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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 7 October 2014
Another good concert
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on 15 November 2005
Having been blown away by the live show in Amsterdam (3) my expectations for this DVD were very high, and I now, after just watching it (unlike many other 'reviewers'), I must admit I'm a little bit dissapointed...
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.
But I must admit I like the really big stadium shows (think: Popmart) better, so this DVD probably suits the fans of the more intimate shows better.
Finally, the extra disk on the 'deluxe edition' isn't really worth the extra money IMHO, the 'documentary' is mainly a lot of soundbites from fans (contains a great hilarious of Vertigo sung by fans though!) and crew. Not a lot from the band, and definately not enough from the production of the show. Willy's security cam shots are nice, but nothing more than that. Cannot comment on the DVD rom features though as I haven't seen 'm yet. Would get the regular version if you're on a budget or not a die-hard fan.
Now the wait for San Siro starts, hopefully Hamish Hamilton paid some attention to the show and the audience this time, willy and those crazy italians deserve it!
Anyway, (you will) have fun!
My 5 cents.
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on 13 February 2008
I have had this DVD (the 'Deluxe' version, of which more later) since it's first week of release. I have to say it's musical content and the filming of it has grown on me as time goes by. At first I was not too impressed I have to say. But somehow it seems to win over with a hidden depth of content and character that just isn't immediate like some of the other U2 concert DVDs. Maybe it's because it seems a little slower paced, or maybe it's just because the band are a little slower paced than before. They are (like us all) getting older. But I don't think that's the only reason. It is an American 'in the round' show, and that changes the style and atmosphere of the concert compared to the European shows where the crowd are usually facing the front of stage only. Never seems quite right to me to have an audience facing the back of you. I mean how interesting can it be to watch Larry drumming from behind! Plus, lets be honest here: the US audiences don't seem to rock out quite as wildly as do the Europeans! U2's fanbase in the US seems a bit MOR to my eyes.

But having said that it is a well directed film shoot, capturing the band in a good mood and getting you up closer than any previous U2 concert DVD IMO. The sound quality is good too (although there does seem to be an audible background hiss on my copy).

Bad points: well having said that the concert was well captured, the intro of the show (City Of Blinding Lights) was criminally ruined by not having the camera panned on the startup of the amazing video sequence that plays on the video curtain. Sacrilege! Also, the 2nd disc extras are really poor, and do not warrant the outlay over the standard edition.

So to sum up: A good concert well filmed and presented. The band are ok (if not on fire), the song list pretty great and the crowd maybe a bit too quiet. Perhaps not the most faithful representation of the Vertigo tour. If you want that then the Milan DVD included with U218 Singles is better suited. But then that is only a mini-concert. I guess we can't have it all. Maybe U2 did this on purpose so we would all go see the U23D film!
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on 16 November 2005
well where do i start? its stunning you feel you are there, with the sound qaulity and the performance the group give is thrilling and you just wish they would go on and on.my only disappointment was that with or without you and bad are not on but it is just a superb show and a must see if you like live music they are the best around for that.
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on 15 November 2005
yet another classic from the u2 phenomenon , expertly cut & shot superb sound it really captures all that u2 are about ...the journey goes on and just gets better
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on 11 January 2013
I find it really odd why so many fans on Amazon either criticize this gig in comparison to the Slane dvd from years previously.
Yes Slane Castle dvd is a 10/10 alright,an absolute peach of a dvd,on a par with the Red Rocks gig,and will U2 ever do a dvd gig as good?? Maybe not,however let it go and praise the Vertigo Tour in its own right.This captures U2 early on during the tour and yes it is still a little rough as a performance but put it on,tune it up and it get the goosebumps going and the adrenaline moving just as much as any U2 show,U2 remain the number 1 live act to this day,they never let the audience down.
I completely disagree that it is similar to Elevation tour,yes its staged in an arena but thats about it.Elevation was very stripped back where Vertigo has more of a light show going on,the Love And Peace Or Else part is something they've not done before with Bono drumming on the ramps,bringing back the Zoo part was a surprise too.From the thumping Vertigo to the solemn Sometimes You Cant Make It and the very under played Original Of The Species this is another classic.Yahweh and "40" are a perfect ending to a very cool gig.
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on 20 November 2005
Like another reviewer I too found this DVD really quite disappointing. I was hoping for something that brought back memories of the show that I saw, in terms of quality of performance but it really doesn't arrive with this DVD.
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. You get the impression in Beautiful Day that Bono too may be a little disgruntled when he says "beautiful day, for me anyhow" with a lack of his usual tongue in cheek.
Things look like they're picking up around "Love or Peace," which starts to look and sound like a U2 concert but this leads into a flat and sometimes dubious version of Sunday Bloody Sunday with, you guessed it, little crowd comeback. Edge seems to be belting out his parts almost as if to make up for it.
Thankfully all is not lost and the whole look and feel starts to change around Bullet the Blue Sky and Running to Stand Still. From here on it's like watching a different band, the energy levels pick up to what you might expect and Bono gets some of his usual bounce back. Full colour is resumed at Zoo Station and The Fly, though some crowd members look a little confused at this return to form.
The acoustic version of Yahweh is as good as I remember it, and with all four band members going to the tip of the ellipse to build the song up it's great.
The real treat comes with 40 at the end, with Edge on bass and Adam on guitar. It's a fantastic version with both Edge and Adam looking comfortable and smiling (at last!). The guitar parts are excellent, and this is the best part of the concert. Finally the production and the band seem to have found their feet and you feel like you're watching and listening to something splendid - a U2 concert! Even the crowd seem to discover themselves! Usually a U2 concert is full of special moments, so it's with relief that one creeps in right at the end.
As for the "deluxe" bonus disk, save your money. The documentary documents nothing worthy of note. If you like watching people queue, sing badly, a few minutes of people getting their tickets scanned, and then leaving the venue for too long then this is for you. Otherwise you'll find yourself wondering howwwwwwwwwwwww lonnnnnng, howwwwwwwww lonnnnnnng, must we watch this drivel before something interesting is presented? You get a much better idea of what goes into the tour by watching the odd clip on U2.com than this. Don't even bother with the surveillance cuts.
Sometimes rough, sometimes a bit barren, the odd special moment reminds you of something you're used to seeing. I'll be grateful if the next U2 concert release isn't another one filmed before a lifeless American audience.
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on 5 December 2005
Like Richard, I was less than impressed with the edited highlights televised recently. The performance of the band didn't compare with Twickenham show broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 in June or the Cardiff show later in the same week - which I saw live. I took a gamble and bought the DVD anyway. I'm glad I did.
Fortunately, or unfortunately (depending on your point of view) Bono's 'cheesy' remarks and speeches are part of a U2 performance. I've also heard others wish that U2 would concentrate on their music rather than bring politics or social justice into their live shows. That's not going to happen. It's the politics and quest for justice that makes U2 "U2". As a supporter of what the band does inside and outside of their music I would urge them to carry on.
The DVD is actually quite good. Regarding the crowd - they're ok. Bono is more than happy with their contribution to 'Elevation'. One section I've played a few times is the selection from 'Boy'. It's loud, different and very moving.
U2 are usually described as a rock band, yet some of their best known songs aren't typical rock songs - 'One', 'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own' and '40' 'Yahweh' and '40' quieten the show and bring to a close what would have been a terrific night for the audience. I've never seen or heard, '40' live. Seeing it on this DVD I can understand why it's so popular.
This is an essential addition to their previous recorded shows.
Four stars? Extras on the DVD are poor compared to either the Boston or Slane DVDs.
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on 5 October 2006
This U2 concert in Chicago is worth buying for long time U2 fans; I must admit it is not their best show though. Some songs lack the energy you can see on concerts taking place in Slane Castle (man, that REALLY was an emotional concert, and no joke about it!) or the Rattle & Hum DVD which takes extracts from their USA tour. I give 4 stars because of 2 songs: Electric Co and An Cat Dubh / Into the Heart. To my mind, those are the deepest and most emotional/energetic songs of the whole DVD.

In summary, if you're a reckless U2 fan (like me), buy it. If not, just go for Slane Castle show, the Joshua Tree Tour (Rattle and Hum), ZooTV from Sydney or PopMart.
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on 15 November 2005
now don't get me wrong, i'm a big U2 fan, and that's quite evident in the fact that i would buy a product like this. i have all their albums, both elevation DVD's and loads of singles and stuff, but there's no denying it - Bono's losing his power, and this is really the edge's tour. this guy (the edge) sounds like he's had serious issues with his wayward lead singer cavorting with bush et al, and this is conveyed through his guitar playing. no doubt about it, this guy's on fire.
in terms of overall performance however, the band themselves are not so refined compared to other dates in their tour (i went to see them in cardiff and they were absolutely mind blowing! maybe it's because it was later on in the tour, i don't know) or their previous dvds. missed cues, off tune vocals and a few other things don't excactly spoil the performance, but they do take the shine off what was in my experience a great rock n' roll show. (if you don't believe me, check out the reviews of their chicago dates: they're not that complimentary)the choice of songs are sometimes inspired "Electric Co, Zoo Station, Running to Stand still being the highlights on this DVD) amidst the tired and flaccid. (pride. i mean, the song's just too powerful for them for them to sing anymore) overall though, not a bad purchase for the price offered here, although the extras are a bit thin. visuals are great, like i just mentioned, but the security camera feature on the second disk is a bit of a dud.
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