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U2 Concerts Make You Wanna…

October 26, 2009

On the heels of attending the 360 Degree Tour and watching the global webcast of the Rose Bowl concert last night, I’ve been thinking…

There’s something about a U2 concert that makes you want to create. The sheer creativity of a U2 concert is staggering. The past 5 or 6 tours, save the stripped down Elevation tour, have been jam-packed with an awe-inspiring fusion of art and technology. From massive German cars on stilts to larger than life lemons, to a 360 degree screen that expands to triple its size, U2 continues to push the boundaries of technology for the sake of art. The magnitude of these spectaculars border on the absurd, until you realize that each prop, each piece is weighted in symbolism. The POP tour, for instance boasted shopping carts, a massive lemon and olive, and a few other props as if to say: “Look around you. You’ve bought into a life of meaningless, larger than life, pop life.” To quote Bono, ”

You know you’re chewing bubble gum, you know what it is but you still want some. You know you’re chewing bubble gum. You just can’t get enough of that lovey-dovey stuff.”

There’s something about a U2 concert that makes you want to give. For all the pomp and circumstance, millions spent on entertainment, and theatrics, U2 continues to use their success to put other causes first. For years they have advocated for the poor, the oppressed, and the helpless. They call us to create, to enjoy great music, but they don’t stop there. They call us through those experiences to engage the global poor and helpless. To join the ONE campaign, to Free Burma, to work with Amnesty International, to live for others not merely for ourselves. To fight for the miracle drug:

“In science and in medicine, I was a stranger You took me in, I’ve had enough of romantic love I’d give it up, yeah, I’d give it up For a miracle, a miracle drug”

There’s something about a U2 concert that makes you want to worship. The raw emotive power alone moves you to sing, to rejoice, to feel for something bigger. Every concert has that song, that moment when the entire crowd is caught up into a moment of ecstasy, of worship. There’s probably a hundred gods at that moment, gods of creativity, success, emotion, power, personality, charisma, talent. But if you listen closely, there’s an unmistakable refrain in Bono’s lyrics, a refrain of worship that points to God, even to Christ. During the 360 Degree Tour, just before he sang ‘Where the Streets Have No Name,” Bono sang “Amazing Grace,” a grace that saves “wretches like me.” Apparently Bono isn’t going PC on that lyric. Now, this grace could be attributed to a lot of things, but Bono sticks with the author of Grace—Jesus. After Amazing Grace, he introduced Where the Streets Have No Name,” with this statement:

“This one’s for you Jesus, glory to the one who died and rose from the grave.”

Whether we agree or not, like it or not, the worship emanating from Bono’s vocal chords, from his soul, is praise to his Magnificent Creator and Redeemer. To Jesus.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2009 1:09 am

    Good word, Jonathan. Hopefully those who think Bono has sold out will hear this. Thanks.

  2. Sara permalink
    October 27, 2009 6:57 pm


  3. October 28, 2009 12:09 am

    Jonathan, as a man who was there on Sunday – you are absolutely right. I think their song “Magnify” says it all – “Only love can leave such a mark… only love can heal such a scar… i was born to sing for you/i didn’t have a choice but to lift you up/and sing whatever song you wanted me to/i give you back my voice… justified till we die, you and I will magnify…”

    They are amazing lyricists and remind me so much of modern day psalms. The church can learn a lot from these guys – as they lead worship for 100,000 people in mainstream culture, in one of the biggest culture setting capitals of the world, while the majority of the people there had no clue about who it was they were singing about…

  4. Sam permalink
    October 28, 2009 8:43 am


  5. Lacey permalink
    October 28, 2009 2:07 pm

    It was a great time of worship for me and my father. I loved it.

  6. November 6, 2009 3:12 pm

    Not sure what you think about this, but have you heard of U2charist? Not sure what I think of it yet, but I have to give it props for the name. Quite creative.

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