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U2 - Vertigo Tour 2nd leg: Europe

2005-06-21: Hampden Park, Glasgow - Scotland

( venue website | other U2 shows at this location )

<<< 2005-06-19 - London | 2005-06-24 - Dublin >>>


Review

2005-06-23 - Great but poor sound and a little too political? submitted by Ben

I went to the gig with great anticipation. To my shame for various reasons I last went to see the band in Leeds in July 1987 on the Joshua Tree Tour. It was a fantastic day, with a fantastic performance by the boys. Although The Fall were awful and got pelted off the stage, The Mission and The Pretenders were class support.

Wind it forward 18 years to Hampden Park, Glasgow. Maybe it is a sign of my age, but I didn’t have the faintest idea who the support bands were until looking it up on the net the following day! Interpol were ok, but I thought Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were plain crap.

The sound quality to me seemed pretty poor. I wasn’t bothered about this for the support bands but I was very bothered for U2. Unless you knew what was coming, Bono’s lyrics were a mystery at times - not his fault, he was belting them out! It is to their great credit though that after all these years they are still performing with such obvious and massive enthusiasm for what they do, and showing commitment to their fans.

Apart from the sound, I have a couple of observations which I suppose are critical. I fully expected some political content as Bono is overtly political and is heavily involved with Geldof, and it is only a couple of weeks before the G8 conference in Scotland. I just wonder whether it was a little overdone. Bono (in one of the comments I could actually understand due to the sound quality) said the band appreciated the support of the fans for the causes the band believe in – this was after the Africa text number being put on the screens repeatedly. I anticipated the normal crowd roar after his comment, but you could nearly hear a pin drop. This, and the fact that I didn’t see a single person whipping out his mobile to text the Africa number immediately as Bono had asked, made me think that my lack of appetite for this political stuff was fairly common in the crowd. We go to see U2 because we love their music, not because we support their politics?

On a similar theme, Bono mentioned that it was the birthday this week of Au Sang Suu Kyi in Burma. There was a graphic on the screen about the UN Convention on Human Rights. This went down well enough, and I know Bono is a big supporter of Suu Kyi, so fair enough. He then went and dedicated the next song to her, but I was left a bit bemused when instead of it being “Walk On”, which was specifically about her and dedicated to her, it was mainly “Running to Stand Still”, which is about injecting drugs? Just seemed like an odd choice, that’s all.

Anyway, it was still a great night, which was made even better by their choices on the older material, and I am not going to leave it 18 years until next time!

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