I’ve been a fan of U2 for as long as I can remember so when they announced their “Joshua Tree” tour I jumped on the chance to get my ticket. Luckily for this fan, I was able to get my hands on a ticket for their USA opening show at Seattle’s Centurylink Field. Having never had the chance to see U2 in all the years I have loved their music I was excited to finally get the chance to see the Irish mega group Sunday night.
The show opened Sunday night with British band Mumford and Sons. Fans on the floor were dancing around and singing along as the band performed. The band is only opening for 3 of the U2 tour dates but as lead vocalist Marcus Mumford said it himself, “even though we are only doing 3 dates with U2, we are so happy to be on this tour with them”. The band performed a 10 song set in which Mumford took the to the drums for a couple of songs, then released the drumsticks back to their drummer. One of the highlights of their performance was when the standing bass was brought on stage for Ted Dwane for a couple of their songs. Mumford and Sons put on a great show, make sure to catch them sometime.
Excitement grew as fans were waiting for U2 to take to the stage. Fans starting cheering before the band even came out in hopes to get them to hit the stage sooner. The intermission music faded and the lights went dim as U2 took to the stage. Fans went wild throughout Centurylink Field. If you know anything about Seattle fans (all you have to do is ask the NFL fans) you know we have a reputation for being one of the loudest cheering audiences when at the “Clink”, as the locals call it. So you could just imagine the enormous amount of cheering as the band walked out while taking to the stage. Fans had expected the band to perform on the main elevated stage, but instead they took to a second stage that was extended out into the general admission floor crowd as they started the night with “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. I am all about band and fan interaction, but there was one huge issue with the second stage. It was set so low that any fans on the floor in general admission who weren’t right next to it could not see the band perform for the first 5 songs of their show and there weren’t even any big screens to look at to see them, add to that the slew of cellphones people were holding up and yes, you could not see anything from the floor if you were toward the main stage. They also have live video at this show and their camera booms kept getting in the way and blocking fans from seeing them.
I don’t know about you, but as a paying fan that was part of the show was a huge disappointment. To hear 5 of my favorite songs at a live show but not being able to see the band on the stage (as long as the stage is elevated so fans can see, even from a far distance and they look like ants, I’m totally ok with that) was not what fans on the floor should have had to endure. There were many fans around me who gave up even trying to look and sat down on the floor or just turned around to looking at the main stage waiting for the band to move back to it. I hope this was just an overlooked aspect that they will remedy on other dates by elevating the stage by at least 5 feet higher so that fans on the floor can see them perform these 5 amazing songs. As the band moved back to the main stage at the end of “Pride” they stayed fairly center stage for most of the rest of the performance with the occasional walk to either side of the stage or back down to the second stage.
They had an giant led backdrop that was constantly changing with images, writing and live video from the show. The band sounded amazing, I wouldn’t have expected anything less than amazing music and vocals from U2. If there’s one thing these guys know how to do, it’s make great music and sound great live. As for the stage show during the performance, I have to say honestly, it lacked the energy you’d expect from a band of this magnitude. It just wasn’t there, that infectious energy you get at many live performances that make you wish the show will never end and have you raving about a performance for days on end. Something was just missing last night, that special feeling was never present. I am honestly sad and shocked to even utter these words, but it’s my honest take away from their show.
Having now seen U2, I am a believer in their music as always. It’s simply amazing, wonderfully written and sounds great live. Would I go to another U2 live performance, probably not if I was to buy my ticket again. I can get the same experience from their albums and live videos. For me, I left the show early along with many other fans who simply felt the same way about the show just missing that special something. I asked people I passed on my way out and the feeling was much the same as mine. My hope is that it was just an off night for the guys being that they are just kicking off their tour and that the rest of the tour is full of intense passion in their performance and that they fix that second stage being too low to the ground so other fans get the opportunity to see the first 5 songs from the floor.
To the fans going out to see this tour, I sincerely hope your show experiences on the remainder of this tour are much better than mine. I’ve always been a fan of U2 and will always be. Live music is a passion to me and I never hope for any artist to have anything but the best show a fan has ever seen. Here’s to you having a better experience.
Mumford and Sons Setlist:
Little Lion Man
Below My Feet
Lover of the Light
Tompkins Square Park
Blind Leading the Blind
I Will Wait
Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Year’s Day
A Sort of Homecoming
Pride (In the Name of Love)
Where the Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
With or Without You
Bullet the Blue Sky
Running to Stand Still
Red Hill Mining Town
In God’s Country
Trip Through Your Wires
One Tree Hill
Mothers of the Disappeared (with Eddie Vedder and Mumford & Sons)
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
The Little Things That Give You Away
I Will Follow
Check out some show photos below: