Last night I attended the U2 concert at Commonwealth Stadium here in Edmonton along with more than 63,000 other fans. Considering I purchased the tickets way back on November 2, 2009, it’s fair to say it was a long time coming. Fortunately, Bono and crew did not disappoint! Here’s the official U2 entry for the tour.
This was the first thing we saw as we walked toward our seats around 6pm. Called “the claw” or “the spaceship” it very nearly became the star of the show. The structure is 164 feet tall requires 120 trucks to transport. Oh and there’s three of them because they take so long to setup and teardown!
It was Sharon’s first real rock concert, so that just added to all of the hype leading up to the concert!
Our seats were so high up that I joked we could see the balcony of our condo downtown! We could see the building anyway. Being high up turned out to be totally fine with the large stage and video screens. Plus I think it probably resulted in better photos.
The Fray opened the show at about 7:30pm. They performed some familiar singles like “How to Save a Life” and “You Found Me” as well as a couple of new songs.
Then we waited. And waited. While we waited, the Claw showed us interesting statistics and the local time for cities around the world.
Finally around 9:15pm, U2 emerged and the Claw started to come to life! The show was on!
One of my favorite aspects of the evening was watching the Claw transform. There were all different kinds of light combinations, and the video screen in the middle actually expanded and contracted as well. The two bridges connecting the inner circle to the outer circle also frequently moved around throughout the evening, meaning the band could interact with fans all around the stage without having to walk too far.
The first part of the show didn’t seem very political, at least compared to the latter half which featured Amnesty International and the ONE campaign.
At one point Bono pulled a lucky fan on stage, and she could barely let him go! Bono didn’t do too much talking throughout the show, but he did spend some time talking about Edmonton Oiler Gilbert Brule. It turns out that Brule and his girlfriend picked up Bono and his assistant while they were hitchhiking in West Vancouver (archive)! Honestly, I thought he was joking at first.
That was my favorite shot of the night. As it got darker the lighting of the Claw just looked better and better.
Near the end of the show, Bono encouraged everyone to take our their cell phones. It created a pretty spectacular sight in Commonwealth Stadium!
Here are three quick videos and a longer one that I recorded last night:
Sharon and I had a great time! It was truly a unique experience, and U2 delivered a high energy performance from start to finish. We avoided the nightmare that was the lineup for the LRT by walking home afterward. As we walked past the loading area adjacent to the stadium, we noticed the big trucks were already in motion – presumably they waste no time in tearing down the stage!