U2's latest concert epic and familiar
U2, "U2360 At The Rose Bowl" (Interscope)
U2 has been playing shows and releasing albums for more than 30 years, so even hardcore fans might honestly wonder whether they really need to buy yet another concert video showing the band playing hits like "One" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday."
Out of 23 songs on "U2360," eight are beloved classics that you can see the band play in previously released concert videos, some going all the way back to the 1980s. That's why for anyone but a casual U2 fan, "U2360" may sometimes feel like overly familiar territory. It doesn't help that even some of the lighting effects used for songs like "Where The Streets Have No Name" mirror those of the band's past concert videos.
So the major appeal of "U2360" may rest in the viewer's appreciation for U2's newest material off 2009's "No Line On The Horizon" and in the sheer spectacle of the band's first stadium-sized stage production in the U.S. since the 1997-98 "PopMart" tour.
The album got mixed reviews, especially its leadoff single, "Get On Your Boots," but that song and others, like its title track and "Moment of Surrender," take on a new energy live that's worth a listen.
Despite Bono being audibly hoarse on some songs, the concert captured on "U2360" shows him and his bandmates well-rehearsed and in good form, especially after they loosen up a few tracks in.
The stage production -- a mammoth claw-like rig festooned with a honeycomb-like, wraparound video screen -- can be mesmerizing at times, and the 27 cameras used to film the show offer sweeping views and aerial shots of the more than 97,000 concertgoers.
Fans may have already seen the show if they tuned to YouTube last fall to stream it live. But the DVD, which clocks in at about two hours, delivers a far more satisfying audio and visual record.
CHECK THESE TRACKS OUT: "U2360" includes a couple of songs that were largely absent from the band's live set for decades and mark a welcome return here -- "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)," and "The Unforgettable Fire."