Claw and Order: U2 Delivers the Hits at FedEx Field

bono Not even Bono could compete with "The Claw" as the main attraction at Tuesday's U2 show at FedEx Field. (All photos by Ricky Carioti/TWP)

By Chris Richards
Washington Post Staff Writer

After months of anticipation, it finally descended upon FedEx Field: The stage prop to end all stage props. Looming 164-feet over the stage and christened "The Claw," its menacing girth made Funkadelic's mothership look like a Frisbee covered in Reynolds Wrap.

It was stunning, surreal -- oh, and a rock band played beneath it, too. The band is called U2, and it's on the most extravagantly staged tour of its 33-year career and -- judging from the stage banter at FedEx Field Tuesday -- its fans are mostly high-ranking politicians.(Only at a U2 concert will Nancy Pelosi be shouted-out twice.)

The band charged through a satisfying set of its most rousing tunes -- "Where the Streets Have No Name," "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "Beautiful Day" -- but they often felt secondary to the nonstop visual turbulence. This wasn't about the band onstage. It was about the stage itself. "We got a spaceship," declared frontman Bono early in the show. "But it isn't going anywhere without you!"

(Read the rest of the review after the jump.)


Was it a threat? Because this thing looked scary. To call it "The Claw" is to have only seen it through the tiny windows of YouTube. In person, it felt more like "The Colossal Robotic Crustacean That's About To Stomp Off Into Prince George's County And Destroy Everything In Its Path." Even if it did manage to stay put, its laser cannons would surely vaporize Larry Mullen Jr. upon the flubbing of his first drum fill.

Those laser cannons were actually stage lights and with all of them firing in tandem, the band underneath seemed practically invincible. Take 2004's "Vertigo," a middling U2 anthem at best. As the quartet performed in the round, leaping from overblown chorus to overblown chorus, a cylindrical video screen hanging overhead actually began to move, splintering into hundreds of honeycomb-shaped panels that stretched slowly downward. Black and white images spun around this gigantic LCD funnel, a bioluminescent roulette wheel twisting on an axis of strobe lights. It was enough to set your mouth agape, and it gave the band permission to do whatever it pleased.

As long as the screen was working, that is. Early in the set, during a handsome version of "Magnificent," the pixels went black for about 90 seconds. Now this was some real suspense! What if U2 had to slog through the next two hours under the biggest busted television on planet Earth?

They would have been fine. Even while playing a new single that fans are still getting to know, this is a troupe that can hold its own. Before the band had a chance to really prove it, the screen flickered back to life and The Edge plunged into a warbling guitar solo.

With all whiz-bangs whiz-banging at full capacity, U2's best tunes felt bulletproof. "New Years Day" was urgent and spry. "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" was noble and smooth. Even "Mysterious Ways" managed to deliver an unexpected punch, despite Bono's awkward invocation to "Get your groove on!"


His intensity peaked during "Where the Streets Have No Name," as he stomped his foot on the stage, pleading with the crowd to chime in. He had failed to trigger the enthusiastic singalongs that these songs deserved, but here it felt almost like a demand.

What did he expect? This wasn't a rock show. This was an orgy of light and sound - something that felt most apparent during "With Or Without You." When a grown man croons one of the most tender rock songs ever written while wearing a jacket embedded with laser pointers, can we be expected to do anything else than drool?

As with any seamlessly choreographed rock extravaganza, the evening's highlight was completely unintentional. It came during that delightful moment of the band's 2000 hit "Beautiful Day," a momentary pause where band's gusto evaporates into nothing, leaving the Edge and Mullen Jr. to harmonize in empty space.

Singing into their headset microphones before diving back into the chorus, the duo sounded out of breath and out of key. It only lasted a second, but it was a necessary reminder that beneath the dreamlike spectacle flashing overhead, there were actually four guys just trying to play a song.

Were you at the show last night? Share your thoughts in the comments.



u2 claw U2's claw, from a previous show in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

u2 claw

By Chris Richards |  September 30, 2009; 8:19 AM ET Live Last Night
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Muse rocked. Too bad they were under-appreciated by the Top-40-loving casual U2 crowd.

Posted by: 2tone | September 30, 2009 9:11 AM

Legendary show - the stage was incredible, and the playlist was a perfect mix of new and old.

But WTF is up with FedEx! Two and half hours spent crawling up Rt. 50 to the stadium is absolutely ridiculous!!!

Good bloody thing the band redeemed the up-till-then disastrous night. Greatest band on the planet? Abso-bloody-lutely!!!

Posted by: simian77 | September 30, 2009 9:18 AM

The crowd was a little on the quiet side but as you pointed out, that could have been from all of the visuals.
The traffic of course was a friggin nightmare - in and out !!!

Posted by: VaBroker | September 30, 2009 9:20 AM

Shout outs to Nancy Pelosi? OK, U2 is officially lame. Why did these guys become such pathetic sell outs? It's nauseating to see how Bono has cozied up to the elites. I know he does a lot of good but c'mon...

Posted by: dbunkr | September 30, 2009 9:21 AM

Everytime Bono participates in American politics I think how tragic it was Mark Chapman killed John lennon

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | September 30, 2009 9:22 AM

The stage and performance we equally amazing, and this from a part-time U2 fan. I wonder if people my age (in their mid 40s) have realized how far such shows have come; Think of the gulf between tennis pong on a TV game console and Wii golf and you are in the right area. In 1993 I saw The Rolling Stones at RFK - the stage was perched at one end of the field and you could barely make out which one was Jagger, the grainy jumbo-tron being needed to watch the whole show. Fast-forward to U2 who have a central stage with outlier walkways, and cinema quality circular screens to augment the experience without removing you from the intimacy of the band's presence and stellar performance. A fantastic night. BTW, the WP’s piece about how the stage was the highlight might have been better with a few pictures to illustrate to the readers what they missed.

Posted by: stuarty | September 30, 2009 9:22 AM

Everything about the show was larger than life -- the stage, the lights, the band, the crowd. I just wish the show had been an hour or so longer. Too many great songs, too little time (sigh). Even a casual fan would love this spectacle. There aren't too many bands that can pack FedEx with teenagers all the way up to grandparents. Thrilled that I finally got to take in a U2 show after all these years. Oh, and the tribute to Burma and its political prisoner was incredibly moving.

Posted by: Go_Duke | September 30, 2009 9:22 AM

I was there and enjoyed the show. It was not an intimate evening with a band nor was it meant to be. Stadium shows are supposed to be colossal theatrical performances bigger than the previous gigantic rock band's show. The Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd come to mind as other gigantic tours.

The crowd was predominantly Caucasian and over 35. Everyone in the section I was in repeatedly yelled "Shut up and sing" when Bono abused his celebrity. It was also absurd that the band tried to tag a "Green" save the environment label on its tour. The single largest polluter of the planet in the year 2009 is Bono and his band. I laughed hysterically at his mention of Pelosi. She is the second largest polluter of the planet in 2009, zig zagging across the country every week in her giant private jet.

Gotta love liberals. "You have to stop what you are doing and Save the Planet! But.... don't apply my rules to me"

I found it particularly offensive when he pulled up a man wearing a red turban on stage and wrapped an American flag around him. The guy was an obvious plant for this stunt.

Politics aside, it was an enjoyable performance.

Posted by: mobileclem | September 30, 2009 9:23 AM

I wish to thank Bono, The Edge, Adam, and Larry for playing their hearts out last night at the Fed Ex Field. They don't know how much it meant to me. God bless all of you!

See you in heaven,
Sister Verna Nadine

Posted by: sophiesosoft | September 30, 2009 9:25 AM

Don't forget about Muse. Rt 50 was still packed and the will call line a mile long by the time they started, but anyone who saw them got a real treat.

The guy behind me put it best when he said "Usually the opening band sucks, but these guys are amazing! Who are they again?"

Posted by: jonsolo11 | September 30, 2009 9:27 AM

The U2 show last night was excellent. I wasn't as excited about the show as I normally am because I'm not crazy about the new album but Wow they put on a show. I've seen them about a dozen times and thought that the DC shows I've ...seen have been a bit subpar compared to other cities like Philly but last night both the band and the crowd were on. The stage was unbelievable and I disagree with the above post. I sat in the club level and the giant video screen made it seem more intimate.

Posted by: wdunick | September 30, 2009 9:27 AM

Took us 2 hours and 45 minutes to get to Fedex from Arlington. They put on a good show but I agree that they were probably overshadowed by the stage. Found myself watching the screen more than the actual band.

An nothing says get the h out of the stadium like Elton John's "Rocket Man"!

Posted by: arlingtonJAM | September 30, 2009 9:27 AM

How is it that Fedex Field has been around for 12 years and they still can't get everyone in and out smoothly? We waited an hour before we got out of the parking lot! The weak point being evidently the light at Brightseat Rd and Landover Rd--thousands of cars had to wait at the light there. There were no police officers at the intersection to keep things flowing.

Posted by: tjm0051 | September 30, 2009 9:27 AM

I thought it was a decent show. I loved the stage, the lights, and the loud music, but the audience, as usual for a DC show, was dead, save for some flickers of life on songs like Vertigo and Pride.

The remixed I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight were under-appreciated by the audience, but it was strong, as was Ultraviolet.

Posted by: aml_lewis | September 30, 2009 9:29 AM

@dbunkr: they gave at least two shout outs to Dubya for his administrations work on HIV and malaria prevention in Africa...

...but really, it's U2: if you're just noticing their leftward bent now, after 33 years, because of a Pelosi shout-out, you're going to be shocked when you find out the terrible truth about the Tooth Fairy...

Posted by: EdTheRed | September 30, 2009 9:31 AM

Great show.

Epic fail by FedEx Field all the way around. The parking attendants were clueless and having to wait in a guest services line to get a wristband before you could reach the field was a terrible idea.

Posted by: rlusby49 | September 30, 2009 9:32 AM

Great show, but the acoustics were just awful. I suppose being in a concrete stadium doesn't help matters, but I would have much rather seem them in a arena environment.

Posted by: canderson1 | September 30, 2009 9:33 AM

Um, Chris? Where are your comments about that opening band? You know...Muse?? Number #3 album this week in the U.S. And #1 in over 25 countries, as Bono pointed out. Geez, were you one of the lame people in the crowd who were either walking around outside during their performance? Or sitting there like a rock. Muse are the best live band I've ever seen (this was my third show). Pity they only got to play barely 30 minutes. The U2 show was amazing too, don't get me wrong. But how about a little respect for Muse?

Posted by: BritishMusicFan | September 30, 2009 9:33 AM

The Show was INCREDIBLE. WOW is all I have to say. There had to be 90,000 people there.

Posted by: eddyramone | September 30, 2009 9:34 AM

As a U2 devotee at my 17th U2 concert, 3rd this tour, I can tell you without a doubt this was the BEST U2 concert I've ever been to. The energy was electric, the songs flawless, the moments beautiful. The true highlight of this concert is "I'll go Crazy If I don't go Crazy Tonight" Brilliant! My personal favorite moment of the night was when 2 young men in front of me, never been to a show before, like U2 ok, turned to me during "When Streets Have No Name" and screamed... "BEST CONCERT EVER, I LOVE U2!" Score, two more converts! I told them welcome to Church of U2! Shout out Alex and Tim!

Posted by: refugee44 | September 30, 2009 9:35 AM

PG County couldn't control traffic for a toddlers birthday party. It was the same way getting out of the last Redskins game.
Come up with a plan that works for God's sake.

Posted by: VaBroker | September 30, 2009 9:35 AM

Not even a mention of Muse as the opener? Personally, I think they outperformed U2. Funny how they can headline anywhere else in the world and sell out arenas, but here they end up playing to the 15,000 people who actually showed up to see a "lowly opening band". Anyone who skipped the opener truly missed a great performance by a great band.

Posted by: smmccue | September 30, 2009 9:35 AM

Hey was Muse. What's there to appreciate? "Top 40 loving crowd," so you paid to see Muse or U2? If it wasn't for the latter, next time do not come at all and keep your "rebel-self" home!

Posted by: jlazaro1 | September 30, 2009 9:37 AM

Unforgettable performance, unbelievable production... This was my 3rd U2 concert, first one in a very long time. I'm in my early 40s, and I can't believe how much more elaborate these concerts are nowadays. I thought the sound quality at Fedex Field wasn't that great though, there was a lot of echo, and most of time I couldn't quite understand what Bono was saying. Overall it was a memorable evening. Thanks guys!!! You're the best!!!

Posted by: SennaF1 | September 30, 2009 9:37 AM

The band was great. The set was fantastic. The venue is a catastrophic piece of crap. FedEx Field is the epitome of greed over grace. Any 1st year civil engineering student could easily improve the infrastructure at this pit...but somebody would have to cut a check to get it done. Not good for profits.

Someday I hope the fans will be appreciated for the role they play in these shows...the ones who make them possible! In the meantime I suppose we are relegated to the anarchy that is getting to and leaving from FedEx Field.


Posted by: eddie111 | September 30, 2009 9:37 AM

In reading the comments of people at the show including the Post's Mr Richards, not one person mentions the message of human rights that Bono and the band bring with them. There was a moving dedication of Bloody Sunday to the people of Iran and another of Walk On to Burma. There were numerous references to the people of Africa. Did you people not hear this or do you simply not care?

Posted by: slonjay | September 30, 2009 9:39 AM

Muse is nothing but Radiohead lite.

Posted by: Jumpy66 | September 30, 2009 9:41 AM

All that gushing about the stage and no pictures?? Enough with being a wordsmith -- color your Bono lovefest with a few shots of this "incredible" claw.

Posted by: chris1chris | September 30, 2009 9:45 AM

AMAZING NIGHT! The stage really did look like some sort of space creature had landed. The Edge 'the leader of my free world' rocked. I tend to disagree with those who did not appreciate the "political" comments by Bono. I thought he was trying to send a message to not focus on the negative and instead focus on the positive. Pelosi or Bush are not all bad - they have also done good - like when Bono spoke of HIV drug therapy and thanked Bush or when he thanked Teddy Kennedy: "for a peaceful Ireland we salute you Teddy... " He then contrasts the "good" with the "bad" when he asks the crowd "how long must we sing this song??" and mentions the protesters in Iran. Very powerful. I also enjoyed the remix of crazy tonight. C Ville on Thursday Baby!!!

Posted by: BabyCAP | September 30, 2009 9:47 AM

To jlazaro1: What's there to appreciate about Muse? How about the fact that they are great musicians. And put on a spectacular live show.

To Jumpy66: You're an idiot.

Posted by: BritishMusicFan | September 30, 2009 9:50 AM

For my first U2 show, I was expecting the crowd to rival Live Aid or a European show. The crowd definitely was not as intense as I expected. Getting back on the train was scary. People being pushed by the stampeding crowd, etc. It was total chaos when the train doors opened. That put a damper on the evening.

Posted by: mpatriot | September 30, 2009 9:51 AM

The show totally rocked and lived up to my high expectations. The band is very engaged with the crowd and this is pleasant alternative to some of the aloof acts I've seen recently (hello Eric Clapton -- do you have any affect at all?). Sure the stage was a bit over the top but that was appropriate for fedex field which is a monstrosity (how high up are those nosebleeds?). Bono did get carried away with the political mentions, but hey he was in a DC venue and at least it seemed non-partisan. The guy does really seen to care about the stuff.
Muse was a pleasant surprise, I wasn't familiar with them and they rocked too. All in all one of the top concerts I've seen and I've seen many in 40 years. Very compelling performance. Would I prefer to see them in an intimate venue like Verizon ;) yes but this worked well stage and all!

Posted by: Observer21 | September 30, 2009 9:57 AM

If you enjoy spectacle over music, bad acoustics, ridiculous security measures, and overwhelmed public transportation systems, then you missed one hell of an evening.

Posted by: JimJoe | September 30, 2009 9:58 AM

It was my first U2 show after years of being a casual fan, but I also saw the film "It Might Get Loud" last week, and that got me fully primed for the concert. The show was fantastic. Absolutely incredible. From weaving Blackbird, Stand By Me and Amazing Grace into their set to re-making "Go Crazy Tonight" and blowing my mind with "Walk On" and "Streets Have No Name", I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, I thought the sound techs were taking too many liberties, especially with Muse, which sounded like they were a just a drum-and-bass group. Their vocals were especially muddy, which ruined their set for me. Bono's sincere pleas for understanding and compassion - and sincere praise for politicians of all stripes who look beyond themselves to try and solve global problems - were compelling. The only mystery was whether the kid that Bono brought up on stage was too nervous for his own good, or just bored. Overall, a spectacular show!!

Posted by: BaltoFan | September 30, 2009 10:01 AM

I see you are a glass is 1/2 empty person. Go be miserable by yourself.

Posted by: qballgeek | September 30, 2009 10:01 AM

was it me, or did it sound like Bono's voice was drowned out. Heck Muse was so drowned out by loud bass that it just kind of put a damper on it. I don't know if it was because I was under the overhang in the lower bowl, but if you have a guy with a voice like Bono's why have him sound drowned out. I could barely here the drums at times. It could have been that or the way the speakers were directed out or the people at the sound board. I didn't think the crowd was that subdued though.

Posted by: cblankner | September 30, 2009 10:01 AM

The show was amazing - visuals and commentary spot on, music fantastic. But getting in by metro and out by car was incredibly frustrating. DC is supposed to be such a great city and then we have to deal with transport nightmares!

How can it take 1 1/2 hours -- no police direction whatsoever -- to get out out of a parking lot?! And the service on my iPhone was non-existent. Was Verizon or BlackBerry jamming the signal?! We couldn't meet up with any of our pals before, during or after the show. Those two were the only bummers.

Rock On, U2! Thanks for a great show~!

Posted by: federalemployee1 | September 30, 2009 10:03 AM

Give me a break mobileclem! Bono has used his "celebrity" status to help the poor and speak out for the disadvantaged. If that makes him a liberal, then we should have more liberals. Maybe I should become one too. Bono hasn't used all his fame and fortune to get high on drugs and score on groupies. The guy has tried to make things better. Unlike other celebrities, his actions speak louder than his words or his music.

Also, you failed to mention that last night he gave shout-outs to President Bush for his efforts in Africa. I think Bono was very evenhanded in his remarks. Bono is not apolitical, he knows that if want to change to world you have to pressure the people in power.

Finally, what's wrong with a guy "wearing a red turban" waving an American flag. How's that offensive? He's probably an American. He's showing his patriotism. If the American flag and patriotism offend you, you should consider closing your eyes and just listening to the music.

For the record, the concert was amazing!

Posted by: washingtontimesrules | September 30, 2009 10:07 AM

Traffic was fine if you used one of the back exits. I was out of the stadium parking area in under 10 minutes - the main exits were a mess. Early arrival (3:30p) was also key. Spent a few hours with my buddy listening to an Irish band and drinking some Guinnesses - sounds like the right combo for a U2 concert.

The sound & light show was deathening. U2 after a slow warm-up during the first couple of songs found their stride quickly and did not disappoint. Muse provided good opening act entertainment. I was amazed at the range of ages at this concert, from 6 to 60, easily.

Posted by: rodndtube | September 30, 2009 10:18 AM

U2 one of the most unoriginal bands ever but, I'm sure the sheeple loved it...MEH

Posted by: devilsadvoc8 | September 30, 2009 10:20 AM

No thanks, I'll stick to Green Day and other bands (Neil Young, Mellancamp) that have not sold out to corporate interests or try to lecture to me like St. Bono....This spectacle alone took megawatts of energy to make.. producing all kinds of a large carbon foorprint, not to mention lugging around all the gear from city to city worldwide. So how can St Bono lecture us for a green planet, when by defacto he and U2 were putting quite a lump of carbon in the air last night alone. Get over yourself Bono.

Can U2 still come up with music that does not need such a production. The latest album was quite terrible....
U2 has become staid, a musical version of fast food. that, is good while your eating it but leaves you empty not long afterwards.

LIke Frank Zappa said long ago..."shut up and play your guitar"

Posted by: nowhine | September 30, 2009 10:20 AM

Bono is such an annoying nerd and their music is boring.

Posted by: MetalMatt | September 30, 2009 10:21 AM

Agree with washingtontimesrules -- Bono isn't just a celebrity who "needs a charity" so he sticks his name on it. He actually knows the issues inside and out and works tirelessly to help those underserved -- he's a great man! And more than once he thanked the US for their generosity. Come on, we don't do enough!

I enjoyed Muse, too, they had a rocky start but really came out. We listened to their album all the way home.

For the record, Bono ROCKS!

Posted by: federalemployee1 | September 30, 2009 10:25 AM

Yes, it is very boring MetalMatt, I have always wondered how so many people love them, but thats popular music for you the sheeple love what you feed to them BAAAHHHH

Posted by: devilsadvoc8 | September 30, 2009 10:26 AM

An earlier post noted that "I found it particularly offensive when he pulled up a man wearing a red turban on stage and wrapped an American flag around him. The guy was an obvious plant for this stunt." I don't mind posts that share opinions but sometime they are simply misinformed at best and vitriolic at worst .. that serves nobody. Just for clarification, the man (named Amp) was not a plant ... he is a Sikh from New Jersey who is an avid U2 fan. I wish people would simply respect and enjoy the diversity of opinions, ideas and people U2 seeks to expose the audience to in the course of a two hour musical journey rather than work so hard to find fault when there's so many better places to look for fault in this world.

Posted by: brad500 | September 30, 2009 10:26 AM

muse rocked??? paleeze...muse stunk up fedex more than a skins drive ending at the one yard line. Unfotunately, Muse(a top 40 band) like MANY of today's band can't find their own sound. Their songs at time did rock thanks to the drummer, but it sounded like all the boring crap that's heard by the masses today. I'm not trying to compare today's music to U2 or whatever, but Muse and a lot of other similar MTV generation bands lack soul.

Posted by: boricuabopper | September 30, 2009 10:28 AM

So, rodndtube, which are the back exits? We exited via Arena Drive and my hubby and friends arrived around 4:30 so they got there plenty early.

Posted by: federalemployee1 | September 30, 2009 10:31 AM

The U2 show last night was absolutely fantastic except the 4 idiots in our section. We all know Bono likes to spout his political beliefs, not everyone agress with him. There was two idiots with their wives yelling for him to stop his beliefs on us. Thank God they got thrown out of the show because they were obnoxious. Then one of the wives decides she's going to throw her two cents in, she also gets kicked out. I felt bad for the other wife, she had to sit thru the craziness of the other three. There was justice in the end, one of the guys fell face first on the concrete and got up holding his shoulder. Other than that the show was absolutely great.

Posted by: ConcertLover | September 30, 2009 10:31 AM

I was really mad at the traffic getting there, but the show erased all that grief within a few minutes. Truly awesome show!! So glad I went.

Posted by: johng1 | September 30, 2009 10:36 AM

U2 was awesome for those with good seats. It was the most incredible visual performance I've ever seen by a band. The sound reaching the upper deck was terrible. If it wasn't for the great visuals the concert would've been terrible. Much of what Bono said was inaudible. The band put a great effort into their performance. Never again will I buy nose bleed seats at a stadium. We were there but at the same time I often felt like we were just eavs dropping from afar.

Posted by: KDogster | September 30, 2009 10:38 AM

mobileclem wrote: Everyone in the section I was in repeatedly yelled "Shut up and sing" when Bono abused his celebrity.

From the sound of your post - you were one of the morons chanting along and ruining an otherwise great evening.

Obviously you've never been to a U2 concert - that's part of the show. If you don't want to hear Bono talk about the causes he supports - buy the fricking CD and listen at home if you like the music but not the politics. You're probably the same jacka$$ I had to ask to quiet down during a song so I could listen to teh music and not your blabbering conversation with your boyfriend.

At least now I know your pseudo - so I know who I paid big bucks to listen to during the concert...

Posted by: seanasbury | September 30, 2009 10:43 AM

Came late, left early....

boring... the crowd was so lame! but the lights and stage made up for the gas I spent to drive to the concert...

Posted by: ngocepoo | September 30, 2009 10:48 AM

Zoo TV and PopMart were better stadium shows, but this one wasn't bad.

Posted by: obrier2 | September 30, 2009 10:48 AM

Having seen several of U2's previous tours, my husband and I were VERY HAPPY with last night's show. They are very talented and they put on a fantastic show! There's nothing else to say about it. And the thousands of screaming fans there last night only proved it. I only heard singing and cheering all around me last night.

Their new album may be weaker than the rest, but they do still have the heart and soul in there that has carried them through since the very beginning.

As a side note, I have to point out that Bono has ALWAYS been politically and socially active. ALWAYS. He grew up in a city and a country, riddled with unrest and violence. This is a not a new role he's undertaken by any means, so it's absurd for people to act annoyed that he was political last night. What did you expect of him/them? Plus he's in Washington, DC. I'm sure even Santa Claus feels political angst when he swings by our town.

I think that if someone like Bono, who's used his celebrity to do good things in the world, expressing his appreciation to all political sides for all they have done to help humanitarian efforts, bothers you... then you should be ashamed of yourself. You probably won't be, but you really should be.

Posted by: vmfn1 | September 30, 2009 10:50 AM

Hello people!!! Traffic is expected when a show begins a little after rush hour on a weekday. There must've been close to a 100 thousand people in attendance last night! I don't care where you're at, it's going to take a while to file out. I agree fedex sux and it shouldn't be in Raljon, but DEAL WITH IT!!!

ob btw-british music fan, there have been a number of quality bands that have come out of the UK in the past 10 years that go unoticed, but muse(like coldplay) is not one of them. Top ten charts are for lazy bamas like you...

Posted by: boricuabopper | September 30, 2009 10:51 AM

Fine show, especially for a stadium that sucks as bad as FedEx Field. But this new album is middling--the space song was a joke--and for my money I would ask that the band resist the urge to put out mediocre new stuff and give us more classics.

I would contribute $5,000 to Bono's choice of charity to hear Joshua Tree played beginning to end and listen to an hour lecture from him while wearing a silly mask.

Posted by: peregrine1 | September 30, 2009 10:51 AM

Enjoyed the concert--visuals, sound (a little loud for me), and, for the most part, song selection were all good (disappointed they skipped Pride, Desire, I Will Follow, and a number of others, but they have a pretty large catalog of music to play so that's understandable). Getting into the stadium and parked was a lot better than the McCartney concert this summer, but getting out was another story. We left as the last song was playing and got a jump on the bulk of the crowd, but just as we were about to exit, the throngs of foot traffic were passing by the parking lot exits with NO flag people in sight. It was a ridiculous, inexcusable, and dangerous woman passenger in a car a couple ahead of us got out and physically stopped pedestrians while her husband inched the car out of the lot. We were fortunate to have a second row of cars developing to the left of us when it was our turn to exit, which cut off the foot traffic and gave us a chance to exit safely (after I was temporarily stuck because the front tire caught the edge of the curb). I presume this unfortunate situation continued after we were able to depart. After all the problems with what happened at the McCartney concert, you would have thought management would have been sure to rectify the situation, but apparently they just don't care.

Posted by: markf40 | September 30, 2009 10:55 AM

Um, boricuabopper, I was merely pointing out to the reviewer that he could have mentioned Muse given they aren't some obscure band. Half of the 5000 CD's I own never charted at all. Sorry you were too much of a "bama" to make the leap on what I was trying to say.

Posted by: BritishMusicFan | September 30, 2009 11:05 AM

I have to say it was one of the most surreal and wonderful and enjoyable concert experiences of my life.

I first saw U2 come to DC in 1983 when they were a young band touring in support of the October album. They were playing a small theater in DC, the Ontario I think, to about 350 people. I knew when I saw them then that they were going to be big.

There was an energy, purity, and zest for life that seemed to mark them in my view, and in my view its still there in many ways.

Now to the surreal. I had the wonderful chance to surprise one of my teenage daughters with tickets to the show for she and two of her best friends. To see the joy and wide eyed excitement of my daughter and her friends was worth the price of admission.

And no they didn't "ditch" me once we got to the venue. Instead they wanted to learn more about the band, who they were, what they were about, how they could tour all these years and still enjoy what they do.

And my daughters initiated me to Muse, which I hadn't seen or heard before (they are big fans).

What I found amazing was how my daughter and her friends screamed when they saw Bono and the Edge show up on the big screens. These guys are basically my age. Bono probably has a daughter my daughters age for all I know.

I will always treasure this time that my daughter and her friends allowed me to share with them. It was well worth the pricey tickets, terrible parking, tee shirt hawkers, late night, and drunken concert goers making a spectacle of themselves in the parking lot after the show.

Oh and I will of course treasure one of the best live big concert shows I have ever seen, by a band that I find myself continually drawn to in some many surreal ways.


Posted by: stratdv | September 30, 2009 11:05 AM

I was in 414, basically as up as it got and the sound was fine up there. It was a fantastic show, great staging, Bono's voice withstood 2 hours of singing sounding gorgeous as usual the whole time. And The Edge ROCKS! The guys were just awesome. I am so glad I finally got to see them live.

The political message were there but if you know anything about Bono, you knew it was coming. At least he has beliefs, is articulate about voicing them and uses his fame in a positive, helpful, often life-altering manner. It's much more than you can say about most frontmen these days who could use a little lesson in not only singing but also living a life that actually matters, from Bono. I am not a liberal by any means but I was touched almost as much by his words (because he sounded so sincere) as I was by his voice.

The will call line was looong and took forever (although we still got to see 4-5 songs by Muse, who was pretty good). Taking the metro was fine both ways but we left after With or Without You, before the very last song. I felt sorry for the people who drove. It looked awful!

Posted by: ropespin | September 30, 2009 11:10 AM

Sounds like I'm in the minority here, but the only problem I had with the venue was the food lines moving incredibly slowly. Getting there, parking, bathrooms, and leaving were fine (I live in Arlington and was home by midnight). Anywho...

I've been a huge U2 fan for about 15 years and this the 4th tour I've seen them on. While this was an amazing spectacle last night, I do think their 2005 concert at Verizon Center was better. They could have left out "Your Blue Room" - a great song, but not great in concert. And I was really disappointed by the remix/disco version of "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight." That was my favorite song off the new album, and I wanted to hear it sound as least somewhat like it was recorded (acoustic guitar, strings).

Posted by: plawrimore1 | September 30, 2009 11:12 AM

Hey nowhine, I love Greenday, a great liberal band that are not afraid to tell you that you, nowhine, are an American Idiot. You just hear a melody and not the words. Stay at home and stop listining to our bands. And Neil Young is one of the most political song writers out there. And have you heard of a thing called Farmaid. While you're at it stay away from Bruce, Born in the USA - not really a feel good song, Dave Matthews, Pearl Jam and just about any other decent band out there. LISTEN TO THE WORDS. They are trying to tell you something. Not just la la la.

Posted by: neversurprised | September 30, 2009 11:13 AM

The people who are complaining about the time it took to wait in traffic and parking lines and no policemen at traffic lights (then complain that U2 uses too much energy) should take the METRO!
It is a breeze. Public transportation saves the environment (and decreases the number of taxpayer traffic police hired), and the walk back and forth from the Metro to the concert was energizing and bonding.

If you don't like the traffic and gaz-guzzling uber-cars on the road- do something about it!

Posted by: vernon3 | September 30, 2009 11:15 AM

I have only missed one

Posted by: rwhit111 | September 30, 2009 11:15 AM

peregrine1 - the "space" song is not on the new album. It was released in 1995 on an album called "Original Soundtracks 1" that U2 and Brian Eno recorded under the pseudonym "Passengers". It's called "Your Blue Room." It was actually one of my favorite tracks from that album (the other being "Miss Sarajevo," which was a duet with Pavarotti, and which they performed in concert on their last tour).

Posted by: plawrimore1 | September 30, 2009 11:20 AM

The show was great but the public was no energy at all. The 50% of the show it makes by us and I am really dissapointed about the fans.
What happened guys!?

Posted by: gabihormaechea | September 30, 2009 11:21 AM

The show was amazing, including the music, song lineup and the visuals. The high point for me was seeing the changing face of America epitomized by a Sikh wearing the American flag. it was definitely an improptu moment with a very strong message. The low point was the crowd. Man, are Washingtonians lame or what? The people, as usual was dead, no emotion, dancing or anything, lame, lame, lame.

Posted by: jc_abril | September 30, 2009 11:23 AM

Let's face it, music fans. U2 sucks. Muse, on the other hand, were unreal. I was just hoping they'd come out again instead of U2.

Posted by: RussellJoye | September 30, 2009 11:23 AM

loved the concert, but absolutely floored by how terrible my at&t iphone service was inside fedex. 65% of the time i had "no service."

Posted by: jrbednar | September 30, 2009 11:28 AM

Great/awesome show and for those annoyed by any political message must have failed to realize that these guys have had been promoting causes since day one. Come on... "The Refugee", "Sunday Bloody Sunday", or "Pride"? Classic songs all with political points. Therefore, go see Britney Spears et al to keep your muzak "lite" and message free. Let real fans attend the show instead.

Posted by: PWChomeowner | September 30, 2009 11:33 AM

Great show. Too bad FedEx field and all its employees are a joke. Some examples:
1. It took me 1.5 hrs to get home, and I live in Arlington (18 miles). Majority of that time was spent getting out of FedEx, which was a free-for-all. No one directing traffic until Central Avenue.
2. While waiting for a drink, another guy spilled his. The bartender spent 5 minutes yelling at the guy. When she finally came to me, my friend's favorite U2 song came on so I asked her to give my friend her beer first so she could get back to her seat. The bartender sneered and said "the song's not over YET!" That's the point you dope!
3. 9 bucks for a draft beer, an 8 dollar parking fee for every ticket (so my car w/ 4 people paid $32 to park)... Danny, do you get why people are MAD?

Posted by: jwm1974 | September 30, 2009 11:34 AM

Hey neversurprised:

I do listen to words and I read the liner note and lyrics...U2 lost me long ago, after Unforgettible Fire...I can see how smart you are by calling me an idiot withot knowing me and by reading only one post of mine. So I could call you a troll, but I won't. My point is that St Bono should not be calling out for people to be "green" while this massive production causes lots of pollution and I don't need to be lectured by him...look into what Edge is doing in California...he bought lots of pristine land in Malibu to build....FIVE how green is that, how is that being nice to the environment?

When they started as angry young men from Belfast they had interesting things to not so much....

Posted by: nowhine | September 30, 2009 11:37 AM

Great show, amazing stage/lighting, superb sound (truly an amazing feat). Good set-list, though I thought Unforgettable Fire (one of my favorite songs) was underwhelming. Muse was very good as opener, would love to see them headlining a show here in the area. FedEx is a hassle, seems about 4 times its age. Metro did a good job turning some blue line trains orange. And, I sat beside Nancy Pelosi and her friends and they weer up and rocking!

Posted by: lanthier | September 30, 2009 11:38 AM

As my husband and I sat in senseless traffic that took us 3 hours from Leesburg via White's Ferry and River Road to get there (which caused us to miss Muse), we were left wondering was it really worth it? Even though we got free tickets (that someone paid $250 each for) we still ended up parking outside of the stadium and walking in and only stayed for about an hour because we were so frustrated from the traffic nightmare and didn't want to get stuck again on the way out!!! And what's up with $40 for a T-shirt and $8 for a light beer!!!??? Never again will I go to anything at FedEx Field!!! We don't go out very often and this would be one reason why! The chaos is more stressful than staying home with the kids and ultimately you don't end up enjoying yourself! IF there is a next time it will be with more time allowed and we will be using METRO!!! It's a shame that we could hardly enjoy the show, and I am glad that we saw U2, but the other draw was Muse which we sadly missed. Serious bummer!

Posted by: mrslmatthews | September 30, 2009 11:39 AM

U2 is the greatest band in the world today, probably the second greatest band ever. Passion, energy, musicianship--we have never experienced a band like U2.

If you think U2 fans are sheep because they're popular, then you are likely one of these "cool guy music hipster types" PS---your kind have been around forever, and are SOOO predictable BAAAH--who LOVE bands that are so obscure and new they haven't even formed yet...

Muse may be OK, but they are the WRONG ACT for U2. The average age of a U2 fan is probably 30-50. A Muse fan is probably 20.
They have a different--and much, much smaller--audience.

And these arenas Muse can sell out??? Maybe arenas on campuses like George Mason, but they are nowhere near Verizon Center-level. Never will be with such derivative, dull music.

And when Muse is a forgotten pimple on the butt of music history--a lil' ol Radiohead wann-be act long-fogotten--U2 will still be selling out stadiums and taking its place alongside and/or above The Beatles, Stones, Who, Zeppelin and the other all-time greats.

Posted by: rtravers63 | September 30, 2009 11:41 AM

bono's pretentious political bluster rang hollow, delivered from a monstrosity of a stage that screamed excess. you could feed all of africa for what that thing had to cost, never mind how much energy that thing had to eat up. great show, but keep your self importance to yourself bono; just shut up and sing. if you need to spout your politics on stage, follow the lead of bruce springsteen. i may not always agree with the boss's opinions, but he expresses them quickly and moves on with the show. with bono on stage it almost feels like the show is secondary to his need to have everybody know what a great philanthropist he is. what a pretentious little d-bag.

Posted by: BCinDC3 | September 30, 2009 11:43 AM

Truly spectacular and amazing concert. The stage was amazing. Set list was great. Kind of wish that the concert would have been 3 hours so that we could hear more songs!! The driving in and out wasn't bad - as long as you are willing to get there early (we arrived in the area at 5 with time to spare for dinner at a restaurant nearby). Getting out was a breeze since we left during Encore (I didn't want to leave - but also didn't want to sit in the parking lot for an hour!).

Posted by: Polarsnugglebear | September 30, 2009 11:46 AM

What an amazing show! I've been going to U2 concerts for 25 years and this was one was fantastic.

Just a quick note to "mobileclem"-- the shout out to Nancy Pelosi was because she was attending the concert (she happened to be sitting a few feet from me) just as Bono acknowledged the fact that the President of Rwanda also was attending. As for your "green" concerns, I believe U2 has bought carbon offsets for its tour and the Speaker is not allowed to fly commercially given that she is third in line to the presidency (congressional rule).

Posted by: number6 | September 30, 2009 11:48 AM


If they lost you at Unforgettable Fire then why did you go? And by saying you could call me a troll you just did. And they are from DUBLIN not Belfast. Stay home and enjoy your American Idol.

Posted by: neversurprised | September 30, 2009 11:51 AM

It's amazing that asshats like rtravers63 still call Muse a Radiohead wannabe band. Or Radiohead "lite". Name one song Radiohead has ever done that is anywhere close to the production of "Uprising", "Supermassive Black Hole" or "Time is Running Out". And I'm a huge Radiohead fan. But enough with the insulting comparisons. Do you do the same with Coldplay, Snow Patrol and Travis?? Also, Muse might not make their mark in the U.S. like U2. But they already have in the rest of the world.

Posted by: BritishMusicFan | September 30, 2009 11:55 AM

I am a republican, and do not often agree with Bono's political views, however I think we all can agree that he deserves a great deal of respect for actually putting his money and work where his mouth is.
His work for Africa is well publicized, but if you want to google it, you'll find a lot of information for causes that he works to support in almost every region of the world, including the US.
The Edge's "Music Rising" has raised a ton of $$ to support the arts in New Orleans after the Katrina debacle.
And for those who claim U2 sold out, please note that they only started working with high ranking political figures once they realized that was the only way to get those in power to support their causes, as well as they have never cashed in a single penny for their music being used (i.e TV adds, shows, etc), and rather forced those "using" U2 music (like Apple and American Idol) to make large contributions to charities for the privilege of doing so.

I have been to several U2 concerts, and it has always been an amazing experience, but then again I am biased, as they are my favorite band.
I am looking forward to tomorrow's show in Charlottsville!

Posted by: Darthvier88 | September 30, 2009 11:55 AM

Gotta love internet ignorance rtravers63.

Muse sold out Wembley two days in a row. Not a whole lot of musicians out there who can do that. Oh that's right, they were the first to do so, and they did it twice.

Posted by: tarling | September 30, 2009 11:58 AM

The concert was fantastic! I took less than 1 hour from Arlington to the stadium as I knew how traffic was going to be messy and took East Capitol Street all the way in. If you live in the area and know how traffic is don't complain. Metro is available and the only reason why I did not take it is because I am almost 7 months pregnant and that is a big walk from the metro to the stadium, which I would probably happy to do if wasn't for my pregnancy.
For those that did not know Muse I feel sorry as I heard comments around me such as "that little band that played in the beginning was good" and people didn't even know who they were! OMG! Really? Muse is playing all over the world!
U2 was unbelievable! Every single moment of it. The stage was fantastic and I believe people are free to express their thoughts when they have the power to do so, like Bono's personal political opinion. People are free to talk and nobody needs to agree with him but everybody should know that this is how U2 goes...always. If you don't like what Bono says and had the disrespect to yell "shut up and sing" shame on your pathetic behavior. Next time don't go because U2 is more than music, U2 is life...nice and loud!
Thank you Bono, Larry, Adam and the Edge for a fantastic night! Can't wait to go again next year!
It was AMAZING!!!

Posted by: bcparlington | September 30, 2009 12:08 PM

loved the concert, but absolutely floored by how terrible my at&t iphone service was inside fedex. 65% of the time i had "no service."

Posted by: jrbednar | September 30, 2009 11:28 AM


Now that's today's music fan! How can you enjoy a concert if you can't call your friend and say you're enjoing the concert?

Posted by: DavidStHubbins1 | September 30, 2009 12:13 PM

The view and the sound from above the claw was far less than awe-inspiring. Echoes were out of control. Even the volume at my height/distance from the stage allowed normal conversation tones, practically. That's just not right!

From my viewpoint near to the top of the upper deck, Bono was about 3/8 inches tall in between the thumb and forefinger of my outstretched arm. Visual effect of the mega-morphing TV screen was correspondingly reduced.

I love U2 and I still enjoyed the show, but I'm definitely averse to future stadium concerts. Give me indoor arenas any day. Probably several thousand fans had the same experience.

Posted by: tomoakley1 | September 30, 2009 12:17 PM

From a casual fan whose co-worker presented him with three extra tickets yesterday at about 6:00 pm.

I don’t get some of the comments here. If you don’t like U2’s music or their opinions then why go to the show or watch it on line? If you didn’t go to the show or watch it online then why spout off on a board soliciting commentary about the show?

I still think it’s kind of funny the way celebrities are routinely criticized for existing in “Their own little worlds” and not knowing anything about the “real world” but then equally attacked for “preaching” or “lecturing” the instant that they demonstrate any knowledge about issues. Usually by the same people and in the same breath.

Like all human activities U2’s touring performances have a carbon impact. But they are not exactly vacationing or mowing down a forest to make way for a swimming pool. They are working and creating work for thousands of people- from their own entourage to the stadium workers at the performance venues- as well as providing tourism and entertainment revenue at those venues. Cities and their local businesses compete with each other to be able to host events like this and reap the economic windfall. Businesses leave carbon footprints you know. I see some claims that U2 incorporated is leaving a disproportionately large footprint. I would be legitimately interested in seeing the data to back up such a claim and would be the first to criticize them for it if it turned out to be true. Otherwise it’s just an opinion.

Maybe my standards are low but I have never been to an event of that size that didn’t involve significant traffic backups. My friends and I left after the last set, took the Metro (pretty much ignoring the attendants’ instructions while exiting the parking lots thus significantly slowing the flow of cars trying to exit. Sorry drivers but you can probably blame a lot of the backup on us unruly pedestrians) and were back in Columbia Heights by 1:00.

I thought the show was great but my assessment may be colored by the fact that I hadn’t been waiting months for it but made the trip completely last minute. I can personally attest that my friends expressed the desire to stand and shout but felt a little disoriented by the height and the crazy light show. We eventually got over it and thoroughly enjoyed the show. It kind of felt like a trade off- those of us in the upper stadium getting a spectacular view not shared by those closer to the field who instead got to be closer to the performance.

Something about the acoustics though made it really hard to understand him when he was talking. If you weren’t interested in hearing Bono commentary, it really wasn’t that hard to ignore anyway. Plus these guys ain’t no spring chickens either. They probably needed to break up the performance a little to catch their breath.

Posted by: bran-solo | September 30, 2009 12:24 PM

Was in 406 and felt the vocal acoustics were horrible. It was almost impossible to figure out what Bono was saying or singing for the bulk of the concert.

That said, fantastic show - had a complete blast!

Posted by: rbowley | September 30, 2009 12:27 PM

On Muse - whether you like them as a band or not, their sound was terrible last night. But that was as much the fault of the stadium as anything. There were less than 15,000 people in their seats (not including floor folks) when they played, and from the upper deck, it was just a massive echo. I couldn't make out a single word during the entire set; it was just a jumble of guitar and drums.

The U2 set was amazing, but like someone said above, I'd pay $5,000 in a heartbeat to hear them play Joshua Tree all the way through. I actually think No Line on the Horizon is their best CD since Achtung Baby, but I would not have minded had they only played songs written before 1990.

To those complaining about the politics, you can only wonder if they've listened to the words of U2's songs. When I was a young kid, I learned a lot by listening to Sunday Bloody Sunday and Mothers of the Disappeared and asking my parents what those songs were about.

Which I think gets to an important point - yes, the carbon footprint of these concerts is ridiculous and Bono can talk for way too long. But I'd be willing to bet that 80% of the people who come to their shows have never heard of Aung San Suu Kyi or Burma. If only a few of them get interested and start telling their friends about one cause or another, it's well worth it.

Posted by: jsesq | September 30, 2009 12:31 PM

I refuse to let my first U2 experience be overshadowed by terrible acoustics at a crappy venue. Focus on the positive! Great set, wonderful stage, I half-expected it to fly away at the end... I also appreciate the many profound things Bono and the boys had to say even though I couldn't understand any of them...

Posted by: oldat30 | September 30, 2009 12:35 PM

truly great artists, whether musicians, painters, sculptors, writers, whatever, use their art to speak for themselves. i happen to prefer artists who have something to say, but feel its incredibly patronizing to stand on a soapbox and force feed it down my throat. speak eloquently thru your music and the world will listen. i can do without bono's lecturing, especially from a stage that screamed "notice me! i'm great! i have more money than you and continue to build my personal wealth!"

Posted by: BCinDC3 | September 30, 2009 12:42 PM

Overall this is the best concert I have ever attended. The set list was top notch, thrilled they played Ultraviolet since I consider it to be the most unrated song in U2's catalog. Your Blue Room was a nice touch, I never thought I would hear that song played live and now I have! The crowd was ho hum at first, preferring to sit down instead of getting on their feet and showing some emotion. It's a rock concert people not an opera! Thankfully Bono got the everyone really hyped by the time Streets and With or Without You came around. The stage and light show were amazing!!!
Getting to the Stadium from Arlington was a bit of a chore but to be expected. Didn't fight traffic going back and instead hung around the stadium with other fans and breezed right on out around 1am. Fedex field sucks overall, showing signs of neglect inside making it appear more like it's 30 years old.
On the negative it is disappointing to hear that people actually had the nerve to chant "shut up and sing" at this concert. It's U2 show what do you expect? How about you do us all a HUGE favor and just stay home and let U2 do what they have always done best and that is wear their heart and music on their sleeve.

Posted by: dreamthatisamerica | September 30, 2009 12:44 PM

I have only missed one U2 tour. The show last night was as good as any since the Joshua Tree tour in 87'. The shows prior to the Tree were intimate non glam shows that rocked.Last night I could see the transformation of thier shows. It's the big house on the hill with all the furniture from your first studio apartment and it all looks great.New songs and old songs worked very well last night. Closing my eyes last night during The Unforgettable Fire sent chills up my spine.
Over the last almost thirty years thet I have followed them they have never let me down.

Posted by: rwhit111 | September 30, 2009 12:51 PM

I wasn't planning to go the concert --nix to FedEx -- but a friend dropped a pair of tickets on me yesterday. Caught part of Muse (the traffic of course) and I liked them a lot. U2 was amazing -- great songs by a great band. The set was both interesting and distracting. I'd LOVE to see the band simply on a stage, with some lights, and w/o all the extra stuff (sort of like a Pearl Jam concert).

Posted by: schecro | September 30, 2009 1:00 PM

I have been a fan of U2 for more than 25 years. Last night I felt the song selections left a lot to be desired. I understand that U2 plays many of their new songs from their latest release when touring. However, they played to many of them. Of course the crowd was quiet during much of the show, they didn't know many of the songs played. When U2 played New Year's day and other huge hits the stadium rocked. As to Bono's efforts to change the world and make it a better place, I agree with him. But he rambled on and on and on. I'd be willing to bet 99&1/2 percent of the people at the show didn't have a clue who Daw Aung San Suu is. I went to a rock concert, not a political rally. I kept hoping Bono would finish his comments and U2 remember they are a great Rock Band. If they would have stood on the stage together and done many of the songs they are famous for, the crowd would have roared and sang along with them. It was a spectacular stage and and the screen was incredible. A U2 concert is a multimedia event and they have taken stadium shows to a new level. Remember guys, you're a rock band first and political advocates second!

Posted by: tjonathan0 | September 30, 2009 1:49 PM

I’ve never been to a live U2 show. But knowing their catalog of work and seeing performances/concerts on TV (especially the Superbowl halftime show), I put going to a U2 concert on my ‘bucket list.’

Last night’s show didn’t disappoint. Granted, this was my first time ever so I had newbie ‘biases’ compared to the other comments I read. But seeing their stage show was surreal. It’s one thing to see and hear Vertigo, Mysterious Ways, Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For on TV and from previous tours. But to see it live with their stage technology and performance just gave the classics a memorable punch.

I knew Bono was going to bring up his version of ‘political diplomacy’ (he rarely doesn’t). And because it’s DC, I expected it. Whether you agree or disagree, at least he’s backed up his celebrity by being involved in numerous causes. If doing so was for his personal gain or helping others (or both), fine with me.

If anyone has ever been to FedEx field, then you should know what to expect. I knew the problems and consequences (especially on a weeknight) so I just took it for what it was and didn’t allow those aspects to take away from my U2 experience. And it was a great experience.

Posted by: rixa001 | September 30, 2009 1:50 PM

The show was spectacular, from what I could make out of it. We were sitting in the nosebleeds and the echo made it impossible to make out what was being said/sung.

Posted by: nadabraintheOriginal | September 30, 2009 1:50 PM

Anyone who goes to a U2 concert and expects to just hear music and not a political message really does not know this band. They have been attached to a cause since their high school days. The show last night was SUPERB. I have been a fan of U2 for over twenty five years, and I am amazed that they can still put on a fantastic show. I disagree with whoever complained about the 400 level seats--the screens which showed the band during every song really made me feel like I was in a much more intimate setting. They also contributed to the song's messages. The spinning screens in Vertigo just really made that song a highlight--not one I would normally consider at the top of my U2 list. I liked the remix of "Crazy Tonight" --concert goers receive a special treat. If you want to hear the song like it's always sung, that is what the CD is for. I too, was there with my daughters and husband, and am glad that a band I have loved for all of these years is multi-generational. I was disappointed that they did not play "Pride (In the Name of Love)" but read prior to the show that they removed this song from their set list since for the first time since 1984. Also disappointed they didn't play the title track from the new CD, but all of the other songs were fantastic. The highlight for me was "Sunday Bloody Sunday" which sounded just as superb as it did the first time I heard it in concert. The stage looked more like half of an octopus than the spaceship that Bono called it, but the lighting and "claw" were really a great addition to the stadium venue. There was not a bad seat in the house! Muse was a great opening act--the music was great for someone who never heard a MUSE song, and to me, the drummer stole the show. I could not believe the number of empty seats at 7:00 which explained why they started late and probably why U2 removed "No Line on the Horizon" from its set list as they got a late start, too. The only bad thing about the show was the venue. FED EX Field really needs to know how to control the traffic better, and I am surprised getting in and out of there in such an excruciating manner is tolerated by the people of the DC area! It took an hour to get out of the parking lot and we were parked 100 yards from the traffic light--YUCKY.

Posted by: KLA1 | September 30, 2009 2:03 PM

Worst crowd ever. Zero energy. After having seen the NYC shows last week, I couldn't help but feel let down by this lame crowd. I've seen U2 a dozen times now and this was by far the most lifeless crowd. And I was in the inner circle!

Posted by: JoshHamilton | September 30, 2009 2:07 PM

at my man tarling:

um, sorry, kid...

and you are obviously a child if you aren't aware artists have selling out multiple dates at both old and new wembley for DECADES.

and, uh, you people are morons for saying "i went but i don't like U2." shut up and don't go. believe WON'T be missed.

Posted by: rtravers63 | September 30, 2009 2:12 PM

Show was great. As usual, the traffic sucked. Took me almost 4 hours to from bethesda to the stadium thanks to the horrific traffic design around the building. I tried to take the back route, but I couldn't get to the south side of the building to use Central Ave like I was planing to for a variety of reasons. Ended up totally missing Muse because of it and I REALLY wanted to see them.

I was in the club deck right behind the stage and the sound was fantastic for me all in all, given the limitations of the building. Incredible staging. When they said it would be like nothing we had seen before, they were right. I had a perfect view straight into the video screen and stage itself, so I caught everything. The stage didn't overwhelm the bad at all. They made it work for them.

Too bad the audience was kinda dead. Not the worst I've been in by far, but still disappointing for a huge ROCK CONCERT on a perfect weather night.

Also, for person talking about "sell outs", Green Day's last tour was very prominently sponsored by Verizon Wireless. Just FYI.

Posted by: EricS2 | September 30, 2009 2:17 PM

and btw, about traffic:

you're an idiot if you took the beltway.

of course fedex is a disaster. horrible place for an awful stadium. the parking attendants are hilarious just sorta randomly waving flags for minimum wage, the acoustics are not good and the access from, oh, i dunno, EVERYWHERE, is awful.

but, ya know, i'm just happy U2 and Paul McCartney played where i live. most cities in the US didn't get either show.

so, yeah, FedEx is a craphole, but it's our craphole...

still, it would be so much better if these stadium shows (like U2 and mccartney) could be at the Nationals stadium. i mean, if it's good enough for the Pope, isn't it good enough for rock and roll???

viva RFK...

Posted by: rtravers63 | September 30, 2009 2:24 PM

What I said was not false. It just so happened that they were the second band to perform at the new stadium (first to sell out). A twist of words perhaps, but not incorrect by any means.

Fun fact though, U2, due to their stage design, currently holds the greatest number of tickets sold for a single event at that venue at 88,000. I'm not knocking U2 in the slightest (I am a big fan of them), but to consider Muse to be some pissant band simply because they're not U2 is ridiculous (helps to have over a 20 year head start...)

Posted by: tarling | September 30, 2009 2:32 PM

as a more recent u2 fan, this was my first experience seeing them live. i wasn't really expecting great things, having bought the cheapest upper level seats, but the enormous stage and its moving-panel screen was, in the best way possible, ridiculous. it really brought the experience to life even though my friends (casual u2 fans at best) and i were sitting so far away.

that being said, the crowd, and not the screen crapping out and the political references and humanitarian pleas, was the BIGGEST buzz kill imaginable! NOBODY around us was jumping up at the parts where they should have been, and i could not get over the fact that even during some of their better-known songs, i could hear myself singing! bono seemed to be aware of this, asking repeatedly, gesturing, doing whatever he could to get the crowd involved. it was almost embarrassing, really, to have a football stadium full of so-called music fans quiet. eventually when the band started playing the old hits some fans really got going, but participation was not nearly as epic as i hoped it would be. hundreds of people even left before the encore!

other than the crowd, the experience for me personally went far beyond my expectations and i came away feeling buoyant, albeit hoarse from singing. the hour-long wait to get out of the parking lot was somewhat sobering, but didn't entirely ruin the post-concert euphoria.

also, those people who complain about bono's political and humanitarian messages really should do some research before shelling out 150 dollars to go to one of his concerts; it's u2, what do you expect? and on a final note, muse was fantastic and was under-appreciated, although i understand that u2 fans would not necessarily be the most keen on muse's music.

overall, a great musical and aesthetic experience, but atmospherically lacking!

Posted by: korinjudge | September 30, 2009 2:34 PM

My first U2 concert and I was completely amazed and inspired.

Posted by: Ward8MBA | September 30, 2009 2:36 PM

The Claw- the night sky- the moon - the band- Bono- the tiny tiny disco ball - sending out big vibrations all around
U2 does not dissapoint!
As for the whinners about the ticket price, parking, transport time.....
Come on!!!!! Drink the wine, eat the wafer and just bounce!

Posted by: blonde19 | September 30, 2009 2:46 PM

My first mega outdoor stadium concert experience.

1) The ambience: A+
The near full moon added to it

2) The stage: A+
What an amazing feat of engineering.
Lights, video, etc.
Only a bad like U2 could compete w/ it.

3) The music and band: A
Very good energy, great entertainers. Did not disappoint and played all the major hits while only plugging new album slightly. "If I Don't Go Crazy..." was almost unrecognizable though.

4) The show experience: A-
Acoustic echo was bothersome at times; could not understand half of what Bono was saying. But overall very good.

5) FedEx Field: C
Getting there was horrible (2 hrs 45 mins) but parking and exit was not too bad from Gray Lot.

6) The crowd: C-
Much like a Redskins crowd. Showed signs of spark, but generally lifeless for such a large crowd. Better energy would have made for a much better show.

7) The company: A++
Went with my wife and some friends we had not seen in a while. Best part of the evening.

Posted by: daddy00 | September 30, 2009 2:46 PM

My guess as to why the WP made no reference to Muse is that said reporter was also caught up in the oft mentioned traffic problems and didn't get there in time to see them. True, WP?

Posted by: CoachD1 | September 30, 2009 3:01 PM

Incredible performances (both Muse and U2), incredible stage, incredible evening. "Where The Streets Have No Name" was an experience all on it's own. That song simply soars live. The crowd was extremely lame in my section, they remained seated most of the evening. BOOOO! One guy actually called over a police officer because a woman two rows in front of him was dancing during Muse. To his credit, the officer did nothing and said "just enjoy your night". Dancing at a rock that's just plain absurd. ;)

On a side note, we arrived @ 5:30 and left right after the show without any traffic issues. We took Central Ave instead of Arena Drive. Hope that helps you all in the future.

Thanks again for a great night U2!!! BTW, props to the journalist for completely disregarding the opening act. Quality stuff fella.

Posted by: kjmbizsolutions | September 30, 2009 3:04 PM

I am an enormous U2 fan (have been since the first time I heard With or Without you when I was ten!) and consider them to be the best live act since the Beatles (and the Stones, in their heyday!).
Last night, in spectacular, moonlit FedEx field, the exceeded every expectation. It was a spectacular show and U2 still brings it live every single time. They remain The Man. Having missed Muse due to the horrific rush hour/concert traffic, I can't comment on their show, but ultimately it was the most perfect, mind-blowing show and the energy in the crowd was phenomenal. It brought tears to my eyes to see U2's tribute to Aung San Suu Kyi, and I was impressed by Bono's largesse in singling out the Bush administration for the good they managed to do in Africa while also praising Obama and our beautiful American experiment.

The special effects, the moon, the energy from the crowd and the sheer power and ferocity of U2 were phenomenal: there was nowhere else I'd rather have been during that show than where I was!

Posted by: SJSDC | September 30, 2009 3:08 PM

Hey BritishMusicFan...enjoy the flavor of the day that is Muse. 3 yrs. from now u will hear, Muse who?!?!?

Posted by: jlazaro1 | September 30, 2009 3:18 PM

It was a micro chasm of life in DC. Too much know-it-all liberal muckity muck, too much traffic, too many a-holes and extremely overpriced!

Don't even get me started on PG County!

Posted by: dc_is_poop | September 30, 2009 3:23 PM

jlazaro1, maybe in your sad little world.

Posted by: BritishMusicFan | September 30, 2009 3:26 PM

"It's the big house on the hill with all the furniture from your first studio apartment and it all looks great."

Well said, rwhit111.

Posted by: zoejupiter | September 30, 2009 3:33 PM

I am the only one who noticed that Bono's voice just wasn't there? Visual effects are nice, but I went to hear U2 perform and at the end of the evening, Bono's voice wasn't up to the performance.

Posted by: Girlpost | September 30, 2009 3:40 PM

jlazaro1, are you kidding me? Muse the flavor of the day? It would probably be easier for you just to walk around wearing a sandwich board that proclaims, "I'm a complete ignoramus when it comes to music!" Muse is, and has been for many years, a huge band internationally. They released their first album 10 years ago, and they've been fairly successful from the get-go. Of course, they aren't huge in America, and as so many Americans believe, that is the only way to validate a band's relevance. Three years from now, morons like you will be saying, "Muse who?" People who don't have their heads squarely up their butts will be saying, "I can't believe I had to wait three years for another Muse record." And even if they still aren't huge in America, they'll still be massive everywhere else, they'll still be selling out monstrous arenas like Wembley, and they'll still be the best live act anybody could hope to see.

Posted by: sparklecoogs | September 30, 2009 4:00 PM

Seeing all these comments about the lame, lifeless crowd, if U2 just stood on the stage together and played 7 or 8 hits in a row, you'd have seen FedEx explode. That's what McCartney did and the entire stadium was on its feet screaming out the lyrics. There was a connection between McCartney and the audience. There were only a couple of times that happened with U2.

Posted by: tjonathan0 | September 30, 2009 4:13 PM

How could anyone review this show without stating U2 came on 2 hours late. There was no opening act on the ticket. Would have rather sat there listening to nothing than to listen to Muse. Horrible. They must not have soundchecked. You couldn't hear a dang word they sang.

U2 rocked. Kicked ass, man.

Posted by: bf30qbl | September 30, 2009 4:18 PM

I am sorry to hear people actually still like this band which has not put out a complete album or an album with more than one good song since 93 or even earlier. But hey, you want to pay sad amounts of money to see guys play the greatest hits list then you got what you wanted. I think this is a testament to the "Now Hear This" music industry which has made most bands less interesting and more like commercials. I hear Vertigo, I feel I need to buy an IPOD.
Signed- the guy who is different, like everybody!

Posted by: flyingmoose | September 30, 2009 4:18 PM

Wow, its comical to read people's posts here when they insinuate that Muse are either not going to be here for long, aren't that popular or talented or are an obscure band.

Muse was the first band to sell out Welmbley Stadium in 2007 and they did it... two days in a row. (I think there were around 60,000 + tickets for each show. They all sold out and the concerts were one day after the other).

Their latest album debuted at #1 in 25 countries. In the UK, it outsold the next three albums coming out that week COMBINED (one of those album's was Jay Z's newest cd).

For their latest tour in Europe, they sold something like 85,000 tickets in half an hour.

Face it guys: Just because they aren't big here doesn't mean they aren't considered one of the biggest bands on the planet. How they have managed to escape popularity here evades me, but these are a talented group of guys who have earned the respect and admiration of many people around the world. They constantly win awards for not only their music, but for their EPIC live shows (youtube them).

If you don't like them, fine. But to act like they aren't one of the biggest bands just shows a lack of awareness of what is going on in the rest of the world's music scene. And btw, they've been doing it since the 90s....

Posted by: jesshero44 | September 30, 2009 4:25 PM

What was the total carbon footprint created by last night's event?

"I wanna give a shout out to Nancy Pelosi-oh, sorry, she can't shout back since her face is permanently locked."-Bono

Posted by: c_e_daniel | September 30, 2009 4:29 PM

Let's be honest--Bono absolutely does not need to kiss anyone's a$$. Whether you agree with his politics or not, he's sincere when he thanks the Pelosis of the world. I don't like her, but I respect his sincerity.

More importantly, if their show is not practically a religious experience for you, then maybe you just don't get it....I thought "Your Blue Room" was perfect for a moonlit night. Never ceases to amaze me how they can quiet a huge crowd and hold them in the palm of their hand. And, yes, DC crowds are notoriously lame. I saw the first US 360 show in Chicago. I thought last night was an even more exciting show, but the crowd didn't reflect that.

Streets is, and always will be, the best live song in the history of the planet. On to Charlottesville (and Norman and LA)!!

Posted by: gmamary | September 30, 2009 4:30 PM

I'm the Muse fan and my husband is more of the U2 fan, although we both try to appreciate the other's music. (We call it being open minded....) I'm disappointed that the reviewer skipped Muse. We got there early (back way) and had no traffic problems. Agree that Fedex parking staff was clueless. My Sprint phone worked fine. The "claw" was amazing...we sat right near the entrance to our section and EVERYONE took a picture of it. Sound could have been better. I loved Muse and perhaps I got more out of it since I knew all the songs. And that piano solo? When do you ever hear that kind of great music at a rock concert? From where we were sitting (section 105), it was much more of a U2 crowd and they seemed pretty energized to me (stood the whole time during U2.) Food and t-shirts are always overpriced, but we get the shirts for concert souvenirs anyway. I'm not crazy about the politics during concerts, but I do appreciate Bono's altruism.

Posted by: bngbod | September 30, 2009 4:41 PM

This was my first U2 concert. I have been a fan since I was a little girl and I wasn't disappointed in the least. Hearing one of my favorite bands play live, and hit some of my favorites songs ever was just EPIC. I was sitting in the 400's also but facing the front of the stage, and the accoustics were on point with the visuals being spectacular, moonlit sky and all. The highlight for me was New Years Day, left before Street and Without or Without YOu :-( but caught quite a few leaving right after Sunday Bloody Sunday which was crankin(DC word) also. I loved them before but I love them even more now and will see them again. Muse was excellent also.

Posted by: royalk | September 30, 2009 4:58 PM

The only two negative things I can say about the evening were the crowd and the traffic. There is just no getting around the latter during the week. It's the same way, or worse, going to Nissan Pavillion. About the former, impressive number of people there, but most were not very responsive.

Posted by: BritishMusicFan | September 30, 2009 4:58 PM

This concert was AMAAZING! It was my first concert, but certainly not my last. I honestly don't think that any future concert can beat this one. Muse was AWESOME live, and being one of my favorite bands, I was psyched to hear that they were playing with U2, who I heard had the best live performances. I was honestly never really a fan of U2 UNTIL i went to this concert. Bono is PERFECT live, he is an amazing performer and I definitely hope to see U2 live in concert once again (as well as Muse!! :D).
The lighting effects were CRAZY as well, and no one can beat their stage for years to come!! :D
Overall, one of the best nights of my lifeeee!!!!

Posted by: zalnoor | September 30, 2009 5:22 PM

U2, the band, the music and their songs are all about peace, social justice and fellowship. If you don't like Bono's politics then there is no way you can call yourself a true fan.

It was an awesome concert. Thank you U2!

Posted by: TaparellimeetsRawls | September 30, 2009 5:24 PM

"He had failed to trigger the enthusiastic singalongs that these songs deserved . . . "

Was this guy at the same concert I was? The crowd was *roaring* along with the band thru almost every song - especially "Where the Streets Have No Name". GREAT show.

Posted by: Lanzman | September 30, 2009 5:26 PM

We started out up in the 400's for Muse (who were impressive for the opening band). Then snuck into the club section and got into the 300's for U2. That's was my way of getting back at Fedex.

I live in NOVA and that was my first time at Fedex. I was not impressed. But i have high standards being a Packer fan.

Posted by: packer787 | September 30, 2009 5:35 PM

My first U2 concert after having been a fan since early 80's, so last night was very special for me and U2 didn't disappoint. Muse was outstanding. They really rocked and I enjoyed it. (and I'm over 35 for the record!!) We were in the suites and one of the ushers told us that U2 watched Muse's set from the owner's box. He said they were very friendly and nice young men. (This was an older gentleman, obviously!)

The man with the American flag who was pulled up onstage was one of the best parts of the show, his emotional response was touching.

No one has really mentioned the faith themes throughout. There was a bible verse reference at one point, Bono sang "Amazing Grace" and he also shouted that he was "taking us to church" prior to singing the verses from "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" which referenced Christ and the cross. There were references to other faiths as well, so God was a big theme last night, as was U2's humanitarian efforts (ONE campaign, etc.). I think God/faith is one of the central motivators behind what U2 does in general, so I would argue w/ those who don't find Bono to be genuine when he speaks. Considering all of the good works they've done with their fame, I'd say they're walking the walk as well as talking the talk.

Posted by: suze4 | September 30, 2009 5:48 PM

Posted by: StewartIII | September 30, 2009 6:42 PM

I'm amused, as always, by the traffic complaints. Sounds like most of the complainers are people who've never looked at a map and realized that the Beltway to MD-202 is not the only way to reach the stadium. Took us about an hour to get across DC from near the Kennedy Center, but that was due to DC traffic, as the road cleared right up as soon as we hit the Maryland state line. On the way out, the lot we were in used a back exit that put us on Sheriff Road and we were at the Wilson Bridge within 20 minutes of getting into the car (although I do have to wonder whether using Sheriff Road to Minnesota Avenue to Burroughs Avenue is really the best route for white people with Virginia plates at 11:30 PM).

As far as the show goes, this was the sixth time I've seen U2: twice on the Zoo TV Tour, once on the PopMart Tour, and twice on the Elevation Tour (missed the Vertigo Tour due to business travel). I think on the whole Zoo TV remains at the top of my list of U2 shows simply because of song selection and the overall over-the-top presentation, and PopMart ranks highly simply because we had seats about six feet from the band (via Ticketmaster, no less). Last night's show was a totally different experience that I think can't really be compared to other stadium tours due to its different intent in terms of playing in the round. Zoo TV was an all-out assault on your senses, whereas the 360° Tour is not. The stage set is imposing and impressive, but it's not full of visual theatrics such as Trabant automobiles suspended over the band and a bunch of competing video screens.

Bono's politicking didn't bother me because I didn't feel like he was being the uppity celebrity trying to tell you how to vote (which would be inappropriate for a foreigner to do anyway). Besides, I'm interested in the music. As long as the political stuff isn't blatantly offensive, I can decide for myself how to react to it.

I wonder how many calls about UFOs were made to the PG County police when the lights started shining up onto the clouds above the stadium!

Posted by: 1995hoo | September 30, 2009 6:46 PM

The Claw" stage is incredible, but the band continues to deliver on the political nature of their music. Bono: "Cardinal McCarrick is in the house. We have a cardinal at a rock show!"

Up in 400-section, wide range of ages and everyone appeared to enjoy all aspects of the show.

Negs: Sound cut in and out several times, beyond any echo effect. Employees were pretty clueless or just didn't seem to give a damn about helping customers. 3-hours from DC just to get there. The traffic guidance was a complete joke coming and going.

I'd have to have a hard think about ever going out to FedEx again for a concert unless it would be possible to leave work early or just have the day off.

Posted by: _pac | September 30, 2009 7:36 PM

finally some excellence on the field at FedEx

Posted by: bruce_roemmelt | September 30, 2009 7:40 PM

Please retract this article. This article didn't represent what U2 stood for. Author Richards forgot to mention Desmond Tutu's introduction on One, dedication of Bloody Sunday to people of Iran, and similar dedication of Walk On to Aung San Suu Kyi, the Lady of Burma.

Posted by: nuttyscientist | September 30, 2009 8:12 PM

Great show. Didn't have the traffic issues mentioned. Came from Delaware and seeing the Beltway was congested continued down 295 to Landover rd and then into the stadium with no issues. Fedex is a nice stadium. Maybe they could invest some money in the bathrooms. Pretty inadequate for new stadium. Good to see the big turbaned guy get up on stage during Sunday Bloody Sunday. Liked the concert version of crazy better then the album version. Wished they played 'The Fly' but enjoyed what was performed. Ran to the carpark after last note of last song and exited quickly. Sad to see ambulance come for girl hit by car. I hope she is ok.

Posted by: muntechx | September 30, 2009 10:12 PM

Please..I'd love it if U2 couldn't sell out big stadiums so that I could see them in smaller venues. So do me a favor: if you are better than someone who has been nominated for a Nobel Prize, or has been largely responsible for getting third world debt forgiven, or has continuously and successfully worked with the left and right to get large amounts of money dedicated for HIV and malaria medicines for the poorest people in the world, or has courageously exposed himself to every dubious politician and ignorant critic in the world so that he can use whatever power he has to help people who really need it, or has written publicly about his own struggles w/hypocrisy, or has by virtue of his basic goodness and expressiveness given joy to millions of people in the world, PLEASE DON'T GO TO A U2 CONCERT or gift us with your very salient opinions. Because you are obviously too cool to bother. Don't bother with a band that wants to appeal to, as Lincoln said, the "better angels of our nature". You're too intelligent to bother criticizing us "sheep". All of this criticizing almost makes you look envious of our joy. Which, of course, you aren't.
We don't need you. Bono and U2 don't care if you like them. Go out and make your life worth something more than pettiness and negativity.
EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU ARE A FAN, DON'T GO TO A U2 CONCERT, if you can't listen to their latest work more than once before you get there so that you can really appreciate what THEY consider to be the best expression of who they are NOW. DON'T GO TO A U2 CONCERT if you are too cool to dance, sing and give back the love, rather than behaving as though you are entitled to their hard work, entitled to an encore because you bought a ticket. They work so hard to get us off. "Would you deny for others what you demand for yourselves?" They don't need your money for themselves anymore. They need to be creative. I want more than their greatest hits. It's what they give us and what we can give them back that is priceless.

Posted by: padmaqueen | October 1, 2009 1:05 AM

Just wanted to set the record straight about a couple of things.

Re: "the man in the turban with the american flag"

He's a Punjabi of INDIAN origin, not an A-RAB as a previous poster is insinuating. He was pulled up to the stage because he BROUGHT THE FLAG to the concert and was waving it around during one of U2's BEST EVER SONGS. Don't be so cynical. He also sang the last verse with Bono when he was on stage. I wish I was that guy. I really wish some of you right wingers would just get a life.

B. Bono also gave shout outs to, of all people, President George W. Bush so many of you failed to mention that when complainging of his shout outs to Pelosi. Just enjoy the concert. U2 has ALWAYS been a political band, trying to make the world a better place. What do YOU do to make the world a better place? Complaining and harping about insignificant things like "shout-outs" does not make you any better.

FYI, the concert in Dublin was THE BEST SHOW of the tour by far.

Posted by: docvader76 | October 1, 2009 9:08 AM

I love that a band I grew up with - "War" came out when I was in middle school, shirts for the "The Unforgettable Fire" tour were ubiquitous during my sophomore year in high school, and I practically wore out my "Joshua Tree" CD during college - can still fill entire stadiums and put on a damn good show. I saw U2 17 years ago, and while they're no longer spring chickens (neither am I, for that matter), they still sounded as fresh, enthusiastic, and forceful as ever. It's also amazing when you stop and consider how long this band has been around, that the original lineup is still together after 30+ years, and that they're still pumping out good material.

I loved the stage, but didn't feel it overshadowed the band's strong performance - no spaceship, no matter how grand, would have compensated if they'd put on a lousy show.

My only complaint, as many have already stated, was that it took us almost 2 1/2 hours to get there and park. I've been to other stadium shows before, and this was the worst traffic flow design and control I've ever seen, bar none. It was really depressing having to decide between staying for all of U2's encores Tuesday night and rushing to the car to beat the post-concert traffic snarl (we compromised and stayed for one). My own pet theory is that divine intervention is at work here: the gods have heard the suffering cries of Stadium-bound motorists and put the hex on the Redskins in retribution (traffic getting there and away therefore must have been truly horrendous recently - that would explain the Skins' loss to the Lions last Sunday).

Posted by: AJR1835 | October 1, 2009 11:21 AM

The band is great, the songs are great, the stage was great -- but the concert was only great if you had tickets or the floor or the lower bowl in line with the speakers. Otherwise, in the upper deck where we were sitting, all you heard was a lot of echo, words your couldn't understand, and a very Vertigo-like feeling. U2 is my favorite band, but I won't be seeing any more concerts at Fed Ex Field. Sound there is dissapointing!

Posted by: CBATS | October 1, 2009 1:08 PM

Too bad they were under-appreciated by the Top-40-loving casual U2 crowd.
Posted by: 2tone | September 30, 2009 9:11 AM

Umemployed- Go get a job.

Posted by: Rocc00 | October 1, 2009 1:54 PM

I had problems with my phone as well, and I use Verizon. This was my first U2 concert, although I've been to hundreds of other shows. I left NE DC around 5:30 and made it to FedEx field just before 7. That is normally a 10 minute drive.

I had floor tickets, and waited in line to get to the field before they told me I needed a wristband to access. It would have been helpful if they told people this information at the gates. 30 minutes wasted and Muse had just started playing. Another 30 minutes to get through the Guest Services line b/c they only had 1 employee there. I finally got to the Field to hear 2 Muse songs and they were great. U2 was awesome and the sound quality was amazing. Everything was great once I got down to the field -- getting there was the problem. I parked in the gray lot and exited in under 20 minutes.

Posted by: GA_girl_in_DC | October 1, 2009 1:58 PM

I've waited 10 years to see them Live- U2 that is. I did enjoy Muse, very talented guys, need to connect with the audience more instead of playing for themselves. Lead singer sang with his eyes closed or looking up most of the time. They should learn alot about audience management from the Irish lads. I never realized what a drama queen Bono was (kinda like Michael Stipe ramblings in concert) Too many causes, political emanations. I'm not from here, so maybe other political music acts use their performances to rally support for their causes. I tend to hold support of a cause till I know more of the facts, not just because a rock star likes it. Stage was really incredible and tended to draw focus to screens verses the performers, which is good for the nose bleed crowd. Muse should no longer need to be awarm up band....

Posted by: kjdfish | October 1, 2009 2:49 PM

AJR1835, glad you liked the show but please, shell the money out and start your own blog. This section is called comments, not your life story. BTW, the Redskins/Lions game was in Detroit, so that must have been some pretty heavy divine intervention. Although, I'm sure I speak for the rest of us in saying that we'd be absolutely thrilled to hear your theories on traffic flow design. Let's see, a stadium with notorious traffic problems, people urged to take Metro, took you 2.5 hours to get to stadium, predictable.

Posted by: johburke | October 1, 2009 2:50 PM

Amen to padmaqueen and docvader76 for helping to set the record straight.

I'm a Republican who had no problem with Bono's shout outs but was bothered far more by the "shut up and sing" chorus from the drunken idiots in my section.

Bono advocated poverty relief and democracy. He was brief and not preachy, and he went out of his way to be bipartisan.

U2 have been around for 30+ years. How naive are you people to have not known that this was part of the deal when you purchased your tickets?

To the guy who's iPhone didn't work... It didn't work because iPhones are on the crappy AT&T network. You chose fashion over function, and now you're paying the price.

Posted by: franklin61 | October 2, 2009 9:59 AM

*I* am the one in the red turban who Bono pulled up on stage. I'm Sikh, an American, and have been a U2 fan for over 20 years. If that bothers you, I truly feel sorry for you. If my patriotism bothers you, if my waving of an American flag bothers you, than you clearly missed the entire point on not only the song, but also WHY Bono pulled me up on stage.

Is it written somewhere Constitution that only White Christians are allowed to wave an American flag? Because if it is, I missed it...and I apologize.

Posted by: ampbains | October 2, 2009 2:15 PM

Amp, you are the MAN! Onstage with Bono, waving our flag around, SINGING (ok your voice isn't all that great...) but the rest of it was fantastic! So glad you had a blast & BONO SAID YOUR NAME! "Give it up for Amp!" LUCKY! Who cares what the haters say on here. They're just jealous it wasn't them up there with Bono... like the kids in my son's 7th grade class who act the same way. So take the advice I give to my 12 yr old: ignore them - don't let it ruin the EPIC moment you had with Bono onstage... making your family, all your friends and the country PROUD when you were waving that American Flag.

Posted by: bethb1028 | October 2, 2009 3:51 PM

Yes, Amp, you definitely are the man! I wasn't at the concert in D.C., but saw you at the concert in Chicago. Second time on stage with Bono (last time on a previous tour), unbelievable. For those on here who posted negative comments about you, they need to grow up and start using those 2 brain cells bouncing around in their skull, or better yet, find another music group, because they obviously don't "get" U2.

Posted by: cranjx | October 2, 2009 8:20 PM

It was a great show - Stadiums are hard to pull off well. U2 has done the best they could in this environment. Zoo TV still ranks up there as one of the best. This was a great effort also, I'm sure it is amazing to see the show in the General Admission area. Fed Ex Field = lame, though.

If you want to see what the stage could do:

Posted by: thomp | October 3, 2009 9:03 AM

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