Last night I had the absolute pleasure of getting to see U2 in Pittsburgh on their 30th anniversary Joshua Tree Tour. It’s been five years since I last saw the band on the U2 360 tour, and they’ve only gotten better.
I am forever floored at how U2 is able to stay authentic to their record’s sound when they perform live, and how if anything, the songs sound better. I also love their presentation of the show. When I first arrived, I was a little concerned because the backdrop just looked like a plain tan board with the outline of a Joshua tree on it, and the last time I saw them they were using the impressive “claw” stage.
But throughout the show, the backdrop turned into a huge high-definition screen that played a different video to go along with each song from “The Joshua Tree.” For example, during “Trip Through Your Wires” there was a video of a woman painting an American flag on an old, run-down barn; during “One Tree Hill,” a video of a Native American couple walking around a Southwest desert; during “Bullet the Blue Sky,” a video of people of all races, ages and sexes putting on an old-fashioned military helmet while in the center of the screen, a camera showed a closeup on the band playing.
I should’ve known the show would be fantastic when it started with the band standing out on a strip of stage that extended into the general admission area and opened with “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” Following that was “New Years Day” and “Bad,” in which Bono asked that the lights be turned off and everyone hold up their phones with the flashlight feature activated. After that was “Pride (In The Name of Love),” and at the end of that song the band walked back onto the central part of the stage. While the song faded out, the screen showed lines from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and the Declaration of Independence. Words like “Truth,” “Equal” and “Sing” popped out and became bigger as they crossed the screen.
Despite how huge U2 has become, they always remain so humble live and were genuinely thankful to the crowd for coming out to support and see them on this momentous anniversary tour. I really can’t think of enough good words to describe the show and music; it is something that just has to be seen to believe. If you have the chance to catch U2 on their tour (or any of their tours, really), I would highly recommend it.
U2 has been my favourite band since I was a little kid, and it’s experiences like this that remind me why I was so drawn to their music in the first place: it’s authentic, genuine music with a message that appeals to a wide variety of people with different tastes in music and lyrics. As I get older, I understand even more the inspiration that the band has had on other musicians and on people just like me. I see more and more the political and social relevancy of their songs, especially ones that were written at certain times in response to world events. I have seen in Northern Ireland where Bloody Sunday happened, and I have studied in my history classes the unrest that fueled much of U2’s work in the 80’s and 90’s.
Each album has spoken to me at a different stage in my life, and I feel especially blessed to live in a place where I am able to see such a fantastic band. I feel blessed to be able to hear and see the wonderful works they’ve created with God-given talent.
I will hopefully be posting pictures on here within the next week/week and a half.
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you’re having a wonderful week and as always, God bless.