Thursday, June 30, 2005

Take it to Church ...

... so said Bono, and we sang with gusto, 'I still haven't found what I'm looking for'.

Last night U2 played Cardiff, and they were great! Bono's voice may be a little shot these days, but U2 are great performers. They played lots of old stuff (I Will Follow, Electric Co., Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Year's Day, to name but a few). They are great songs, songs of pure joy, of great anger and deep pain. It occurs to me that U2 are one of the few bands that sing about death and mourning (One Tree Hill and Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own). It's the emotional connection of the music and the lyrics that make U2 special for me.

I think I'm reclaiming my adolescence sitting here with a new t-shirt from the gig and my ears still ringing. I left my wife sitting in the seats and went and joined the mosh for a bit, I pogoed, I yelled, I sang along with a disturbingly good knowledge of the words. Yes, I confess I'm a fan!

And, of course, there was the Bono rant. Actually there were several. He sang happy birthday to Aung San Suu Kyi; reminded us all that Jews, Christian and Muslims are all children of Abraham and should co-exist; knelt blindfolded during Bullet the Blue Sky, looking like a photograph from Abu Grade prison; and the UN Declaration of Human Rights was projected onto the big screens at the end of a song celebrating Martin Luther King. Special place was given to Make Poverty History, with Live8 and the G8 summit coming up next week. We were asked to text in support, and of course duly did (even a certain Vicky Pollard did, according to the names on the screen!). I know this isn't cool, but it's very U2. If you don't know who these people or places are, you SHOULD. This is political education that we all need. Besides, we'd have asked for our money back if there hadn't been at least one rant in the evening!

There was masses of religion. U2 write the best hymns around and Bono is no mean preacher. There were prayers, songs of longing, and an encore perfomance of Yahweh which was deeply prayerful and moving. This was religion on the way, questionning, unsatisfied and at times angry. But it was real and joyful. More religion should be like this!

But above all, it was a fantastic show. Worth the money and the ringing in the ears. Roll on the next tour!


Nikki said...

how jealous am I! Looks like a fab night.

John H said...

I'm jealous too. Maybe we need to have more U2 numbers in our services :)

By the way, reading this, I couldn't help but notice that you were starting to sound a bit like Graham Cray ;)

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