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The band was incredible and clearly excited by the opportunity to play some of the deeper album cuts. In fact, my only complaint is that their versions of the first three hits from the album felt overly practiced. They were professionally done but suffered from being played at every concert for 30 years. They were journeyman performances, not classic renditions, which disappoints because most U2 fans will want those songs to be the climax of their concert experience. Admittedly this was only a slight disappointment since the rest of the show more than made up for the lack of overt enthusiasm for these hits. While so many reviewers and fans seem to pan side 2 of Joshua Tree, this is where the band clearly felt inspired and renewed. Never has side 2 sounded so good, nor played with such intensity. Bono was definitely having fun revisiting their overlooked gems. Not only was the band on fire, but the videos and camera work was far more inspired during the second half. As far as politics go... you can't be a true U2 fan and gripe about their politics. It's in every song, every action, every cause, and every breath. How can one be a fan and not feel moved by the provocative images and powerful sentiments behind the words? The show was nearly impeccable from a performance point of view! Not to mention the still timely Prince tributes in several songs!
This is not a review of the recorded sound (I haven't yet heard a recording), but rather the venue sound. The venue sound at US Bank Stadium is atrocious! Avoid this venue at all costs! While the band's performances were incredible, the overall experience was marred by inferior sound. Beck was the opening act and his whole set just sounded like one muddy noise collage! I nearly cried at the prospect that U2 would sound as bad. Thankfully they clearly spent some time at sound check milking all they could get from the sound system. Beck probably didn't get the time to do the same, which is a shame, since he is awesome and threw in a lovely Prince tribute in the form of a little Raspberry Beret! The sound for U2 was about as good as you could ask for, after the disappointing revelation that the sound system was designed for sporting events where clarity and depth are pointless. I hope their a soundboard recording out there because the audience tapes all will suffer from the abominable sound!
Audiences who don't dance suck! So do fans who treat the show as some kind of oldies act. Stop yelling for them to play their hits! The show was billed as the Joshua Tree in its entirety. It's practically a greatest hits album already. Enjoy it! Sad to see people leaving their seats halfway through!
Overall this was an incredible experience! The visuals, performance, and passion more than made up for the sub-par sound and lack of enthusiasm from the crowd. Come back for Achtung Baby 30th Tour, but pick a different venue!
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