Concert review: Bono and U2 put on a big show at Cowboys Stadium

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By Mario Tarradell, Dallas Morning News Music Critic

ARLINGTON - U2 is the quintessential stadium rock band.

We don't need further proof of that. But if we did, Monday night's show at Cowboys Stadium certainly would serve as enough evidence. More than 70,000 people witnessed the North Texas stop of the Irish group's 360 Degrees Tour. The floor, which was standing-room-only and surrounded the mammoth stage, was an ocean of human beings.

Then we have that platform contraption. Let's call it a spaceship merged with a spider, its four claw-like structures flanking a circular riser and an outer ring. The two were connected by movable bridges. Above the band was a spectacular rotating video screen that extemded into a funnel-like cloud constantly lit for maximum effect.

And of course, there's Bono, Larry Mullen Jr., Adam Clayton and The Edge. These guys couldn't be more comfortable before a humongous mass, or underneath such high-tech gadgetry. For about two hours the U2 members sang and played with passionate precision. They backed up the spectacle with plenty of dramatic substance.

Bono was a messiah figure when he performed. Dressed in black and prone to raising his arms and tilting his head back, as if basking in the presence of his disciples, he wasted no time in preaching peace, asking for a "non-violent revolution" and turning "Walk On," the final number before the encore, into a thought-provoking tribute to Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi.

For sheer U2 explosiveness, we got "Vertigo," "Get On Your Boots," "Elevation" and "Beautiful Day." If you wanted a good groove, they delivered with "Mysterious Ways" and "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight." The tunes from No Line On the Horizon, the quartet's newest disc, blended perfectly with older material.

One more song deserves mention: "Sunday Bloody Sunday," an anthem that prompts fist pumping. It's just as inspiring a song now, with all the violent political unrest in the world, as it was back in 1983 when it was originally released.

Mullen's militaristic drum work filled the stadium with crisp, measured marching beats. Which brings us to the sound at the venue, a constant source of argument among concertgoers. Two colleagues of mine sitting in section 449, basically nosebleed seats, said the sound was "pretty muddy" during opening act Muse. It only got "marginally better" for them during U2's set.

However, sitting next to me in section 136 were Robb and Rebecca Peterson. U2's gig was their first visit to the stadium. Robb said the sound was "fantastic, considering the huge place they're working with." Rebecca had heard it was "awful," but admitted,"It was better than I thought it would be."

© 2009, The Dallas Morning News, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on October 13, 2009 7:04 AM.

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