I nearly spat out my Irish Breakfast tea when I read the LA Timesreview of the May 15, 2018 U2 concert I had attended at the Los Angeles Forum.
Music feeds the soul, the heart. It makes you feel. It celebrates the freedom of expression and the power of possibility. The LA Times reviewer over-intellectualized the event.
I saw four masterful musicians on fire, commanding the three connected stages set up so that the band could move from one to the next and play to the entire crowd.
Fearless. Kinesthetic. Urgent. All four musicians transformed their entire bodies into their instruments.
Imagery that, at times, resembled minimalistic modern art, vintage photographs, and projections of U2’s performance dominated two huge screens. One screen ran the length of the runway stage connecting the other two stages, and the other one sat atop the circular stage in the middle of the arena. Sophisticated engineering allowed all of this, yet did not detract from the simplicity of the staging.
Love Is All We Have Left
Love Is All We Have Leftis the title of one of their new songs. Its six words are exactly a sign of the times and give voice to those who long for social justice. Those few words serve as a reminder of:
- The power and essence of love
- Sadness regarding oppression and what has been lost
New Year’s Day
I experienced the concert with my 19-year-old son at my side.
At his age, I heard U2’s New Year’s Day for the first time on KROQ and saw colors. I was not high. I did not hallucinate. Rather, the song prompted colors, auras, in my mind. Rivers of bright colors flowed through my thoughts about halfway through the song, which evoked longing, anticipation, and the giddiness of being in love.
My son and I at U2 concert.
New Year’s Day also represents a far more profound story, the story of the victory of the Polish Solidarity Movement as detailed in this January 2018 article in IrishCentral.
Pride (In The Name of Love)
During their rendition of Pride (In the name of Love), historic images detailing Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s civil rights journey displayed on the giant screens. SongFacts details the evolution of the song. The song not only tells the story of Dr. Martin Luther King’s courage and message; it inspires.
Bono quotes. I find one of his quotes comforting exactly now:
“Music can change the world, because it can change people,” Bono.