U2 at TCF Bank Stadium 23 July 2011 (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Survive A Miserable Show)

After a long delay of one year (due to Bono injuring his back), U2 finally got to play their massive 360 Tour show in Minneapolis at the new home to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, TCF Bank Stadium. As you can see by my photo, the set was massive!

My friend Heather and I got there at the tail end of the Interpol set and we scoped out the stadium. I had never been there before and am now looking forward to taking my son to a Gopher football game at some point in the future..hopefully this fall!

Once we took our seats, I knew straight away that we might be in some trouble with the couple sitting next to us. They both seemed ripped to the tits on some sort of intoxicant and the woman proceeded to get overly friendly with me almost immediately. Normally, I don’t necessarily mind this but she was dumber than a sack of hammers. I tried to avoid eye contact with her but she kept doing odd things like putting her head on my shoulder for no reason whatsoever. The guy with her just laughed and, sadly, was even less intelligent than her. He reminded me of one of the characters from Idiocracy if that gives you an idea of what I was dealing with right before the show started.

At about 9pm, the lights went down and the woman with the attraction to my shoulder proceeded to scream at the top of her lungs, “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.” And that’s exactly how many “O’s” it was. It seemed to go on forever.

She did this for the entire show. Every fucking song…but hey, that’s show business.

As she was piercing my inner ear drum, I settled in to enjoy the lads from Dublin for the seventh time in my concert going career. The first few songs were from Achtung Baby and they sounded great. As they were doing “I Will Follow,” the rain started to come. At first it was just a drizzle but by “Pride” it was pouring. I had brought a rain coat but it really didn’t help. Within about five minutes, my Chucks were filled with about an inch of water and between that, the screaming idiot next to me, and the fact that my view of the stage was blocked by a spot light tower, I was miserable. To get an idea of how hard it was raining, check out the video below.

I started to wonder if I was pulling a Murtaugh but quickly dismissed that notion as I love being at shows at First Ave with all sorts of craziness and problems. Perhaps it was the ginormousness of the show or the aforementioned problems but I just wasn’t into it. Sure, there were bits and pieces of coolness. “Zooropa” was wonderful and brought back many memories of my life during the early 90s. “Scarlet” was a rare treat as October is one of my two favorite U2 albums (the other being The Unforgettable Fire). During “One” we all got to see a home movie (on the huge screens) of U2 cavorting in a Trabant in East Germany during the Achtung Baby sessions in 1990-91. That really was mega!

For the most part, though, it sucked. But that was OK. Sometimes you have to have a miserable show to remind you how great the other ones are. They can’t all be perfect and a craptacular one every so often really sets the perspective. Even with all the bullshit, the show last night was still better than the Pop show in 1997.

And does it really have to be all about me? Heather was a ball to hang out with throughout the whole evening and I saw some other friends over the course of the night who were a blast. They all had fun…which is very important to me. Even the woman next to me made me laugh when, after her 89th “WOOOOOOOOOO” resulted in a few cold Scandinavian stares, she remarked, “Hey, I have lungs people!!!”

My left ear understood that all to well. It’s still ringing.

Here is the set list from last night.

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