May 5, 2005 11:47 PM PST
I saw U2 in Seattle and Vancouver and ran across a sweet U2 Flickr slideshow
where people had posted pictures of various shows on the tour. This is one of those photos (not taken by me):
Both shows were good, but I found U2's 2001 tour to be better. The songs this time aren't quite as strong, and they don't mix the set up much show-to-show. And the prices and difficulty getting tickets is insane! Our tickets were behind the stage in Seattle (similar to the above picture) and in the 300 level in Vancouver. The tickets were $50 and $75 BEFORE ticketbastard charges. 100 level seats were over $100. Are we talking Barbara Streisand here? And both Seattle and both Vancouver shows sold out in under 10 minutes. Bono better be giving A LOT of this money to help out poverty in Africa is all I can say!
Anyway - U2 are awesome at putting on good shows. From the stands, I like their "ring stage" setup, where there's a smaller area in front of the stage, and a catwalk around to another section of GA. They did a similar setup in their last tour, as did Metallica a few years back. The one huge problem with this is that it just makes it so the people getting crushed against the rail actually have a really crappy view to show for it. The band spent 80% of the time on the main stage, meaning only the few hundred people in the relatively spacious inner area got a good view. If I'm going to have a 250 pound drunk frat boy with his elbow in my back, a stoned biker with leather jacket smothering me, and his girlfriend dropping cigarette ashes on my arm - I better get to see the freaking show! (OK, so the U2 crowd was a little better than most, but in general this setup isn't actually that great for fans.)
Sitting behind the stage I got to watch the teleprompter and could see the tech actually typing the setlist out and some notes and stuff. It was running OS X. I about freaked out when I saw it mention Pearl Jam, but alas that was just a note for conversation - the guys from Pearl Jam would end up showing up at the show I didn't have tickets for!
Bono thanked people including Bill Gates for donating so much money to charities. Also Bono stayed at Gates' house while he was in Seattle
The sweet thing about this picture is that it goes to show all the money in the world can't buy cool!