Review - U2 360° Tour – Salt Lake City – May 24th 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011
U2 360° Tour - Salt Lake City
Rice-Eccles Stadium
May 24th 2011
Performance time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Mythical 5 stars Fanboy Rating
objective rating


I noted in a previous post that I was going to have a hard time being objective reviewing this concert, since I had waited since the first day I discovered Boy and October at the late great Crystal Ship Record store in 1981. I was living in Riverside the year they played the US Festival, but I was too poor to go.

I had moved to Salt Lake when they toured for Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree. Both tours skipped Salt Lake City as did the Zoo TV Tour. We tried for tickets for the Popmart Tour, but it sold out before we snagged any. Elevation sold out too fast for us to get tickets as well. For the Vertigo Tour, we were once again too poor to get tickets.

Two years ago, after the Denver concert was announced, Diane and I bought six tickets. They were six very expensive tickets, because we were not going to miss U2 this time. After they canceled for Bono’s surgery, we decided to give the six Denver tickets to the El Kaiser Guapo and the rest of the boys. We purchased two tickets for the Salt Lake show.

That is the history of my failed and finally successful attempts at seeing a band I held in great esteem. I am and always will be an unabashed U2 fanboy. They are the biggest band of my generation, maybe not always musically, but surely for the body of their work and for their longevity. In 1981, I would not have picked them to be the biggest band in the world nor would I have picked them to be the last band standing, more or less.

Mysterious Ways
Bono sings Mysterious Ways
In 2011, after a 30 year wait, I finally was in Rice-Eccles staring at yet another U2 tour de force stage design waiting for Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry. The Fray opened and did a fine job considering much of the crowd only knew one of their songs. I always feel bad for the opening act on these big stadium tours. The stage was huge and had lot’s of bells and whistles, but The Fray was forced to use only a small part of it, subconsciously reminding everyone who’s concert this really was.
Okay, let’s get too it. I have spent 375 words avoiding the actual review. As a fanboy, it was epic, but does it make my top six concerts of all time? No. I hate to write that, but my top six are:
1. Tom Petty – Damn The Torpedoes Tour
2. Bruce Springsteen – Ghost of Tom Joad Tour
3. Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown Tour
4. Oregon Jam 1980 – Molly Hatchett, Blue Oyster Cult and Black Sabbath (with Dio)
5. Queen – Jazz Tour
6. The Police – Zenyatta Mendatta Tour
The Band In Action
So… what does that really mean? Is it in my top ten? Certainly, the show was amazing. The band was tight, the production was lavish. Bono is every bit the showman that a great front man must be in a big stadium show, but the top six is a special place. The only band in recent history to rocket to number 3 with bullet was Green Day, because, damn Billy Joe has that certain something in spades. The top six changes over time, though. Oregon Jam 80 just returned to the top six after languishing at number nine in the top ten for years for sentimental reasons. Maybe over time U2’s 360 Tour will sneak in there, but where does it sit now?
7. U2 – 360 Tour
8. Van Halen – Diver Down Tour
9. Barenaked Ladies – BLAM Tour
10. Devo – Freedom of Choice Tour
The bottom line is that it was a great concert and pretty romantic. I am so glad I got to see them finally and that I got to see them with my sweetie. For what it’s worth, U2 knocked Tears For Fears Seeds of Love tour out of the top ten. U2’s 360 Tour was a strong B+ concert but my inner U2 fanboy gives it the mythical five stars.
Diane and Me at U2

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