Yeah, so, like almost everyone in the Bay Area, mighty, mighty good man David and I went to see U2 last night at the Oakland Coliseum.
I’m not going to review the concert, because I’m not a music critic, but I loved the show. I think U2 is awesome, and they put on a very entertaining show. After more than 30 years, they are still relevant, releasing solid albums and churning out hits. The crowd was all over the age spectrum: 20-somethings, 30-somethings, 40-somethings. There were people at the concert with their 10 or 12-year old kids, rocking out together. Sitting a few rows in front of us was a couple in their 60s. They were holding hands and swaying to the music. I hope that David and I are still holding hands and being that awesome when we’re in our 60s.
And, I love that U2 really wants to make us better people by sharing facts about suffering all over the world. I don’t know if it’s working, but I appreciate that U2 hasn’t given up on us yet.
I first saw U2 in concert about 20 years ago for the Zoo TV tour (Public Enemy opened!) at the Oakland Coliseum, and they sounded just as good last night as they did then. A lot has changed in 20 years. For example, when I first saw them I wasn’t surrounded by people tweeting and Facebooking the concert. Twenty years ago, people just enjoyed the show and told people the next day about it. They didn’t have to share every detail of the concert right that second.
I understand taking some photos and tweeting and Facebooking a little. I do that myself. But I’ve noticed the trend of excessive tweeting and Facebooking at concerts. Like the only reason they went to the concert was so they could say on Facebook that they are at the show. Meanwhile, they are missing it, and they are not really enjoying it.
To be honest, there was a lot of tweeting and Facebooking going on around us during the opening bands, but most of the phones were put away during U2, other than the occasional photo or video being taken.
Well, except for one woman.
A 40-something woman sitting in front of us checked her Facebook page every five minutes. I’m not exaggerating. Every five minutes! It was very distracting. I’m trying to listen to Bono explain the world’s problems to me between “Mysterious Ways” and “Vertigo,” and every couple of minutes I see a flash of light in front of me while this woman checks her Facebook. Oh, and by the way, she wasn’t checking her Facebook newsfeed. She was refreshing her own page! She doesn’t care what other people are doing. She just wants to know what other people are saying about her.
She can Facebook at home for free. Why even pay for the concert if you are not going to watch it?
She was there with her husband, a friend and that friend’s husband. She took photos of the massive stage and then proceeded to show those photos to her friend, who was trying to enjoy the concert. I couldn’t believe the friend didn’t say, “Yeah, I can see the stage. It’s right in front of me BECAUSE I’M AT THE CONCERT WITH YOU!” At one point, the woman was explaining her Shazam app to her friend in the middle of a song. Seriously, I think she was Shazaming the song. Hello! Ask one of the 65,000 people around you. They can tell you what song it is, idiot!
This woman and her husband spent $95 for each ticket, plus charges and fees. Parking was $40 (side note: WTF?! $40?!). She was drinking $10 Bud Lights. She was sitting in front of one of the most popular bands in the world, singing some of the biggest hits ever. Everyone around her was dancing and singing along. The stage at U2’s 360 tour is the largest stage ever constructed for a worldwide tour. It’s massive. It lights up and rotates. It’s a massive spectacle. But yeah, apparently it’s not as interesting as whether some dude you went to high school with 25 years ago likes your photo on Facebook.
Lady, I’m sorry to inform you that you are failing at life.