Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Stay (far away? actually quite close!)

I never saw Rattle And Hum, but the primary reason was that no one I knew seemed all that intrigued by it, either. Considering the lukewarm response it generally received, it's a wonder that U2 went on to make another concert film. But I suppose one must have a healthy ego to agree to be immortalized in IMAX 3D, and U2 have always been possessed of a healthy ego.

U2 3D is well done, and to a degree, it is very real; for the first few songs I had to suppress the urge to applaud. Possibly the biggest failing in terms of realism comes in the sound design: the shots from among the crowd are not matched by the sounds of individuals surrounding us, the way we would hear them if we truly were there. But that demonstrates how picky one has the luxury to be.

As elder statesmen of arena rock, apparently U2 were not concerned that such close, detailed, sharply focused documentation would make it plain that they deserve the 'elder' in that title as much as 'statesmen'. Alas, the boys are showing their age, though they rock as hard as ever. 'Where the streets have no name' exhilarated me even more than it did when I first saw that video twenty some years ago.

My new insight on U2's music is how many of their great songs involve some sort of oh-oh-oh-oh-oh's - it seemed like almost every other song, the crowds in Buenos Aires kicked them up like a chant at a soccer match, adding another dimension of world humanism to U2's already stirring world humanism.

My great consolation in seeing U2 3D is tangible proof that even though I, too, am getting old, I'm not fading away - I wished the audio in the theatre could have been a little louder...

U23D official website