If you are usually one of the sweaty screaming fans, bouncing and dancing yourself into a frenzy, U2 3D is difficult to experience in a static theater environment. What was I supposed to do with my hands? I was conflicted, confused. The raving, energetic fan inside me wrestled with British cinema decorum. What was natural—hands waving above my head, palms clapping, wrists rolling and fingers snapping—was definitely not acceptable at the Waterloo IMAX. I glanced around. It quickly became clear that singing your heart out back to the band was not going to be well received. Even when you’re supposed to pump your fist in the air and belt “Pride,” I contented myself with a head bounce, toe tap, and thigh drum. (And yeah, there might have been some lip sync action going on.) When Bono yells “on the guitar- the Edge!,” I need to scream my approval back to the stage. Instead, I bit my tongue and sat quietly, pondering the wonderful existence that is David Evans, and watched him strum his sparkly guitar masterfully.
Despite the constrictive atmosphere and the fact that it was way too short (did they not have enough footage for at least an hour and a half? Come on!), holy moly, was it good. Not better than a live show, but different. You don’t get the intimate feeling at a live show (unless you’re really, really lucky) that Bono really can, and will, wipe your tears away during Sunday Bloody Sunday. You don’t get to fly over Larry Mullen, Jr. while he beats his drums or get up close and personal with Adam Clayton’s bass. Ticket prices are never £12. And even though it wasn’t live, the emotions, energy and power shone through just as well. I got the chills in all the usual spots and even in some new ones. But, I left thinking it would have been better if they had done more with the 3D (I think it would have been good if Bono had wacked me with that mic stand) and the wish that they had done this for one of their earlier tours that had more theatrics (hard to please, I know).
But, we got back to the car and I got to rock out the whole way home so everything was fine. I hope this is the beginning of a good year for the band, with the new album in the fall and hopefully a tour to follow. (I am sure that’s all part of the plan, as if these guys need to market themselves). Rock on!