Sunday, July 3, 2011

Something On A Sunday

U2 @ Vanderbilt 07.03.11

Something On A Sunday usually concerns itself with some of my other photographic endeavors; some successful, some less so. This Sunday is no different, in that it is a photograph of something other than Disney, but it isn't flowers or having to do with the adventures of Gerrie and I.

Strike that, it does have to do with the adventures of Gerrie and I. Last night we attended the U2 360 Tour here in Nashville. It was the one hundredth show of the tour. I will not give you a song by song review, but I do want to share one or two things.

I have seen U2 on two prior occasions. The first was on November 28, 1987 at Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It was the Joshua Tree Tour. The set opened with Where the Streets Have No Name and closed with 40. The second was on October 10, 1992 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama. This was the Zoo TV Outdoor Broadcast Tour. This concert opened with Zoo Station and closed with an a Capella tribute to Elvis Presley, Can't Help Falling In Love. The two concerts were, in my opinion, almost polar opposites. The '87 event bordered on an almost spiritual quality. Even before U2 took the nearly bare stage, with the crowd singing along with Beatles music, it was moving, challenging, emotional. The Zoo TV concert was spectacle and I missed the near communal quality of the former.

Last night, the concert was both large and small. The trappings, the set, were large, as were some of the selections. But it was small in that it had moments recaptured some of the transcendent moments of '87. Moments such as a Bono singing Amazing Grace and hearing 47,000 plus people sing along. Or when all the lighting was turned off, save for the lights of cell phones (photo above) that he asked be held up as stars of hope to the thousands in search of freedom. The audience sang nearly the whole first section of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, while the band listened. All moments. Followed by a closing moment of Bono having a blind fan from the audience play All I Want is You as he sang. All the man said was that he wanted to "play a song for my wife.'

I don't know. I don't go to enough concerts these days, save the Nashville Symphony, so I don't know what happens. These moments that can cause your spirit to soar and make you think, even if only for moment, that you are a part of something that is bigger than yourself, may happen all the time. I don't know. Perhaps its every concert using the medium music to cause you to think, if only for moment, that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people in the world who long for freedom. Who suffer for it. I don't know. I imagine every concert has a moment when you realize that it isn't about me, but it is about us. I don't know. Like I said, I don't go to enough concerts.

But I did go to this one. I like to think that perhaps I came out of it a little bit better person than I was.

"At the moment of surrender
of vision over visibility"

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