Fan hasn't found what he's looking for in U2 film

| No Comments

Richard Carter, Wichita Times Record News

It cost an audience of about 30 people exactly $1.02 to see U2 play at a club in Dallas on April 2, 1982.

The show at Dallas's Bijou was promoted by former FM radio station Q102, and the Irish band was supporting its first album, "Boy." Nearly three decades later, $1.02 wouldn't buy a single bottle of water at a U2 show or even cover a small percentage of the ticket surcharge.

With ticket prices up and shows limited, someone had the idea to record a concert film of the band with multiple 3D cameras and release it in movie theaters. Nowadays, it's a heck of lot cheaper to see any band in a movie theater than to buy tickets, drive 150 miles and fight traffic and pay for parking.

Truth be told, I would have preferred to see U2 play live in 1982. It has less to do with ticket prices and more to do with seeing a more energetic, primal band performing songs from what early fans, like myself, still think is their best album.

What the theatrical release of "U2 3D" has going for it is crystal-clear sound. Multiple camera angles are edited to the point where a viewer sees a goodly amount of views switched back and forth on the performers and the stage.

Also, the band is tight. Bono is in good voice, the drums and bass are joined at the hip and The Edge's playing and solos are pretty much CD-perfect. For those people who cannot afford to see U2 play live, this movie in a lot of ways is a good substitute.

There are also some artistic ideas present in the film that suggest future possibilities of the 3D format for DVDs and movie theaters. Near the end, the 3D film is effectively merged with multiple letters, words and sentences in a variety of colors and fonts.

But while the film's 3D images can be an interesting effect, it can also become tiresome and lead to the typical drive-in movie cliches. Especially annoying are the repeated images of clapping hands to simulate the experience of being in the live crowd.

What would be very interesting is to see a band that is a little more cutting-edge than Hannah Montana or U2 as the subject of a 3D film with the director experimenting more with layering images and visual language.

As much as "U2 3D" is really meant to be the next best thing to a live concert, there really is no substitute for seeing a band live and close up. That includes the joke of going to a stadium and watching a band "live" on a screen from 800 rows away.

Devout U2 fans will still likely enjoy seeing the four lads play to a perfectly in-sync audience that comes off as programmed. The performance is also way over-rehearsed, with The Edge switching guitars on every song.

Things have sure changed over the years, when the youthful band first came over and The Edge played fiery guitar lines on a Gibson Explorer guitar for the whole show. I even kind of miss Bono's mullet.

And, all for only $1.02. Whatever happened to live rock music?

© 2007 The E.W. Scripps Co.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on March 3, 2008 3:46 AM.

Dublin split over the U2 Tower was the previous entry in this blog.

Bono no longer has the voice for Clannad is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID