Don’t go to the Website, don’t watch the trailer, stop reading this right now and get your ass to the THEATRE!
The producer has been hounding me for six weeks to see this flick. I can’t say that I wasn’t interested, but I was traveling, it was complicated.
Then I started to get e-mail. Like the one at the bottom, from Dan Navarro. Then I was interested. Then I wanted to see the movie. THE EARLIER THE BETTER! Because when you feel the buzz, feel the excitement, have that sense of anticipation, NO TIME IS TOO SOON!
So I drove out to Burbank, to 3ality’s compound. I worried the theatre might be too small, that I needed to experience the flick with a full house. But from the opening credits, I was HOOKED!
I don’t give a shit if you like U2 or not, you owe it to yourself to check this movie out. Because this is the closest thing to the live experience other than being there. Hell, I’d rather pay ten bucks to see this movie than sit in the upper deck in the soccer stadium the gig takes place in. And I’d like to tell you it’s about being so close to Bono, being within touching distance of the band, but more important it’s about feeling a part of something, of rock and roll. My absolute favorite moments were when they situated us at the back of the pit, with those in front of us thrusting their hands in the air. I felt the pulse, the sweat, the vibe, the MUSIC!
Remember when music wasn’t sold out? When it was its own rarified element, not part of sporting events? That’s what this show/movie is like. You feel like you’re with your brethren, and that the rest of the world just does not matter.
And you learn about economics. When you see the nearly hundred thousand hold up their mobile phones…shit, you add up the dollars! And believe me, U2 is making beaucoup bucks here, but I’d almost be too frightened to take the stage. This is one big mob, can they really be controlled?
Bono turns out to be a pipsqueak. Rather than larger than life, he’s completely human. And this makes you like him more.
Adam Clayton is cool.
Larry Mullen, Jr. is a star. Because his drums are in 3D. You feel like you’re hovering over the kit, it’s a master class.
And Edge is the magical element that makes the show work. A stadium full of people, with only three musicians. Filling up the space.
And the show leans towards the later material, but when they play the classics! You remember Red Rocks with "Sunday Bloody Sunday", but the absolute killer is "Pride (In The Name Of Love)". I thrust my arm in the air and sang along even though Felice and I were the only people in the theatre!
They didn’t play "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For". And as the lights came up, frustrated, I wanted to discuss the set list with the assembled multitude, talk about the old shows, the shows yet to come.
I’ve seen no better concert than "Achtung Baby" indoors, at the Sports Arena back in ’92. Zoo TV outside was cool, but indoors, it was a living Disneyland. This show is different, the scale is larger. But one marvels nonetheless. My mind didn’t wander an iota, I was positively MESMERIZED!
Sure, I was a bit worried about the producer taking time away from his family on a Saturday night. I understand the game, of mutual strokes. But when the lights came up, all I could say was FANFUCKINGTASTIC!
I cannot hype this movie enough. This is not Andy Warhol’s 3D, you positively feel like you’re there. Is this the future of rock and roll shows? I don’t know, but even if this is "In Rainbows", a one time stunt, don’t let it pass you by. The only place you can see it is at your local theatre. Make the trip. You’ll tell every living soul about it. You won’t come down for days. It’s just like going to the show, in some ways even BETTER!
Hey man –
I saw U23D on Sunday at the Bridge’s IMAX theatre. I had heard from a neighbor that the movie was good and my 11 year old wanted to see it. But man I did not expect what I saw at the Bridge IMAX. The film, the concert, the effects, the spectacle, all were nothing short of mindblowing. It’s a totally immersive experience that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I’ve done like 1500 shows in the past 20 years, so a concert is hardly what it used to be for me, and I still got chills. I mean, it felt like I was fucking IN U2, not just watching them.
The IMAX and 3D formats are ultimately gimmicks, and they’re as much the stars of the show as the band is. This ain’t no Michael Jackson Captain EO. It’s the first concert movie I’ve seen that made me feel both the hugeness of the sea of humanity at a stadium show, and the immediacy of being soooooo close to the action. The 3D is sensational — no red/blue glasses that make it so hard to settle into a 3D visual for very long, but rather some kind of polarized lens number that made the effect get natural pretty quick.
Bono is in your FACE. The Edge is in your face, Adam Clayton, well, yeah, like I said, in your bloody FACE! You circle all around Larry Mullen, then above him and behind, and you’re smack in the middle of it all, then, whoosh, you’re in the audience, then back, then out on the thrust stages, then back staring down Bono again. Man, it’s busy, but you stay with it, while your perspective never rests. The images are huge, and you feel like you could touch them. You practically can.
Musically it’s hard to say if the band is at the top of their form or simply playing out their well honed technique. And with so many songs to choose from, they were bound to leave out a couple of seminal tunes — no I Will Follow, no Bad, No Mysterious Ways, but they sounded great, played great and moved a fuckuva lotta of air for a band that’s been recording for nearly 30 years. And they moved me too.
You gotta check it out if you haven’t seen it yet. I’d love to know what you think.