27 October 2005

Paul Started It (sort of)

I thought I could get away with linking to the images and be done with it. Because as someone who is not a 'believer' in the traditional sense, I find nothing more annoying that proselytizing (also in the traditional sense). And, beyond that, people do seem to get quickly annoyed with me when I talk about u2. But it's precisely as someone who was raised a heathen and has never been attracted to what we call 'organized religion' that I feel the urge to share my u2 experience. Paul's post gives me occasion to share just a tiny bit more. I pretty much buy what he's talking about there, but it's essential to add: this isn't something Bono (or anyone else) can do by himself. A u2 concert with a lousy crowd might still be a decent concert, but it is not a religious experience. Bono only refers to the auditorium as 'church' on those occassions when the crowd makes that possible.

And thus - and this will come as a shock to preciselly no one - let me heartily second Rebecca's recommendation of the new Rolling Stones mammoth interview with Bono. Folks who tend to be skeptical of (or just plain hate) u2 because of a) their religiosity, or b) Bono's megalomania, or c) the way in which they have supposedly 'sold out' may be surprised by what they find here. I particularly enjoy Bono as critic, 'reviewing' all the u2 albums. He finds the lyrics on most of the either weak or crap, and he's particuarly critical of all the early work. They may also be surprised to hear him give SO MUCH credit to the Edge, even saying at the end of the interview that he couldn't get along without the band, but the Edge would lead them just fine without Bono. (Bono is right about this, by the way; folks who see u2 religiously tend much more toward worship of the Edge than of Bono. And you'll note that the photos I took were from the far left side of the crowd, giving closer access to stage right.)

Finally, a quote, one that resonates with Paul's post, in answer to a question about what they try to accomplish in relation to the audience:
To lose my own sense of self, self-consciousness - and theirs. It's an amazing thing. We're not really a rock band...[W]hat we actually do is something completely different. Our set list is designed in a kind of three-act structure, to get people out of themselves and to get ourselves out of ourselves. And to get to that place where everything feels possible and you want to call your mother, leave your wife, start a revolution or crack open the piggy bank and go on holiday for a year.

1 comment:

Transient Gadfly said...

Yeah, I'm not claiming that the energy and or transcendance itself comes from Bono or the Edge (or Larry and Adam), the shamanic ability is being able to channel it, in- or evoke it, whatever. I couldn't create the same effect in the same setting even performing the same material with the most sympathetic, energetic audience in the world (unless U2 opened for me, and even then, I'd probably just kill the buzz).

On the other hand, "to get to that place where everything feels possible...." Yeah. That was it. That was what I was trying to say. Gonna have to blog about that.