Just want to get a general thought about the 360 tour with regards to the stage set up and.........."IS IT REALLY WORKING"???
Let me first share my experience of my experience with you.
First of all it was Dublin and while looking forward to the day arriving, my first dissappointment came when I saw the plan for Croke Park was different to the rest with the stage more to 1 end and nobody behind the stage. More of a 180 than 360!! But I was in the pit for 2 of the nights so didn't matter and it turned out to be the best concert I have been at since ZOO TV only to be rivaled with Elevation in Slane! It was fantastic.
So next up was Boston where I was happy I was going to see them in their full 360 glory. And my God was this a different story!!
Firstly our 1hr round trip took 8 hours. We decided to give ourselves plenty of time to get there (leaving at 4pm to be there for a bit of tailgating and then in for SnowPatrol)......We got there so late we missed snowPatrol. We got home at 4am.
I know it is not the Bands fault but they pay the wages of the people who research these venues. I would be asking questions if I were them!!
Next we got there to find out that out tickets were for right behind the stage - the people I was with were not happy because this was their first show of the tour...I didn't mind because I had seen them already and infact I was happy to see how the 360 worked from the back.
And so to my opinion.................TERRIBLE
Before I rant on I will say that the band were their usual greatness (even though I thought they held off a bit compared to Dublin for some reason - at least i didn't feel their same passion anyway.) and the sound could not be better!
So to my rant......
1. Our seats (even thought at the back) were very good by the fact that we were a couple of rows from the front. the front being a quarter of the way up because I would say the first 15 rows from the bottom up were empty in which I presume was due to visibility restrictions.
So all that was below us were metal structures, a few security men and engineers running around and a completely empty field. Personally if i was in a stand I would like to be looking over the crowds on the pitch and getting the buzz off them.
2. I don't think anyone told the band that it was 360 because they literally spent no time at the back of the stage. The closest we got to see them was when they walked over the bridges at the side to get to the front of the outer circle. And in fact, Bono never graced us once. Again personally when at a concert, no matter how far back back, I prefer to be looking at the band's faces and not the back of their heads. I actually found it quite amusing at one stage for one of the songs, Larry's drumkit swivelled around to face us, like a charitable recognition, just to quickly swivel around again for the rest of the show!
3. This setup definately had a bad impact on the fans because from where I was, it was fairly sombre compared to a normal U2 show. For the first time ever, I found myself sitting on my seat for part of a U2 performance, as was everybody around me. Unthinkable!! no matter what people say, this vibe was felt throughout the back portion of the arena. There was absolutely no comparrisson to Dublin.
4. Looking back on the setup in Boston, I figure that at least half (probably closer to 3/4) of the people in that stadium that night were viewing the stage from the either side or back because in Gillette staduim there is a gap at one end and this was the end that would have been facing the stage so there were more people seated at the back end than the front. So if there were 45000 at the concert, U2 would habe been playing to about 15000 people who were facing them for most (all) of the concert.
So sorry Willie Williams and co. but I think you got this one wrong!! (Not the stage though - awesome)
I don't think this has brought the fans closer to the group - I was with a group of 15 fans who were very dissappointed.
It was my worst U2 concert but thankfully I already had one of my best U2 experiences a few months before that in Dublin (NON 360 setup).
Ok, some people go to a concert just to hear the live music and watching the performers on a big screen is ok with them, but most like to see the bans also.
It is funny because this tour was all about getting more closer and intimate with the fans...............Going away from the smaller arenas like the TD Banknorth and Madison Sq Garden to bigger stadiums with half of the crowd not facing them, in my opinion, is not the way to do it!