They can't take that away from me...

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Back in action, so they say. Been very busy since I returned from my Vegas and Pasadena travels. Vegas was an incredible show. I had so much fun that night. The band looked like they were having a lot of fun on stage. The Rose Bowl was massive. Being such a small person, I get a little intimidated by massive crowds...thank God I had a seat that night. The show was great, but I enjoyed Vegas much more.

Upon returning, I started reading all the comments from people about the Rose Bowl performance which ranged from "Amazing" to "God, Bono sounded awful" to "They are turning into the Rolling Stones".

*pause*

*deep breath*

Where do I begin? I saw three shows on this leg of the tour. Each show, I thought Bono sounded great. Yes, he runs, he jumps, he dances, he gets out of breath then sings...which, from someone who has taken voice lessons, that's very hard to do. He may sound a little "ragged" (other people's words, not mine) but let's remember, kids...he's going to be 50. He's not that young kid anymore who can scream for hours on end and still sound great. He has admitted that his voice changed in the 90's...whether it be from massive amounts of smoking or screaming...it will change your voice. Pristine voices don't have a place in U2. Part of Bono's voice that I have found appealing is when it's rougher, it sounds more desperate. I will never forget seeing U2 in Oakland in 2001, and Bono spoke about his cigarette habit and how it caused him to be hoarse that night. I forgot what song it was before, but I just remember how it fit the song so well, to have his voice with that hint of desperation. It works PERFECTLY on songs like "In a Little While". Although it's a shame that songs that have those epic notes like "Rejoice" and "Lemon" don't get played anymore, the reality is that Bono can't hit those notes. And that's okay with me. I will survive. Hell, bringing out a vocally challenging song like "Unforgettable Fire" is enough for me. And bless him, he tries. All in all, it would be a snooze if Bono stood up there, in one spot for 2 ½ hours, and sang. I give him a ton of credit for keeping it up as he has on this tour. I would challenge any one who has an issue with his singing to go on tour, sing in stadiums, run about and see how they feel. Unless you are a marathon runner, chances are, you're going to feel like shit. Bono could probably run circles around me and I'm half his age. If you don't like how Bono sings on tour, stay at home and listen to the albums on your iPod. You'll be happier and so will those of us who enjoy how he sings.

One thing that I found disappointing about the Rose Bowl is how it was exactly the same as the Vegas show (save for the amusing rendition of "Viva Las Vegas"). This is fair since I did figure it would be the warm up for the Rose Bowl. I do enjoy my variety but I'm realistic enough to know that a song like "Disappearing Act" isn't going to reappear suddenly. Now, I'm not complaining at all, because I thoroughly like the songs that they chose to play, I love the new songs live, I still love hearing "Walk On", "City of Blinding Lights", etc etc. I LOOOVE the addition of "Unforgettable Fire". There are a few songs that I have heard live a few too many times for my liking but that's not the band's fault, really. I just wish to hear a few different tunes on the next leg. The best thing about the Vertigo tour for me was the addition of "Into the Heart", "Electric Co", "The Ocean", "An Cat Dubh"...all those songs were before my time so I never got to experience them live until Vertigo...and I was SO excited to hear them. A revival of some October songs would be fantastic. I still say there are some Pop songs that would fit fabulously into the set but U2 probably disagrees. And in reality, U2 can do whatever the hell they want. Just a little wish from a very little person in the spectrum of things. My Christmas wish? Santa?

There are other things that I did experience in relation to U2 in LA that were, for lack of a better term, bullshit. I am not at liberty to talk about them here and honestly, I don't want to because I don't want to tarnish images or publicly call people out. I'm not a fan of the Los Angeles area for many reasons, most of them which I experienced during that weekend in LA/Pasadena. I don't appreciate being treated a certain way because I'm not famous, nor do I appreciate being exploited for my love of a band. There is one thing I will not tolerate, truth or not, is someone trying to tarnish my love for a band that I have followed since I was 5. Without being too dramatic about it, U2 has been the only constant (next to my father) since I was that age. Everyone else has left, broken up or passed away. U2's music has always been there. So yes, there is a deep emotional attachment to the music for me. I'm very jovial about my love of the band because it has brought a lot of joy into my life, when you enjoy something, you can laugh at it too. But there are a lot of people who want to take that joy away and I won't let that happen. No one puts Chelsea in the corner.

So the rant aside, I want to give love to the people that I hung out with and ran into at both shows. The great fun of U2 shows is meeting and hanging out with people who are just as big of fans as you are. While the band coming back in 2010 is great, I'm even more excited to hang out with my friends and celebrate at the shows. And when the band walks out on stage, I'll get goosebumps just like I do every time.

To end this very bi-polar entry, I would like to say thank you to U2 for making my 2009 very memorable. From meeting the band in March, to hearing a new song that touched my very heart, to getting those lyrics tattooed on me in August, to going to three shows...I have a lot to be thankful to them for. Gentlemen, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

And I leave you with some clips from Vegas...


Hell to the yes for the Elvis snip.


One of my favorite moments.


The song that inspired my body art.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Chelsea Andrus published on November 7, 2009 12:07 AM.

U2 perform live at Brandenburg Gate, MTV Europe Music Awards, Berlin, Germany (November 5, 2009) was the previous entry in this blog.

Watch U2 and Jay-Z Perform Together is the next entry in this blog.

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