Tuesday, July 12, 2011

U2 Inspires Quest

U2 rolled into Toronto for a packed concert on their 360 Tour in the 65,000 seat Rogers Center stadium on Monday night. I was struck by the broad range of the band's music which kept the fans enthralled for over 2 hours.

After over 3o years since the group's formation, they still put on a charged, inspiring performance. The themes included the search for love and meaning and global social justice.

The mammoth set, which has traveled around the world with the band, resembles "a large disco ball-studded UFO" and provided a variety of stunning stage effects. The giant 360 video screen, which ascended and descended in various positions, conveyed stats, phrases, and images complementing the lyrics of the songs.

At one point the action onstage paused while U.S. astronaut Mark Kelly offered a taped hello to Toronto from his orbit around planet Earth.

"He arranged a written note reading “Imagine it’s a beautiful day” in zero gravity to introduce “Beautiful Day,” a song that U2 front man Bono dedicated to Kelly’s wife, Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman who survived an assassination attempt in January."

Also Burmese political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi was celebrated with her release, and she included a brief message on the video screen.

The retractable dome of the Rogers Centre was open to allow the amazing neon light show of the CN Tower to complement the scintillating performance.