I have been exceedingly privileged over the last half decade to have a paramour, a beautiful woman, in my life who gave me the greatest gifts that one can give. She would take me by my reluctant hand and expose me to experiences that I would have never seen. Whether grandiose or otherwise ordinary, I inevitably would find myself thinking, “I can cross this one of the list” when there wasn’t any list to start.
On September 14th 2017, she took me to see U2 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, NY. Beck opened. Crushed it. The lads played the entire opus that was the Joshua Tree album. These were songs from my youth and they didn’t miss a beat. Bono was gracious and expressed his gratitude for those songs and the fans and the opportunities they had provided over the two decades since it had dropped. He didn’t stand on a soapbox, criticism I have often heard.
“Great melodies have a lot in common with great ideas. They’re instantly memorable.”
– Bono, Musician
The message was simple like the songs on the album. The message was one of love and dignity and from Beck, who is a headliner in his own right, opening with Devil’s Haircut to Bono and the lads closing with One, the show was monumental.
I have been listening to U2 since my cousin Kurt introduced me to the War album as a
kid but I had never seen them perform live before and what I wasn’t prepared for was the multimedia production. I am sure those who had seen tours like Zoo TV and Achtung Baby where well prepared for the visual experience but I wasn’t and couldn’t resist snapping some fuzzy pics with my iPhone and I have littered a few around this site. A few have been post-processed but the scale and the scope of the LED wall, the lighting and the color are all as captured at the concert.
After the show, I tried to rank a few of the stand-out artists and bands that we saw together and I realized that I couldn’t. Each of them was number one in some certain facet of the music, the artist or the moment. U2 provided a visual experience to go along with the music that was a number one. I hadn’t expected that and maybe they don’t get the credit that they deserve for the maturity and artistry of their production, sound included.
Bono told the crowd that the first time the band was in Buffalo, he had been shooting pool after the show at a place called Harvey & Corky’s when Harvey (Weinstein, pre-mogul years) barreled into the pool hall and said that John Lennon had been shot. It must have left an indelible mark on the young front-man. He repeatedly alluded to Lennon throughout the show in song and story, as an Irishman is wont to do, and he performed as if imbued with a sense of closure.
It was a great night and a great show. I will put up some more pics as I get them optimized. If you have a comment about the band, memory of the Joshua Tree from 20 years ago or remember seeing the lads due the thruway circuit and remember Harvey & Corkey’s or maybe saw U2 at Shea’s, leave a comment. Love to hear about it.