I went right out and bought the U2 Vertigo Live in Chicago DVD on Tuesday when it came out but needed three days to watch the whole thing because of a busy schedule. Now I’ve seen it I can’t wait to see it again. Having seen U2 in concert in Chicago four months after the filmed show I must say that I agree with some critics who suggest that they got better as the tour went on – which is hard to believe when watching this because the video is outstanding.
What really struck me in watching this time, though, since I had much more distance (and a lot less adrenaline) than seeing them in person was how U2 uses their repertoire the way a painter uses color. They make a concert experience that has different “acts” – an opening act, an angry political act leading to an inspirational call for unity, love and compassion. (The transition from “Pride” to “Where the Streets Have No Name” gave me chills, even on video and when, in the intro to “streets” Bono talks about “everyone” echoing the recorded words that opened the show it reminded me how much these guys think about the show as a whole.) For the encores we have the Zoo section followed by the spiritual section. The show has a different feel than the Elevation tour in that, even with some of the same songs, the placement in the show gives the set a different vibe.
The DVD itself is great and, while there are a couple of things from the show I saw that I wish had the same impact on video that it did live (the opening, for example) I am very happy with the way the show was presented. By the way, the single disc (read “cheaper”) version is all you really need. The bonus disc stuff is not really worth it. But I would gladly have paid the two-disc price for the one disc version – it’s that good.
9 months ago