‘U2 3D’ 

Perhaps it was just the time when I went to see “U2 3D” (noon on a Sunday), but the audience seemed to skew a bit too mature for my comfort — hairlines that had not receded so much as suffered a follicular holocaust. This is the crowd for a rock concert?

Then I remembered that the last time I saw U2 live was quite literally half my life ago. The Sugarcubes, who were still together, opened for them, as did the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. I saw the eternal roadie hold my “One” T-shirt and U2-branded condoms and snicker, and in short, I needed a nap.

Such thoughts braced me to see that age has likewise caught up with the band, but if it has, they're hiding it well. “U2 3D” is one hell of an energetic concert film, but it's more than that: It's a piece of pop art, and a damn good one, too.

Going to a 3D film, one expects the usual gee-whiz effects, mostly Stuff That Sticks Out, and there is plenty of that — mic stands and guitar necks right in your face — but that's just the thin edge of it. This film is the first to fully grasp the potential of a three-dimensional canvas. Graphics are layered one on top of the other to form tableaux, shots of the giant pixellated backdrop screens hang in transparency in front of the band, as if floating over the audience. Letters fall down to the stage like some hallucinogenic Sesame Street rainstorm. The real world fades seamlessly into animation and back again before you realize you'd left the crowd.

When that's not going on, the effect is used subtly enough that after awhile it begins to feel less like a 3D movie and more like a visually well-layered and textured film, which it is. It's not quite like you're there, but it's as close as you're going to get sitting in a theater, and I personally found myself wanting to jump up and down with the crowd as if I were among them.

The set list is a mix of the new and the old going back all the way to “War,” and the band plays with nearly as much frenetic enthusiasm and earnest activism as they did 20 years ago. Bono's still playing the crowd as ever he did. Little is diminished from what it was. Overall, it's one hell of a show, unmissable even if you're just a casual fan, and it will likely stand as a landmark in the band's career.

If only the 3D glasses were Bono goggles.


From the ArkTimes store


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Matthew Reed

Readers also liked…

  • Not much to 'Love'

    In Judd Apatow's new Netflix original series.
    • Feb 25, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.
  • Lynchings hidden in the history of the Hot Springs Confederate monument

    Hot Springs twice erupted into the kind of violence that has its roots in the issues left unresolved by the Civil War, and both times, it happened right where that monument to Confederate soldiers stands today.

Latest in Movie Reviews

  • Rom-com remix

    'The Big Sick' subverts genre.
    • Aug 3, 2017
  • Live and let die

    'Apes' reboot is satisfying, if not daring.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • Spidey lessons

    Parker schooled in happy 'Homecoming.'
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments


© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation