As many of you know, I'm a diehard U2 fan. You might ask yourself, "What could cause this to happen? Is it his fault?" The mitigating circumstances that have led to my unabashed love of what has now become one of the most un-hip bands to persist in the highest echelon of super-stardom is, of course, rooted in childhood.
I was the baby of my family, reared in a household with an older sibling who exposed my young palate to a lot of new wave. For some reason--perhaps their awesomeness--I took a liking to U2 and would watch the Live Under a Blood Red Sky VHS constantly. At 11-years-old, my older sister took me to see the band's Zoo TV tour (with opening acts the Sugarcubes and Public Enemy) at Dodger Stadium. It's still the greatest show I've ever seen--I've attended 15 U2 shows since then, like a heroin addict chasing a virgin high. It's safe to say Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry hold a special place in my heart. A place so special it's allowed me to overlook latter-day cringe-worthy lyrics like, "The songs in your head are now on my mind, you put me on pause / I'm trying to rewind and replay."
Or: "Restart and re-boot yourself / You're free to go / Oh, oh / Shout for joy if you get the chance / Password, you, enter here, right now."
Or: "Freedom has a scent / Like the top of a newborn baby's head."
Or, the now infamous "uno dos tres catorce!" I could continue quoting, but I'll spare you the pain and myself the embarrassment.
I'm well aware that the band's output over the last third of their career, coupled with Bono's undying megalomania, is endless fodder for hipster criticism, but I've still yet to hear someone tell me why the War album sucks, perhaps because it doesn't. The same goes for Boy, The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. While my unconditional love for the band makes it easy for me to say that these records are groundbreaking enough to absolve a song like "Vertigo," I do think those records really are that good.
Despite their artistic transgressions of the last decade, U2 still put on the best show in rock next to Bruce Springsteen and the E Streeters. The U.S. leg of their forthcoming "360º Tour" kicks off Sept. 12 at Chicago's Soldier Field and comes to Atlanta's 75,000-capacity Georgia Dome on Oct. 6. Tickets to the Atlanta show went on sale this morning here. They range in price from $30-$250. While the $250 price might seem to fly in the face of the band's populist message, it's worth noting that the majority of the tickets are priced under $100, including the general admission field level that are going for $55 a pop.
U2 when they were cool: