May 15, 2017

U2 Joshua Tree 2017 – It’s a tale of two venues

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U2 Joshua Tree 2017 – It’s a tale of two venues
written by Scotty Evil 

I finally saw U2 with my buddy O-Dog two years ago at Rogers Arena. It was a flawless experience from the venue, the sound and the performance. It was enough for me to say yes to dropping another $300 for “The Joshua Tree 2017 Tour”.

O-Dog was beyond stoked as this is his number one band. More of a 90’s era U2 fan, he was still however pumped to hear songs never performed live before like ‘Red Hill Mining Town’ (rehearsed but never performed until this tour).

So we arrive in style, being dropped off in our limo at a comfortable 7:15pm. Yet we had barely stepped onto the plaza at BC Place Stadium when we encountered a WALL of fans. There was no discernible line. Hell, we could barely see Gate H. Thousands of confused and increasingly agitated people with ZERO direction from BC Place staff. The best we could do was attempt to slowly make our way towards the venue.

Not that we moved much. We endured someone with rank and chronic flatulence. We witnessed security escorting lines of people THROUGH the crowd, including Sarah McLachan and entourage who O-Dog promptly recognized and actually got a fist-bump from!

Fucking celebs.

NINETY MINUTES LATER. After some bright keener in security tells the crowd “Gate G has no lineup” and causes a mini-stampede.

Fucking brilliant BC Place.

So we’ve lost our buzz by this time. Getting inside (sorry but the Credit Card check was simple and quick) was cause for a mini celebration. Off to merch, some overpriced pseudo craft beer and into our seats.

Mumford and Sons were done by this time, tore down and off the stage. Reportedly they played to a mostly empty stadium with the lights still on.

So as a result, U2 held off until they got word most everyone was inside. But you could tell the negative experience of waiting so long to get in deflated the crowd.

To their credit, you could tell the show was certainly a love-letter to Vancouver. Bono was full of generous comments and compliments to our fair city. And he did his best to get everyone to sing along as much as possible but it certainly wasn’t the same level of energy they had gotten in the past. And the late start time likely shortened their encore set. Some fans at this point were simply done. (see Donna’s review for perspective on this from the inside)

And kudos for Bono to continue to highlight critical social issues across the globe. Everyone needs to act and get involved if they want the world to be a better place for everyone and it is good to have us be reminded. The human condition begets art and music, and rightfully so that it should be used to make those conditions better.

U2 have a long history of setting the bar high where it comes to their live shows. In this case, they were let down by a venue who clearly didn’t have the best plan to deal with the increasing frustration artists are having with scalpers holding fans hostage. But as long as we are fool enough to pay for these shows, we may have to talk with our wallets and boycott some until things are fixed.

5 Stars for U2.

One star for BC Place. One Star for LiveNation and Ticketmaster for creating an out of control scalper situation that resulted in a shit-show for fans who are paying a ridiculous premium to see these shows. It’s frankly criminal.

4 Stars for Rogers Arena for knowing how to handle Credit Card entry.

My last show at BC Place- I’m done. They have failed to own their mistakes. Stop blaming artists who are trying to make the experience for the fans, not to make scalpers and re-seller site rich.
All rights reserved
written by Scotty Evil

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