Occasionally, a show transcends mere entertainment and becomes an event. McCartney and the Stones are acts whose concerts become events. The same can be said for U2. Their much anticipated show at Sun Life Stadium was a nearly 2 year wait, but in the end, it was worth the wait. Fortunately, my wife and I were in the Red Zone adjacent to the cat walk. There were the best in the house.
The band had several factors to contend with. Fortunately, the ever present threat of thunderstorms predicted throughout the week never materialized as not a drop fell during the show.
When playing a football or baseball stadium, sound becomes an issue. No matter how sophisticated the sound system or meticulous the sound engineers are or diligent the band is during sound check, it never is certain how the music will sound at show time. Temperature and humidity play a factor as does the crowd. The sound system is set up early and the band does sound check in an empty stadium. That allows everyone to approximate, but things are different when the building is filled with 73,000 people. As a result, the first two songs were utter messes. Vocals and instruments blended into an unrecognizable cacophony. Fortunately, the sound engineers were on their game and adjusted the sound so that the remainder of the show was pristine. After the first two trial songs, everything sounded much better. Bono’s patter with the audience was totally clear. The same thing happened with McCartney when he played the stadium in 2010. He too started off as a jumbled mess and his engineers settled him in to near CD quality sound shortly after the start.
The rule is: never get disappointed with the first song or two at a major venue. If the sound engineers are good, they will fix the sound during the start of the show.
As expected, the band played all of their hits to a welcoming audience. An unexpected highlight was when the band did a cover of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow. During this cover, Bono demonstrated a vocal range that was surprisingly wide and strong. While Bono tends to be subdued on many U2 songs, he has chops that can catch you by surprise.
Joseph S. – A.V.A Live Radio Journalist