Friend: “Want to go to see U2 tonight for $40?”
Friend: ” They are trying to fill seats so they have cheap tickets!”
Me: “For sure! Seats will probably be crap but for $40 who cares?”
So off I head on a spontaneous and exciting adventure to see Jay Z break ‘down some beats’ prior to Bono rocking out. Quite a strange combination really, Jay Z supporting U2? Two huge acts that sit literally at opposite ends of the spectrum, this could be interesting!
Anyway off I head with no preconceived expectations or aspirations about what the night might bring. As I walk to Suncorp stadium with the rest of Brisbane like a herd of animals we finally make it to the entry and Jay Z is pumping! The sound system is crazy loud and clear. After trekking it to the other side of the stadium, up to level 5 and back down to level 2 we finally find out seats,and what we thought was going to be the worst seats in the stadium were actually surprisingly good. We can see the stage quite well and the 360 degree screen makes straining of the eyes a non issue! Gee ACDC was freaking good but they should have had a stage set up like U2!! This was the view from my seat, I was quite impressed, to say the least. The set up itself was mind blowing.
Jay Z was better than I expected, not really someone I would have payed to see live, but I was more than pleasantly surprised. My colleague saw him the night prior and said to me, “he is a real rapper” I don’t think you can understand this until you see him live.
He was backed by a live band and had another rapper on stage with him. His ability to switch from rap to singing was amazing. His performance of ‘Empire State of Mind’ sent shivers down my spine. It made me wonder what it would be like growing up in New York, and how inspiring he must be to the local citizens.
The energy in the stadium is palpable as people of all ages and walks of life are pounding the air with their hands to the beat of his music. A family in front of me who I likened to my parents maybe 10 years ago knew all the words and were bopping along to Jay Z – they were getting into it more than their teenage son.
So Jay Z rocked and left me to wonder if that was the support what kind of a show is the main act going to put on!
I do have to admit that I was looking around during the Jay Z set wondering why there were so many empty seats and how on earth I got $40 tickets to a Jay Z and U2 concert – this is crazy. However the sound check starts, the crowds cheer and the seats start packing up to a full house, again how did I manage these seats?
The stage was surrounded by a ring; there were an inner bunch of crazy devoted fans, an outer ring of equally crazy devoted fans and then the rest of us in stadium seating. And yes there were many a baggy clothed Jay Z groupies earnestly awaiting the U2 extravaganza.
U2 – well what a BIG show. The belted out all their biggest, oldest and newest hits, drew tears with ‘With or Without You’ and sent spine tingling shivers with ‘Beautiful Day.’ Yes they turned on the show on with the lights, entertainment and unimaginable vocal talents but what I loved about the concert most (and many will disagree with me) was that they took the opportunity to present a global agenda their totally engaged audience.
- They asked the crowd for support of Auung San Suu Kyi (burmese political prisoner) whilst playing Walk On.
- Made an ode to John Lennon’s death and referenced Martin Luther King
- Displayed touching images from supports seeking freedom in Iran
- Fans were used to walk candles for Amnesty International out on to the stage to represent the political prisoners still detained
I have read many a comments online and they are all mixed, quite a few feel that they were forced political views upon them. Each to their own, unfortunately it’s not always possible to please everyone.
The concert was out of this world and I thoroughly enjoyed the added global agenda, it touched me and made me think about the lyrics of a lot of the songs more than what I otherwise would have. I walked away feeling empowered, motivated and inspired by an overall fantastic concert.
Yes definitely the best $40 I have ever spent.