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U2 at Cowboys Stadium: A Few Observations


by Stephen Becker 13 Oct 2009

This morning I posted a review of the U2 show at Cowboys Stadium on Monday night. But there were plenty of other little nuggets that didn’t really make it in, so I figured I’d follow up on some of them here: MUSINGS ON MUSE I: British band Muse opened the show with a tight if […]

CTA TBD

This morning I posted a review of the U2 show at Cowboys Stadium on Monday night. But there were plenty of other little nuggets that didn’t really make it in, so I figured I’d follow up on some of them here:

MUSINGS ON MUSE I: British band Muse opened the show with a tight if unremarkable set that will be remembered most by its out-of-whack sound mix. Imagine every tricked out hooptie with a speakerbox in the trunk that’s ever pulled up next to you at a red light all parked in the same place and you’ll get a sense of the excessive bass pummeling the crowd. By the time the band played its U.S. radio hit, “Starlight,” those problems seemed to be worked out. But it was rough going at the start.

MUSINGS ON MUSE II: One other Muse note: Their style (at least on Monday) could best be described as Metallica fronted by Thom Yorke. High-pitched, whiney vocals mixed over a thrashing rock background. Two great tastes that taste strange together. Also strange – frontman Matthew Bellamy seemed to have been playing the electric version of Taylor Swift’s sparkly guitar. It sounded good, but it looked a bit Barbie-ish.

CELEBRITY SHOUTOUTS: Bono dedicated a song to Tiger Woods, who apparently was in the house (I didn’t see him personally). And before that, he made mention of Tony Romo and Jason Whitten being there. And all I could think was that there is no way Bono knew who Jason Whitten was before Monday. That being said, he did drop other Cowboys references in through the night. So maybe he’s a big fan? If so, he chose not to comment on Miles Austin’s game-winning catch in overtime on Sunday or ask why the offensive line keeps getting so many penalties.

ROTATING LARRY: Because the show was technically billed as in-the-round, the band had to make some attempt to play to the back of the house. That mostly involved Larry Mullen Jr.’s drum kit spinning around to face behind the stage. Which would have been neat had the band joined him over there. Instead, it just kinda looked like he accidentally got facing the wrong way and couldn’t figure out how to spin back around. I guess it’s the thought that counts.

LOCAL GEOGRAPHY: In addition to Bono’s namechecking, he also gave a shoutout to Fort Worth. That’s natural enough I suppose. But then it got a little strange when he continued his North Texas tour with shouts of “Richardson!” and “Fair Park!” Alas, there was no, “Dalworthington Gardens, let me here from ya!”

ALBUM CUTS: In case you were keeping score, the song break down by album went like this: No Line on the Horizon (6), How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2), All That You Can’t Leave Behind (4), Achtung Baby (4), Joshua Tree (3), The Unforgettable Fire (2), War (1). M.I.A. were: Pop, Zooropa, Rattle & Hum, October and Boy. Some warhorses of previous tours also were missing. “Bullet the Blue Sky,” I Will Follow, “Angel of Harlem,” “Pride,” “Desire” and “New Year’s Day” were all no-shows.

SOUND CHECK: Several people have commented to me that the sound was terrible in some places, muddy in others. It seems that the 200 level is the line of demarcation. Sit there or below and you should be happy. Sit above it, though, and I can’t make any promises.

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  • Jennifer

    Hilarious!
    Yes, I thought the rotating Larry was weird, since the rest of the band decided not to spend too much time on that side of the stage.
    I, too, was thrown by Bono’s mention of Richardson.
    I went with an open mind for Muse, and left thinking that they were about the worst band I’d ever heard live.

  • Joy

    I guess you have never heard of muse then, because they are one of the best live band in this world. They even have awards that prove it. The only reason why they are opening for U2 is that they are still trying break into the US. We are pretty much the last major country to regonize their talent. It’s very sad. You have to see their concerts… They go all out and only singing 10 song, that’s just scratching the surface with MUSE.

  • Bandana

    Muse was terrible, for this show they were terrible. Are they a great band? Yes.

    Here…Not so much. I fear this U2 thing will do more harm for long term growth in sales for Muse.

  • Fair park

    U2 did play Fair Park in 1997, at the Cotton Bowl, so it’s not unusual. And I count us lucky to have had Muse as the opening act. It could have been worse – Black Eyed Peas, anyone?!