Monday, 30 May 2011

A Special Night in Winnipeg

Somehow a prairie town like Winnipeg seems an unusual and undeserving setting for the most elaborate concert set ever created and one of the best concerts the world has ever seen. But tonight it hosted both.

Yes, U2 came to Winnipeg and over 50,000 Winnipeggers came to see U2. It was a cold and windy evening and the only people who weren’t shivering were those who brought parkas. Bono shook off the cold with his arms outstreteched: “You’re Canadian, we’re Irish. What’s cold? We’re real men (and women).”

Cold breezes aside, it was a magical night and an overwhelming assault on the senses, with the elaborate 360 set producing a technological display that only U2 is capable of. Wow!

U2 somehow managed to play over half of my ten favourite U2 songs (some are relatively obscure so that is an achievement), doing a splendid job on favourites like Stay (Faraway, So Close), Pride (In the Name of Love), Miss Sarajevo and Sunday Bloody Sunday (which featured images of the 2009 election protests in Iran) before highlighting the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International by talking about Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese women who won a presidential election and found herself in prison for most of the last twenty years. But sustained public pressure finally achieved her release. Walk On was the song used for this, followed by another favourite: One.

You can see more comments about U2 elsewhere on this blog. In my opinion, they are the best rock band ever and they put on another magnificent and inspiring show this evening. And for those of you living in New Brunswick, did you know that the 360 tour ends in Moncton on July 30? And I thought Winnipeg was small.

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