Joined July 2007

Bernd Talasch doesn’t remember being hatched in a research laboratory in Omaha in the late 1950s so maybe that never happened....

Photos - U2 Concert, Sydney

For some insane and also incredible reason, I managed to convince myself and my employer that it would be appropriate to go to three concerts within four days of each other in December. I’ve been counting down for anything from 1-3 months for each of them separately, but on one glorious sequence of Friday-Saturday-Monday I got to go to see three bands play. And not just any three : MUSE, Linkin Park and U2

U2 was the third of these

They call it “The Claw”. As a non-engineer my suspicion is that it’s far too heavy to ever move, so they should just leave it and let League players deal with it however they want next season…

Woo!!! It’s Jay-Z (I’d created rumours that if he’d cancelled, Justin Bieber would’ve performed, so all good on that front)

“Yo, to all you white folk out there, I just wanna thank you for your attempts at singing along and the hand gestures and stuff – very much appreciated. You stay cool, now!” (No, he didn’t say that…)

And then, after an interminable wait, it’s U2!!! And with the reduction in ambient lighting, my Nokia N8 finds itself some pastels and an easel and starts painting with its genius noise-reduction algorithm.

Although I had an Olympus point-and-shoot digital on me, I decided for an incredible third time to hand over primary shooting responsibility to the Nokia, whose preset focus, ISO override and manual exposure compensation and ezy-zoom make it stunningly effective.

(forgive me, Pentax!!)

It’s testimony to how good our spot in the crowd was that this is as much of The Claw I could fit into frame! (It’s testimony for how long we were standing fixed in that same position that I found it hard to walk afterwards, too….!)

The design of the “U2 360” stage, unsurprisingly, allows the band to wander around the stage on a ring that bisects some of the crowd. Owing to our rather spectacular position, this meant Bono took up residence right in front of us now and then. Accordingly, I call this shot “Bono”

Woo!!! Here’s Bass Guitar Player Clayton!! or Mullen!!! (I’ll be honest, my record at remembering who is who when we’re not talking Bono or The Edge is about 50%, but then again I’ve bought a lot of U2 albums and I don’t think they care.

The Edge goes soft-focus and wandering .. (I think it was “Mysterious Ways”)

The Edge chooses to stop right there and pose, much to the delight of my Nokia (and the nearby weirdo who somehow found a body cavity to stash an SLR and pro-grade lens to smuggle them into the event)

Bono comes a’walking by (“With or Without You?”) while The Edge catches the floodlight just so . You know, to a certain extent I enjoyed this concert almost as much visually as I did audially (one of my ears still kind of rings 24 hours later, though. Is that normal?)

Classic pose #3. The ‘shot failure’ rate of the Nokia was remarkably low by anyone’s standards – I think it’s because the manual overrides coupled with the pre-focus means it literally can’t over-think its photo-taking, unlike all the ‘too clever by half’ IQs of ‘normal’ cameras. (Damn… I’m turning into a Nokia spokesperson. It should bear mentioning that a good 98% of all my photos are captured on a Pentax digital SLR)

Another nice pastel piece by the Nokia? Overall, the concert was excellent – a good mix of old and new (‘new’ meaning ‘last few albums’ rather than a dominance of the most recent one. I think they only performed three songs from it…)

“A man walks into a bar. Now this joke goes on for a while, but bear with me….”

Bono and The Edge on movable bridges for the finale of ‘End of the World’ (the roving film camera was perfectly placed like I was to capture the moment, but sadly it was about four rows in front of me)

Then Jay-Z joined U2 for a song (I’m chalking that up under the column that reads “Totally Awesome”!)

Bono got cheers from the crowd with mentions of INXS, Nicole Kidman and other Sydney-specific references. Nicely played, sir!

“Thanks, y’all for buying our music and paying for concert tickets!! Now, if we could just direct your attention to the Merchandise tent…?”

“Gettin’ kind of warm. No, I think I’ll keep the jacket, though, but thanks for offering”

Post-encore, the band are winding up and I’m starting to think about how you get from near the front of the stage out of a stadium with 85000 fans, to and then out of the carpark, in less than an hour. (Answer : you can’t)

“Thank you… see you tomorrow!!!” (sadly, not for me. I’m off to get some sleep). And for the third concert in a row, Triple M featured the concert artist in a mini-music marathon to enjoy on the lengthy drive home.

Now… Bon Jovi THIS weekend. Dare I…? (no… I dare not)

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