Thursday, January 17, 2008

More about U23D - Highly Recommended

Well, that trailer doesn't do it justice at all! Just back from a press screening of U23D at the Bob Bullock IMAX Theatre in Austin. What a glorious experience! It opens here on January 25th. Run. You'll be glad you did.

Magical experience.

We head up to the very last row. I've been to this theatre before for both 3D and imax films. As I'm uber sensitive to all forms of motion, including motion sickness, I know to sit in the last row. We put our 3D glasses over our regular ones. The movies starts. Georgia and I begin to crack up. It's intense! It's huge. It's really 3D. And what's so huge and grand and three dimensional is U2. Looking great. Sounding amazing. These four very human men, of human size, playing a sound so much greater, mesmerizing a room of what looks like hundreds of thousands. A mass of throbbing humanity, all jazzed and thrilled by what these four very real guys, backed by simple yet fabulous technology, are doing. These beautiful sounds they're making - so much bigger than they. And we sit comfortably in our seats, dancing in our seats, digging the immersion.

In the car home, John starts to explains to Georgia that U2 is the band that spans the length of our relationship. I immediately start to disagree, remembering as clear as day, the moment I first heard one of their songs. I was still living in San Francisco so it would have to be pre March 1980. It feels like I was still attending the Art Institute but that would have to be pre-1977 so that doesn't make sense. I was in the North Beach Tower Records. Not the first Tower, but an early, important one. A record store that no longer exists that meant everything to a generation of us. Just down the hill from my art school alma mater. A record store I frequented frequently for years. I was in the store and heard the most amazing song. I loved it so much I went up to the counter to ask the name.
"I will follow" by U2.
Ok. Love at first sound. In the car we quibble about the date. John says it has to be 1980. I talk about when I moved to NY. When he and I met in 1981. John grows silent while I continue talking to G. Back at the house, within moments he has wikipedia up and says, "see - I was right 1980." I scour for the release of the single and remain confused. The dates don't jibe with my memory. An early import broadcast? A visit soon before I moved? No matter, he's right, give or take a month or year, yes, U2 spans the length of our life together.

Irregardless of the personal stuff, the movie is a great time. It's a perfect concert experience for me who now, at age 50, has really lost my appetite for standing in crowded halls with often poor sound. I still love music, but I don't need to see it live. This really did combine the best of both worlds. Comfortable, sitting, yet in the experience, seeing and hearing it bigger than even possible in the real. Very cool achievement. Very satisfying.

We laugh about how the gigantic screen and 3D make Bono look somehow smaller. But I insist that's what makes it even more enjoyable to me. It's the human scale of the band. Bono doesn't look larger than life. He's a real looking guy, wearing very real looking clothes. A regular body, not an unattainable star one. Great songs choices. Bono's voice was in perfect form. Sweet, great tone. I'm always partial to harmony. And have always loved the harmony between Bono and The Edge. Of course, of course the guitar and rhythm and sound. But part of that unique beautiful sound is their harmony. Their stage antics were minimal. For The Edge, as always. For Bono, I believe way calmed down - which for me, was perfect. I couldn't enjoy more the contrast between these 4 guys, these 4 real guys, with their magical thunderous sound, and the deluge of bodies that were cheering them on. How can a single person handle a crowd like that? It's unthinkable! But cool to kind of experience, safely away, yet still kind of in it, in this film.

Go see. Highly Recommended.

1 comment:

Forrest Preece said...

Thanks for the tip-- this sounds like an experience not to be missed!

That theater rocks!