Sound — 10
Bono - Superb performance. The Edge's use of his specially made guitar effects is great, as are his solos. When he isn't rubbing shoulders with the likes of Kofi Annan and George W. Bush, the activist Bono has a side project he likes to call "U2." U2: Vertigo - Live From Chicago captures the band on two nights during their tour to support How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Once known for taking the most technologically extravagant shows on the road, the boys from Dublin have settled into a comfortable role of rock elder statesmen, placing emphasis on the anthems and weepers of their considerable body of work rather than gigantic lemons that descend from the rafters. Always a band that reflects the zeitgeist, this concert film finds them at their earnest best, with comparatively stripped-down stage production and superbly recorded sound. To call U2's more rocking songs "anthems" borders on understatement, and it is their anthems that ring most exuberantly in Chicago's United Center. Bono understandably looks heavier and wearier than in days past, perhaps due to the weight of the world he has hoisted onto his shoulders. While the icon roams the circular stage around the Metallica-style "snakepit," The Edge, drummer Larry Mullen Jr., and bassist Adam Clayton pin the songs to the floorboards and take them to the heavens. How can these guys not play fantastically together? Standouts include hits both classic and newly minted, among them "Beautiful Day," "New Year's Day," "Pride (In The Name Of Love)," and "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Late in the concert Bono makes his appeal to the leaders of the world to end extreme poverty, invoking the imagination of a country that put a man on the moon. Ingeniously, he asks the crowd to take out their cell phones and text-message an account that operates as a petition to end world hunger. With the stadium aglow in LED screens, the band smoothly glides into "One." Elsewhere, Bono invokes religion, donning a headband decorated with Islamic, Jewish, and Christian symbols, assuming the appearance of a grizzled No Nukes protester circa 1975. (Perhaps this is a new persona akin to The Fly? ) Kidding aside, these may be days in which we need the uplift and passion of U2 more than the 1990s, when they dressed up as the Village People and occasionally performed at K-Mart. Not suitable for those who don't wish to save the world.
Content — 7
Very much enjoyed show - live concert DVD. Songs are: 01. City Of Blinding Lights 02. Vertigo 03. Elevation 04. Cry/Electric Co. 05. An Cat Dubh/Into The Heart 06. Beautiful Day 07. New Year's Day 08. Miracle Drug 09. Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own 10. Love And Peace Or Else 11. Sunday Bloody Sunday 12. Bullet The Blue Sky 13. Running To Standstill 14. Pride In The Name Of Love 15. Where The Streets Have No Name 16. One 17. Zoo Station 18. The Fly 19. Mysterious Ways 20. All Because Of You 21. Original Of The Species 22. Yahweh 23. 40 Special Features: song selection.
Production Quality — 8
Very Good sound quality and picture. On the menu there is a nice music selection background, with the vertigo tour logo.
Overall Impression — 9
The DVD is a mix of the Chicago concerts (dating 9th and 10th of May) from the Vertigo tour. The footage used comes primarily from the 10th of May (Bono's birthday), though there are some exceptions. The setlists of those two nights are almost identical with only the final song being different ('40' on the 9th and 'Vertigo' on the 10th; '40' was used for the DVD). The recording is almost complete with only 'Party Girl' missing on the DVD, which was played on both nights. The concert starts off with a very short 'Wake up' from Arcade Fire and segues into 'Everyone', which was used as the 1st leg intro.