The much anticipated and awaited U2 360 Tour came to Raleigh this weekend and rocked the Triangle. Under a beautiful full moon and starlit sky, the band played all their major hits including new and old — Get On Your Boots, Mysterious Ways, Beautiful Day, Magnificent, New Year’s Day, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Vertigo, I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight and Sunday Bloody Sunday. For an outdoor stadium show, the sound was perfect, and U2 gave the concertgoers an extreme show.
Only a band with the giant reputation of U2 could pull off a concert and not be upstaged by the stage — a 164-foot tall spaceship with showy lights and a 360 video wall that was used to communicate visuals creating a spectrum of emotions fitting with each song — the band during their most playful moments, beautiful colorful abstract images, violence and blood in the streets of Iran, and the strong words of Bishop Desmond Tutu. The stage was spectacular—and in the words of Bono, “created intimacy on a grand scale.”
What separated U2’s concert from any other you might have ever seen is Bono’s dedication to human dignity and rights. He dedicated “Walk On” to Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically-elected leader of Burma who was overthrown by the military and has been under arrest for almost 20 years.
Bono is surely one of the greatest musicians and social activists of our time. He does so much more than sing great rock tunes and put on a great show, he feels a deep responsibility to use his talents to raise awareness of global challenges and mobilize people to respond out of concern and love.
Whether it’s rooted in religious teachings, or just a more highly developed social conscience than most, Bono’s mission is simple – he uses his celebrity, fame, and music to raise awareness of how life is for others around the globe. Born of Irish-Catholic traditions, Bono takes on the role of leader in teaching us about poverty, injustice, oppression and hate – and reminding us that God demands we do something about it. U2’s performance had many religious undertones. Bono delivered a beautiful acoustical rendition of Amazing Grace, and a cross topped the extravagant stage setup.
Overall, U2 delivered a beautiful evening to everyone at the show. Not only was the use of the concert to deliver a strong social message uncommon, it was one of the rare rock concerts free of foul language and alcohol, giving everyone there an uplifting experience they will never forget. Hopefully Bono inspired a few there to take the challenge and help change the world one community at a time.
As their hit “Get on Your Boots,” goes….
“Here’s what we gotta be: love & community
Laughter is eternity if joy is real