U2 @ Giants Stadium: Vision Over Visibility

September 26th, 2009

The lights began to dim. The stadium began to rumble. The band’s massive, claw-shaped 360° began to billow smoke. David Bowie's "Space Oddity" counted down from the outsized speakers: "5... 4... 3... 2..."

One by one, Larry, Adam, Edge and Bono took their positions, then launched headlong into a pulse-racing, soul-shaking block of stadium anthems: "Breath" (which, it so happens, is my ringtone for it's lyric alone: "Every day I find the courage to / Walk out into the street / With your arms out to the people you meet"), "Get On Your ...

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That Dust Cloud Disappears Without A Trace

September 25th, 2009

resizedYesterday morning at 11:27 I Tweeted, "Noon meeting. Two o'clock flight. Nine o'clock U2 show. Bets, anyone?"

At the time, I wouldn't have wagered even a gentleman's handshake; the communique derived from Overland Park, Kansas, some 1,201 miles west of Giant's Stadium.

Too many moving parts were in play, not the least of which an airplane. Worse, my noon meeting was over thirty miles south of KCI Airport. So I stacked the deck.

First, I booked a car service, and had the Towncar poised just steps from the corporate headquarters in ...

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It Might Get Loud

July 31st, 2009

resizedDirector Davis Guggenheim's new documentary love letter to the electric guitar, "It Might Get Loud," is loaded with unbelievable moments.

First, he manages to shoot Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page's visit to Headley Grange, the East Hampshire, England, home studio where the band recorded "Led Zeppelin IV." Page is regal in his puffy, white shirt and black duster, gliding over the grounds, strumming his mandolin in the garden, and recounting tales of recording John Bonham's legendary, massive backbeat on "When The Levee Breaks." He ...

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Shooting U2

March 15th, 2009

resizedFrankly, my mind had been blown nearly half a dozen times already, and that was before I waltzed past the well-guarded barricades outside the Somerville Theater and bumped into U2 sound checking "Magnificent" just a few feet in front of me.

First, there was getting tapped for the trip to begin with. It happened like this: Sway interviewed the band after its Fordham University gig (with a fair dose of prep from your truly). The band called that same day to request that Sway host one of its three forthcoming Q&A sessions. I have a ...

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U2 Treat Boston Fans To Surprise Show

March 12th, 2009

BOSTON — "It was an unwieldy event," Bono told MTV News' Sway Calloway just seconds after stepping off the tiny club stage at Wednesday's surprise performance. "But that's the way we like 'em."

No strangers to spectacle, U2 wrapped up their 10-day, four-city campaign for Biggest Band in the World — and celebrated No Line on the Horizon's #1 status in 30 countries — with the global broadcast of a jet-fueled performance and Q&A from Boston's Somerville Theatre.

And what a ...

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Infinity Is A Great Place To Start

March 4th, 2009

resizedThirteen years at MTV News, and finally I get my close up!

Ok, so it was a two-shot, but still.

I knew today was special from the moment I forced myself from my warm sheets: my pre-order of U2's "No Line On The Horizon" was waiting on iTunes.

I spent the few minutes it took to download the album to bang out a post ("Will U2’s New Album Live Up To Bono’s Promise?") for MTV's Newsroom blog. Then I walked into work, relishing the band's latest effort -- their twelfth -- along the cold and snowy (and fairly miserable) way.

With ...

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Come On Up For The Rising

January 18th, 2009

resizedIt took less than an hour for my inaugural cynicism to fade.

It wasn't the bunting, the banners, or the red, white and blue. It wasn't The Mall, the monuments, or the museums. It wasn't even hope, change, or unity.

It was Bruce.

My colleague, Gil, and I were walking off lunch with a long stroll through the capital. We walked the parade route past The White House, then climbed a short hill to The Washington Monument. The Capital Building glistened white against the bright, blue sky to the east. Dozens of American flags flapped in ...

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Hide & Seek: A Consideration Of REM & U2

February 20th, 2008

resized In the fall of 1987, two scrappy rock bands stood poised for world domination.

REM's fifth release, "Document," catapulted the band from college rock staples to mainstream mainstays. The band's Top 10 hit, "The One I Love," cracked the top ten. The album went platinum, paving the way for a five-album, $80M Warner Bros. deal.

U2's fifth studio album, "The Joshua Tree," was a cultural phenomena. Its two number one singles ("With or Without Your" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For") drove over 10 million sales, securing the ...

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With Or Without You

February 9th, 2008

resized The release of "U23D" has prompted a wave of quips about how even a 70mm IMAX screen can't hold Bono's oversized ego.

I dragged my pal Brian to a screening on Thursday night, my second.

Once again, what struck me wasn't its size, volume, or depth (though all remain impressive, especially in front of a screen that fills one's entire field of vision and speakers that rattle one's bones), but a moment -- one fleeting instant -- towards the end of the film.

The band is wrapping up its second encore, a rousing version of "With Or ...

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U2 Talk ‘U2 3D’ Movie, New Album At Sundance

January 21st, 2008

resizedPARK CITY, Utah - The hot ticket at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend wasn't an edgy Hollywood indie. It was a slick, super-saturated 3-D concert flick from Dublin.

Park City's Eccles Center was pulsing with an arena-sized dose of anticipation Saturday night for the premiere of U2's "U2 3D." Fans whooped and hollered at any and all signs of the band. Scalpers drove tickets far above face value. The red carpet was choked with press outlets stacked four deep, while the theater was packed ...

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