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A large part of that dissapointment is ofcourse my high expectations, but somehow it just isn't as gripping as most of the other DVD/Videos (especially Slane Castle) and definately not as mind-blowing as the 'real deal'. Especially the first half of the DVD didn't glue me to the couch like the others did.
I've thought very hard about it, but I think this mainly caused by the fact that:
1. I've seen the real thing, the stadium show with 50.000 people going absolutely crazy, an experience which is one of my personal high points in life, so, okay, kinda hard to beat :)
2. Lots of critical moments in the (fantastic!) light/videoshow and reactions of the crowd (where is the crowd in this DVD anyway?) are missed due to the use (IMHO) too much close-ups of the band.
3. Something's up with the mix of the sound. It's kind of vague and especially Larry's drumkit seems rather unbalanced, for example the bassdrum doesn't seem to pack any real punch.
4. It's an 'early' show in the first leg of the tour, so there still some rough edges on all aspects of the production.
That said, it's still U2, lots of new/rarely video-ed songs, the band's great as usual (altough Bono's voice seems to come and go, and Edge makes a few little mistakes, but hey, that's usual aswell :)) and the video quality is also excellent, so still great stuff for the fans, but if I wanted to show an 'outsider' what U2 is all about I'd pick Slane Castle anytime.Read more ›
There are moments in the first half of the show that are really quite dreadful: a lot of Bono's singing lacks his usual oompf or soul and is little more than gravelly shouting. He clearly struggles in places and there are occasions where the words just don't come out (literally in Elevation!) and he ends up apologising for having a frog in his throat. If he was ill then this really shouldn't have been first choice for the DVD.
Add to this the mix and it just sounds really, well, flat and lifeless - sometimes Edge doesn't sounds like he's plugged in, other times as another reviewer noted Larry's drums lack punch.
The crowd is useless! Despite being filmed over two nights, there's very little to indicate that they're even there throughout the DVD. When the view does shift to the audience, either from behind them or as a wide view, they're usually pretty lifeless. It is probably for this reason that, as another review notes, the cameras usally stick to the band!
Even the usual suspects for crowd cheer and happiness such as the intro to "Streets" gets, well, next to nothing! You have to feel sorry for U2 at moments when Bono throws the mic' open for crowd interaction and similarly gets little if anything in return (All Because of You), and especially for Adam when he does a lap of the ellipse (New Year's Day) to Bono's "Adam Clayton on bass guitar," and gets NO response.
They cheer more for having mobile phones than for agreeing that no child should go hungry.Read more ›