February 11, 1998 - Santiago, Chile - Estadio Nacional

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Opening Act(s): Santa Locura


Mofo, I Will Follow, Gone, Even Better Than The Real Thing, Last Night On Earth, Until The End Of The World, New Year’s Day, Pride (In The Name Of Love), I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Bad, All I Want Is You, Staring At The Sun, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet The Blue Sky, Please, Where The Streets Have No Name. Encore(s): Discothèque-Staying Alive, If You Wear That Velvet Dress, With Or Without You, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, Mysterious Ways, One, Mothers Of The Disappeared.

Media Review:

El Mercurio


by El Mercurio staff

In front of a National Stadium (Estadio Nacional) packed with 60 thousand people, the Irish group gave us the most ambitious, complete and well done spectacle from a series of big rock events in our country.

U2 only needs a word to make the world fit in. A syllable, a letter, the center of the unperceivable sound of a bubble about to burst: Pop. The O from Pop transforms itself projected on the giant screen of the show that the group brought yesterday here to Santiago, in the planet, in a soccer ball, or in a supermarket cart, as the great Pop Mart theme park begins to wake up.

The symbols are simple: Pop Mart is the boxing outfit of singer Bono, the stage quote of the biggest hambuerger factory of the world, the body cult drawn on the muscle t-shirts of the four musicians of the group. Pop Mart is all that, but mostly, is a manifestation of power.

U2 brought to Chile the most powerful show ever in this territory. The way in which that 50 meter screen dominated the 60 thousand anonymous dazzled persons that filled completely the National Stadium was the best proof that, to the Irish group, rock is just an excuse to the invention of a monster of a much more reach built with all the materials and wastes of the time they’re living in.

In Pop Mart, stimuli are always excessive. And simultaneous. The bombing includes monumental animations onscreen which U2 uses to show their own evolution theory, from the monkey to the supermarket citizen on “Even better then the real thing” (“Achtung Baby”, 1991). The instant in which the four musicians of the group emerge froma a giant lemon wrapped around in mirrors and dressed with the Chilean soccer team jerseys to play “Discotheque” is a sight hard to forget.

Bono is the best master of ceremony for the circus. Using a few Spanish words to say hello with words such as “Hola” y “cachai”, moving the masses with the precise phrases (“finalmente, U2 en el fin del mundo. Gracias por esperar. Nosotros tambien los esperabamos”, he said), making a parody of himself and all the history of rock, in the Elvis Presley pose of “Even better…”, the vocalist is the maximum center of attention and he has all the Pop Mart laws set up in his brain.

You have to sum up to all the list of amazement the fact that the base of the group is the same four musicians that began to play together in Dublin round 1978 (sic). And if Bono is the brain aboard, the heart of the band is The Edge: the cybercowboy guitar is the muscle that pumps music to all the Pop Mart body live. Except for the open technology display of “Mofo” at the beginning of the show, Edge uses his multiple instrument models to put always the electricity over the electronics. Something that reaches a peak in classics such as “With or Without You” and “New Year’s Day”, which raw nakedness didn’t even need stage effects. That moment is when U2 bites he bone under all the muscle of Pop Mart.

On those moments the band seems capable to go from the parody to the emotivity with the same strength. From the awesome lucidity to stimulate the audience with the goals Chile made on the giant screen, to the solemnity of dedicating songs to Victor Jara and Pablo Neruda. Because the fundamentals are the same: the principle declaration. What U2 did last night on Santiago has nothing to do with the series of spectacles known as mega events, and tops the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, and even the awaited visit of Pink Floyd. U2 is OVER Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, and even U2 themselves. And the look is brilliant, the most brilliant we have seen live ever in Chile.

© 1998 El Mercurio. All rights reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on February 11, 1998 10:29 AM.

February 7, 1998 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - River Plate Stadium was the previous entry in this blog.

February 17, 1998 - Perth, Western Australia, Australia - Burswood Dome is the next entry in this blog.

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