Alive at 33

The blog An Unapproved Road posts some reflections on the closing concert of the 360 tour. This is part 2, which I've linked because it's the most comprehensive, but you will probably want to click back to part 1 as well. It's a rich reflection by someone who loved the show, and it has a lot of interesting nuggets along the way, especially around the closing three-song coda which has come in for some critique. Excerpt:

All of these songs express the soul’s hunger for clarity, for release, for union with the Source or the Destination, or both -- being stuck, seeking some light, getting lost, being found. Certainly this is a regular theme in U2’s music, but this particular setlist is built, not around political calls to arms, but almost entirely around this inner longing to be truly known. We want to know our place in the world, we struggle to belong, to be loved.

U2 has long understood the political implications of spiritual wounds, and the media’s emphasis therefore has been on their politics… because God knows that’s easier than spirituality. But on this tour it seems the band has chosen to focus on the spiritual work required to change the world – consistent with the tone of "No Line on the Horizon."
The coda at the end of the show, the shadowy suit of lights, mimes our hidden story of fatigue, futility, and emptiness. Maybe it also says something more oblique about U2’s life as rock stars – certainly critique of the Pop Life is not new to their work. I don’t know.
But either way, say goodbye to the suit of lights. On your knees, boy.

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