Back when U2 announced that their Innocence + Experience World Tour would make a stop at London’s O2 Arena, there was a lot of interest and excitement around the SuperBreak office. We love our O2 Arena Event breaks, and this promised to be a particularly special one.
Finally, this week, a lucky few got to see the highly-anticipated concert itself, and #TeamSuperBreak’s Claire, Martin, Christine and Ross have all been beaming ever since – here’s why…
Claire: As ardent U2 fans, we’ve seen them a lot! On concert days of years gone by, we’ve queued for up to 10 hours in pouring rain and scorching sun to be able to secure our position stage-side to worship at the altar of Bono, The Edge, Larry & Adam. Here we had a fantastic view of the entire show. U2’s set was huge. Their stage was placed in the middle of the arena with massive screens hanging down through the middle. The screens were an integral part of the show, with images, artwork and live feeds of the band for every song played. If you were standing down on the floor, you couldn’t see them clearly, but from our vantage point, we had a perfect view to watch the show in its entirety, just how the band wanted it to be seen and enjoyed by their fans.
U2 were superb – as always – of course. They played a real mix of classics such as Sunday Bloody Sunday and Pride, anthems such as Beautiful Day and One and a scattering of songs from their recent album. The show was slick, powerful and energetic and they showed no signs of weariness despite them being near the end of a very long World tour. The full capacity crowd was fantastic, singing along in full voice.
Martin: As I’ve been a fan since the beginning, I had been looking forward to this gig for months.
I was expecting a great set, what I got was a great set plus – such an immersive experience that I’m still reeling from it two days later. A gig that made the O2 Arena look just a tad too small. Just awesome! If you’re a fan try your very hardest to get a ticket for this tour. To be honest though the same goes if you’re not a fan!
Christine: This show clearly stirs very personal memories for the band. Bono talked about his early life on Cedarwood Road, and as a 17 year old pinching his brother’s guitar so that he could write a love song for a girl he liked called Allyson (his wife of 30 years). He also talked poignantly about his mother Iris. The large screen which stretched the length of the arena showed photo montages and stunning animations and graphics and was also used throughout the night to show close ups of the band.
The troubles in Ireland also featured heavily. Sunday Bloody Sunday had Larry Mullen reliving his days in a marching band, stalking the walkway between the two stages. Some of the images on the big screen are really striking – particularly the soldiers during Bullet the Blue Sky. We then moved from the “Innocence” section to “Experience” – hit after hit followed and I was singing along (apologies to those around me!). My favourite song of all time is With or Without You and it was quite emotional to hear it live for the first time. And of course it wouldn’t be a U2 concert without Bono’s speech – this one was about child poverty, and was quite moving.
Ross: The concert itself was mind-blowing, a real mix of old and new songs which catered for all ages, the light show throughout was out of this world, and at some points very emotional and poignant. They played for well over 2 and half hours and you could feel the audience were gripped and danced throughout.
I’d highly recommend seeing U2 – it’s a high class show that really does tell its own story, the way the group have raised the bar with the lighting display really makes this more of a show than a concert, Speaking to the other guests afterwards the majority were blown away by what they’d just seen, and a few will be going away and looking to see the show again!
Off to an event at The O2? Tell us what you’re off to see in the comments section below!