Friday, January 25, 2008

Give me one more chance, and you'll be satisfied...

Here it is. By popular demand. My U23D post show analysis.

Janean and I went to see U23D on Wednesday night at the IMAX in King of Prussia and it was a lot of fun. I was struck by the differences between seeing them live and seeing them in 3D in a theater. There is no comparison to actually being there -- not even close. The sights, smells, anticipation and sense of community that come with a live U2 show cannot be rivaled by a passive theatrical experience. I don't think anyone ever expected it to be on par with attending an actual concert, but the press hype made it sound almost as good. I guess those journalists haven't been to an actual show. Watching the band up close in 3D made me long for the actual live experience.

Echoing one of the reviews I read, some of Bono's stagecraft seems out of touch with a theatrical experience (hugging the camera/audience or waving his arms like a bird) but I didn't notice anything that contrived in the live show. It just works live. In the theater it brought some snickers. Which is another thing -- when you've been waiting for hours for a good seat on the floor of a live show, surrounded by people who have done the same, everyone is fully invested in having a phenomenal experience and there is no snickering. Not so in the theater. That was a bit of a buzz-kill.

Am I being too harsh by comparing this movie to their concerts? Maybe. But as immersing as it was, the irony of this show is that by trying to draw me into the moment, it pushed me into a mental state where I was comparing it to other moments. Perhaps I'm quibbling. Oh, one more thing. I wanted to yell and clap and cheer, but I would have been the odd man out in the theater. I bet if I had, a few others would have joined in, but the convention of the theater kept the fans in their shells.

As I watched the film, I remember thinking that I wish the closeup shots of the stage were a bit longer. As a long time U2 fan who has read several books about the band, I'm very interested in the minutiae of what it takes to make these shows happen. The shots of Larry's drum kit were very intriguing. There's so much detail there, so much complexity in setting up the kit just right. He had a half bottle of orange drink sitting by him in a few shots. You could see where he puts his extra drum sticks. Seeing the stage close up was a real treat. In everything I've read, Larry is the anti-Bono. Where Bono is impulsive and loud, Larry is methodical and reserved. But we see so much of Bono and Larry usually waits in the shadows or behind his kit. It was refreshing to see more of him up close. Just one example.

The set list was great and the sound was impressive. This is a fun show and everyone should see it. Best. IMAX. Ever. Just not better than the real thing.



Blogger Princess_mandilyn said...

I guess I'll be taking a trip to chattanooga to see this. Always need an excuse for a night away.

Monday, January 28, 2008 4:34:00 PM  
Blogger Director Sportif said...

You might be able to use your Fandango bucks. If you haven't used them yet, that is.

Saturday, February 02, 2008 9:32:00 PM  

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