Music for Generations

By Elizabeth Sias

I have an e-mail saved that’s dated Nov. 17, 2009.

That’s the day I bought my U2 tickets for the Minneapolis show I attended on Saturday, which at the time was scheduled for June 2010. Most people know the brief history of the show and how it was postponed. Bono had to have emergency back surgery, so the tour was delayed — for a year — during his recovery time.

That’s why this concert was so special for me. I’ve been waiting almost a full two years to see Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr., perform live on stage. And what a stage it was!

The U2 360° Tour is named such for obvious reasons. The stage is a huge circle, complete with rotating walkways, allowing performers to be seen from all angles. The band has been filling outdoor stadiums for every one of its shows to make use of this unique setup — in this case, at the University of Minnesota’s new TCF Bank Stadium.

A massive four-legged structure aptly nicknamed “The Claw” features an extending cylindrical video screen that has hundreds of thousands of pixels, displaying larger-than-life images of Bono and his bandmates hovering above the stage.

Admittedly, I was fortunate enough to watch U2 perform in Chicago back in Sept. 2009. During that leg of the tour, the band didn’t have a Minneapolis date scheduled. As far as my friend and I knew, that was our one chance to see them in many years. Turns out we were right, of course, as we waited a year longer than we thought we’d have to to see them the second time around.

In retrospect, I’m glad the concert was delayed a year. It spaced out the two shows much better and gave me something to look forward to. They played all my favorites, like “Beautiful Day,” “City of Blinding Lights” and “With or Without You.”

The weather was clear until around 10 p.m., but U2 fans braved the rain, and the performers lightened the mood by adding snippets from “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” “Singing In The Rain” and others into some of their own songs.

I’ve been a U2 fan since growing up because my mom has loved them for years. They’ve been around since the 80s, but I believe their music can be enjoyed by all ages and by people from all walks of life. It really is universal.