Sunday, January 27, 2008
U2 3D: Go Now!
"Irish people are essentially Latin people who don't know how to dance"- Bono
The quote above was part of the Irish superstar's explanation for choosing South America as the locale to shoot U2's first 3D concert.
Over the years I've always had an appreciation for U2, more as a monster band with singles that I enjoy. In the last few years I've become really impressed with the commitment lead singer Bono has made as international activist, which has caused me to check his band out a bit closer. I've never seen them in concert, but I understand it's almost like going to church, if you believe.
I don't know about church, but after seeing U2 3D at the Imax, I definitely believe. Filmed in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro during their Vertigo tour, U2 3D is the best example of 3D that I've ever seen, by far. The movie was virtually like having the best seat in the house at a concert, but being able to roam around without stepping in anyone's beer.
The film is 85 minutes, featuring 14 hymns, um, songs on an incredible stage in front of what looks like 200,000 screaming South Americans. There seems to be dozens of cameras all over the place, but the one that really pops is placed ground level in the middle of the audience.
One of the things that has made U2 one of the world's biggest bands with a devoted following that's second to none, is that they connect with their audience via the music and their actions. The perfect illustration of that connection is the placement of the stage in relation to the audience. Attached to a traditional stage are a couple of ramps that flow out into the middle of the crowd. The band spent half of the show immersed in the middle of that sea of humanity.
The musicianship is top notch, Bono's in good voice and full of the drama that one would come to expect, while guitarist The Edge, anchors the show in cool. Adam Clayton on bass and Larry Mullins jr. on drums keep the rhythm section on point.
Now if you're not a fan of U2, I don't know if this movie will bring you around, but it's worth your time to give it a shot, if for no other reason than to check out the 3D effect. The only criticism I have isn't the movie or the band's fault. That falls on the theater, the dreaded multiplex at Universal City.
It wasn't loud enough!