Wednesday, February 23, 2011

U2 Comes to Cape Town

Last Friday, a couple of friends and I headed to a little concert frontlined by an Irish band that was playing at the Cape Town stadium. In typical Mother City fashion, there was a parade along the Fan Walk to welcome the guests, who hadn't played in Africa in twelve years, despite the lead singer's extracurricular activities...

You might recognize a few of the papier-mâché heads-on-stilts representations (hint: Bono far left, The Edge to the right with his little hat).

We watched from Jamie's balcony as several brass bands (a specialty of Cape Town for 2nd New Year, a tradition dating back the early slave days of the colony) marched by.

Then it was time for us to head to the stadium as well.

Unsurprisingly, the venue was packed--perhaps even more so than the World Cup (I can never say too many times how much I love this stadium).

The added bonus of nosebleed seats was that we had a glimpse of Table Mountain through the top of the stadium.

After an interminably long wait, U2 finally arrived!

And played a great set. Having been to my fair share of rock concerts, I felt pretty happy about (impressed by?) U2's ability to hold an entire stadium, most of whose spectators were sitting in crappy seats, totally engaged. It's a rare talent, and one that some of my most favorite artists (looking at you, Bobby D) aren't very good at.

It helped that they had "The Claw"--the weird stage set-up--and a moveable video screen. And that at one point, they brought out people carrying lanterns with the Amnesty International logo on them (as well as video clips of Mandela, Desmond Tutu, the Egypt protests, and other human rights-related current events and notable people). And a fog machine, obvi.

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