We're back! It was a GREAT weekend in Chicago. We went to Navy Pier and did an EXTREME speed boat ride on the Seadog where they basically take a speed boat and turn it into a roller coaster on the water. We ate Gino's pizza and had a Chicago style hot dog. We rode the public transit system (I'm NOT impressed) and the whole thing was an early birthday present for me and vacation. But of course, the REAL reason we went to Chicago was to see U2!
I was more than a little skeptical when I first began reading and hearing about U2's new stage design for the 360 tour. Its become known as "the claw" and it does look a lot like some kind of alien space monster.
But ... seeing it in person and in action Sunday night at the U2 concert at Soldier Field in Chiciago ... I have been won over. Absolutely won over. It is weird, but what they do with that strange looking contraption is pure genius.
I'm sorry to say that there is simply no picture or video that could begin to capture the utter awesomeness that happens at a U2 show and how they put that baby to use. You've just "got to be there", which, if you get a chance and can find a ticket, GO.
Brian and I have been trying to figure out which was our favorite parts of the concert and its just a bit hard to decide. Some things that were in the running are:
Turning the whole stage and all lights green in solidarity with Iran during the song Sunday, Bloody Sunday. Unfortunately there is always someone in the world to do that song for and seeing the people of Iran brutally attacked as they stood for their freedom was appropriate for it this year. "How long, how long must we sing this song?"
Magnificent was magnificent. There is really just no way to mistake Bono's intention with that song as he bows, lifts his hands toward heaven and sings, "I was born, I was born to sing for you. I didn't have a choice but to lift you up and sing whatever song you wanted me to. I give you back my voice from the womb. My first cry it was a joyful noise".
Yes folks, that was at a secular rock concert. Along with Bono saying, "Let's go to church. Its Sunday night service before launching into I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, and later breaking out his guitar to sing Amazing Grace.
And of course it wouldn't be a U2 show without a word about justice for the poor and oppressed people of the world. There's a message from Bishop Tutu concerning Aids in Africa and how the One Campaign has helped.
U2 also does a bit about Aung San Suu Kyi before they perform Walk On for her. For those who may not know, Aung San Suu Kyi is Burma's democracy leader. A Nobel Peace Prize winner, she has been described as Asia's Nelson Mandela. She has been detained under house arrest for almost 14 years. Her party, the National League for Democracy, won elections in 1990, but the ruling military junta refused to hand over power. Some form of elections are scheduled for 2010 but Aung San Suu Kyi will not be allowed to participate. Burma is ruled by one of the most brutal and oppressive dictatorships in the world: More than 2,100 political prisoners are in Burma's jails - many have been brutally tortured. Rape is used as a weapon of war - even against girls as young as five.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been used as slave labor, and even used as human minesweepers. The dictatorship spends around 40% of the budget on the military while the majority of the people live in poverty. See this site for how you can support the freedom of the people of Burma.
This was my first live U2 show and I hope it won't be my last. Thanks to my sweetie Brian for buying the tickets and driving me to Chicago to see them. The man knows how to treat a lady. :)