Last night I saw U2 live at the Coliseum in Oakland, CA where they preformed a 20 song set, complete with massive electric screens, awesome instrumentals, soaring vocals, and even a conversation with an astronaut on the International Space Station singing “Beautiful Day.” An eclectic mix of some of their many, many awesome hits, they played a couple songs from each of their numerous albums, giving the crowd an energetic rush as they rocked out anthems such as “Mysterious Ways,” “Pride,” and “Until the End of the World” just to name a few. Opening bands included the hippie-esk group Moonalice, and the ever-cool Lenny Kravitz, who played a half dozen of his best known tunes.
Ever socially conscious songwriters, Bono, the Edge, Adam, and Larry, provided heartfelt moments where they showed video on the interactive big screens of speeches by Bishop Desmond Tutu, Burmese Activist (and former political prisoner) Aung San Suu Kyi, and astronaut Mark Kelly on the Endeavor space shuttle. Seeing Mark Kelly’s view of Earth from space was an eye opener, showing that the real world has no political boundaries and we share one big planet. Bono and the band of course rocked out to world peace for a while after that, much to the crowd’s enjoyment.
Aung San Suu Kyi, just recently released from 20 years house arrest in Burma where she was democratically elected president before the military took over in her country, spoke about being an activist for human rights as well as being a big U2 fan. Even though she was released, much to social pressure from within and outside of Burma, she said that over 2,000 pro-democracy/human rights Burmese colleagues of hers still remain in military prisons after 20 years. U2 and the band gave a touching salute as the crowd prayed for those still suffering all in the name of love and freedom and peace. Needless to say, it was a moving evening spiritually, emotionally, and musically. As always, U2 continues to be the best band ever!