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by FuneralTrack7

At some point during the 360 show, youre likely to think, This looks so futuristic. I know I did. But then I realized its not futuristic. Were in the future. This is it. Its 2009 and this is what a big stadium shows look like. Its fitting than that one of the original names for the tour was the Kiss the Future Tour. Seemed cheesy at the time, but now? Well, okay, it still is kind of cheesy, but at least now we know what they meant by it.

So last night, I had the pleasure of seeing the show from the back of the stadium (as opposed to the floor where I was the night before). If you have 2 sets of GA tickets, I recommend trading one set in for seats, just to see everything this showthis stagecan do. Its another experience entirely, but just as gratifying. The space-age contraption crossed with the surreal sight of Bono in a lit-up red laser suit singing into a red neon steering-wheel mic is one of my Top 5 favorite images to come out of a U2 tour. Its The Jetsons meets Laurie Anderson by way of David Lynch. Weird and wonderful.

Some noticeable changes from the night before

The set list was more to my liking. Stay (Faraway, so close!) was a welcome replacement for Stuck in a Moment. Omitting Pride for the first time since its inception and playing the relatively obscure Your Blue Room in its place is certainly one of U2s bravest stunts on a tour and I, for one, welcomed it. Sure, Soldier Field had record beer sales during this portion of the show, but those few of us who actually know the song (Im hoping) reveled in its beauty as 360s themes of space and time were further explored. Having the astronaut speak Adams lines at the end was fitting. Itll be interesting to see how often it will get played on the rest of the tour. Im guessing it will be more of a 2nd night thing.

I have this feeling that the lead singer of Snow Patrol told Bono and the gang after their set that they would have to work a little harder getting the crowd revved up during the show. Sunday night Chicagoans can be a mellow bunch. Bono told the crowd to get ready to hear some new songs, some old songs and some songs weve never played before during its 4-songs-from-No Line set. The spontaneity that seemed absent the night before was more present here as Bono took a child on the stage to take a walk around the audience. Later, during Until the End of the World, Bono himself took a run around the circle, which I dont think Ive seen him do since the Elevation Tour. He collapsed to the floor exhausted at the end before crooning the mellow strains of Stay.

The video presentation before the last encore was different from the previous night, but not quite as interesting. The Close Encounters-like color bars emitted a high-pitched computerized voice, but its almost impossible to decipher.

One thing I would suggest to the camera crew During the point in the show where the Amnesty volunteers parade in front of the audience wearing their masks, the audience at the back of the stadium probably had no idea what was happening, since the cameras didnt face the people on stage to show what they were doing. In the back, it just looked like a bunch of random people on stage while the screens focused on the band. I looked forward to seeing the image of all these people wearing Aung San Suu Kyi masks and was a little disappointed in its presentation.

And I agree with everyone about how poorly the pit was handled. Way too many bodies stuffed in there and the beer/hot dog vendors didnt make things any easier.

But those are minor quibbles. The show is a knock-out from start to finish. Its a gutsy move for this band to take such an expensive undertaking in this direction, since sales of the album have been relatively disappointing and a good majority of the large crowd is only coming to hear the hits. For U2 to go the way of performance art over the safer route of just rehashing old formulas is noble indeed and shows that they really are thinking of the future. Actually, theyve been thinking about it for quite some time. Willie Williams has said that he feels history will vindicate the PopMart Tour. Now, that time seems to have arrived. I always got the sense that the troubled 1997 tour was simply ahead of its time. Remember, the mirror-ball lemon of PopMart was also a spaceship. What time is it now?

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