show as an attempt to push SOI a bit more, and instead they played it conservative on that front. They probably needed to given that 10 of the 24 songs were from the last two albums. A bold move and one that was probably a bit too heavy along those lines, but it could have been much worse.

Overall, I'd give the show a B grade. I'm really, truly very glad that I went, and it felt like the band was firing on all cylinders. I think it was a great promotion of SOE and one that jived with most of my preferences from the album. I didn't miss Little Things, and while I enjoy Summer of Love, I'm not bummed that it was also left out of the set. It's a was a great...experience!

Offline EdgeUK8_my_mind

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Re: **SPOILERS** Night 2 in DC Review
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2018, 08:29:48 PM »
I was there too, and I mostly agree with you.  I did like Acrobat a lot, but I now get why the band never played it live. It is difficult to dance to or rock out to - too slow and a weird time signature.  Still I loved it.

I did not like that version of YTBTAM, it sucked the life out of the room. I also didn’t like LIAWHL and they took too long to show the band during The Blackout.

I also liked ABOY, and I thought American Soul rocked. It’s not my favorite off the new album, but it was awesome live.  SATS was great, and Pride was surprisingly good.

I thought LIBTAIIW was strong during the encore, and One is always well received. The audience following with the “oh oh oh-oh oh oh” before 13 showed that people were really into it.

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Offline Onob_Nosweh

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Re: **SPOILERS** Night 2 in DC Review
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2018, 11:21:57 AM »
Nice review. I agree with a lot of your points, especially about the b-stage and ending.

One suggestion for the loudness issue: get a pair of musician's earplugs. They are fancier than the foam ones and don't muffle the sound like they do. You can get brands like Etymotic for around $15.

Offline 73October

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Re: **SPOILERS** Night 2 in DC Review
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2018, 11:39:27 AM »
Not seeing the show until the Autumn (Fall), but YTBTAM is meant to be in the 'delicate-love-note-to-the-missus slot', is it not?  I don't expect Bono to be rocking out when he just needs to tell Ali he loves her (in front of 15,000 ish others, of course). 8)

Offline braunerf18

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Re: **SPOILERS** Night 2 in DC Review
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2018, 01:46:08 PM »
Good review. I had floors in Montreal and I agree with much of what you said. Acrobat should've been main stage to give it the respect it was due.

The show is a theatrical experience and kept me thinking about the message they were sending for a few days afterwards. To me it seems the message was more important than the actual experience (setlist). Think of their career from start to finish and it makes sense with how they're sending you off for the end of the night.

As good as the theatrics are, I believe this is what hurt the show. IE left far more room for improv. Out of the many shows I saw, the B stage experience there was fun and fresh. The band genuinely had a good time doing these shows and was continually changing up the set.

EI is forced and they didn't take the right amount of time to make it the U2 show they're called to deliver. RFD and Little Things are 2 (if not the best 2) songs on the album and they're not played... Come on, they should be staples. I saw Little Things close in Pittsburgh and that certainly set my expectation much higher for this album and tour. Go back and look at the sets for IE. Pretty ingenious compared to what we're getting now, especially in terms of raising the roof and getting all fans into the show. Yes, JT songs do that... Now, without JT songs in the picture, I believe this was a missed opportunity to play other hits like Discotheque, Zoo Station, Magnificent or Breathe, Unforgettable Fire, etc. Those kind of tunes.

JT tour was great. Toronto is in my top 2 shows. The energy, production, the music, the crowd, all great. EI is a bit of a wash and Bono sounds tired. I think it's time to give it a rest.

All that being said, the show was still fun, I always enjoy seeing the boys, but this show left much to be desired.

« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 02:00:01 PM by braunerf18 »

Offline hollywoodswag

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Re: **SPOILERS** Night 2 in DC Review
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2018, 03:06:05 AM »
It seems that Red Flag Day and The Little Things are the two songs from SOE that are most requested here but either aren't getting played regularly (Red Flag Day) or at all (The Little Things), but I think that especially in the case of the latter, one of the current SOE songs in the set would have to get the boot to make room for it. There's substantial representation from the album already, and The Little Things, given its mellower nature as well as being new, would have resulted in it likely being a momentum killer and not much else under the current setlist construction.

Again, I admire their efforts to promote SOE. Even if I'd have varied the selection from the album a bit (I would have taken The Little Things in place of GOOYOW, although I understand keeping it since it and American Soul are joined at the hip), I probably would have kept things balanced the way they were, save for maybe adding a song during the encore. If I could make changes, I'd have done the following:

- Replaced The Ocean with some other early rarity (I'm a sucker for I Fall Down and Surrender). I know that it's more or less an interlude, but if they were willing to play as many songs as they did in Tulsa, I don't think that replacing The Ocean with a full song would be such a crime.
- Switched up Staring at the Sun for a high-energy Pop song, and I'd lean towards Discotheque, Last Night on Earth, or Gone. Like I said earlier, I enjoyed Staring at the Sun, but I still would have leaned for some power Pop. Had a power Pop song been included, though, I'd have probably slid it to the encore.
- Given One the boot and replaced it with Bad if going for mellow/Zoo Station or The Fly if going for energy. Granted, those two might have put too much gas in the tank to switch immediately to an anthemic song like Love Is Bigger.

That's not to say that I wouldn't gladly have traded any number of songs that were played for which I don't much care for songs I love, but the changes I listed above wouldn't have really changed things up too drastically while still giving the show a little bit of a boost.

Offline Chip

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Re: **SPOILERS** Night 2 in DC Review
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2018, 02:22:36 AM »
I was there with a friend at about the midway point of the screen, on the left side if you're looking toward the main stage. My only complaint was that Bono's spoken (not sung) words in the midst of or between songs didn't come across well around the time of UTEOTW and when at the experience (i.e., b-) stage. My other thoughts on the concert are in another thread, so I won't repeat them here. I'd give the concert a B+ or perhaps even an A-.