Each time I watch a U2 concert video I think of it as the definitive version of the tour. Having watched or listened to many of the Innocence + Experience tour shows either online or in person, I question myself as to which show would be the definitive version of any tour. You can mke the argument that there are maybe twenty songs that are in every single show, but what about the rest? There are another couple of dozen songs that were played throughout the tour, how do you decide which of those songs would make the cut on a tour video? I mean, think of People Have The Power, which turned out to be a really good ending to things, but reality is that it was only played three times at the end of a show. Even One was only played half the time.
So when you look at a show like the Vertigo tour, it makes you wonder which version of the tour are you getting? Well, doing a little sleuthing through the U2Gigs.com database, I compared the listing on the Vertigo DVD with the listing of songs played on the tour, and it wasn’t too bad a match. The biggest miss was With Or Without You, played 104 times on tour out of 131 shows, then Still Haven’t Found at 91, Miss Sarajevo at 85 and on down. An Cat Dubh/Into the Heart was on the DVD but only played 16 times, with a number of songs higher than that. In general I think that the DVD did a good job of making it a representative show, and I think that any differences are just random luck. I think that when we get to the Innocence + Experience DVD it will be something similar, a large portion of songs from the regular tour with a few differences (although hopefully not the HBO version).
The video does showcase the Vertigo tour, but I don’t get the feeling of being there like I have on the latest tour. There is definitely an in-the-moment feeling of being at a live show, and it is amazingly well replicated by watching the show on Periscope or Mixlr or wherever. Watching Vertigo though, I had the feeling of it being a bit of an archive, rather than being there or being involved. The latest show has, in Bono’s words, been an attempt at bringing the band closer to the audience, and I think I’ve been a little spoiled by that idea. Looking back on Vertigo, and probably all the other shows I’ve got on DVD, it’s more of being out in the audience somewhere, and not the close seats but up in the crowd. Like I said, the current tour may have spoiled me for all future times, how are they going to top that and how am I going to look back at the old stuff?
But it’s U2 and it’s live, and it’s got that moment when Bono ends up drumming out on the edge of the heart, at the end of Love and Peace/beginning of Sunday. It’s great and it always will be.
My rating for Vertigo Live From Chicago: 10 / 10