I'm pretty much a fanatic when it comes to the band U2. I've loved them with a passion ever since I heard the opening guitar notes of Pride (In The Name of Love) back around 1999. I've already told the story of my love affair with U2 in a previous blog, so I won't repeat that. But I had to bring them up, because of the upcoming concert I'm attending at the Rose Bowl. The concert is going to be streamed live on YouTube, so if you're reading this and want to see it you just need to go to U2's official page on YouTube Sunday night around 830pm PST. The show will also be archived there, so anyone will be able to see it even after the show has ended. The concert is being recorded for a future DVD to top it all off. Needless to say, I'm excited.
I'm never sure how to explain the "U2 experience" to someone who hasn't seen them live before...because you almost just have to be there. There's almost an electricity in the air at a U2 concert...the band has some kind of really unique connection with the audience. Of the 3 shows I've been to, I've experienced the same feeling walking away from it. No matter if you're near to or far from the stage, the music brings you close to the band and to everyone else in that stadium or arena. I can practically bet that even the most ardent U2-haters, upon attending a U2 show, will be forced to admit that it was indeed a remarkable experience.
U2 is a spiritual band, though they rarely like to make mention of this in public...all for good reasons. Anyone who looks at their music or lyrics immediately can see the heavy Scriptural overtones. There are many who lambast Bono for his egotism and self-righteous behavior...but if you listen, the man is truly sincere in his beliefs. What he does isn't simply for image, it's because the issues are THAT important.
U2's music has deep meaning for me, and it has been with me through life. Long drives, rainy nights, New Years Days, and sad times. When I listen to songs like Where The Streets Have No Name, I see the morning dawn...the sunlight and the promise of a new day and new beginnings. When Sunday Bloody Sunday comes on, I think of innocent lives lost in war...and wonder how long must we sing THAT song. During the strains of One I consider individuals and humanity at large...that there is indeed more that should unite us than divide us, that it is our duty to help and to serve one another. The chords of All I Want Is You remind me of romantic love and the deep joy of relationship with another.
Memories tied to remarkable music...what a gift.