Epic. Astounding. Incredible. Bucket list worthy. Those are just some of the ways St. Louisans described last night's U2 360˚ concert at Busch Stadium.
And I completely agree. Oakville Patch editor Alyssa Stahr and I had the privilege of attending Sunday's show, which is being billed as the largest concert in St. Louis history. I have to admit, when I first walked into the stadium and saw the massive 90-foot-tall structure called The Claw, I was in awe.
I had seen stories showing the preparation of the Space Age-like stage, but to be there in person along with the more than 50,000 fans just took took me over the edge. At several points during the show, I actually teared up with sheer joy to be part of such an event. It was comparable to a religious experience.
I have been to hundreds of rock concerts in the last 28 years, including U2's Zoo-ropa show at Busch Stadium in the early 1990s, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Rush, AC/DC, Sammy Hagar and Bon Jovi. But this by far was the most amazing experience I've ever had at a concert—in terms of the Irish rock band's stellar performance, the stage, lights, the band's interaction with the crowd and the overall atmosphere.
And fans from all over the St. Louis area apparently agree. Here are some of the comments from Sunday's concertgoers.
"Do you know what the best thing about U2 is? Even if you don’t listen to them every day, even if you have never been to their show, even if you aren’t sure about Bono evangelizing about politics or amnesty or space stations or whatever it is he is fighting for—you still know every word to every song. You still listen in amazement to The Edge and his brilliance with a guitar, you recognize Bono’s lilt and cadence like it’s a family member’s voice, you feel something stir inside of you that is both emotional, yet insanely energizing, and you can’t believe it is happening right in front of you. From the get-go, you know that you are experiencing something frantic, beautiful and altering."
-Johanna Roy, Chesterfield
"They still have what it takes to change the world. I think they already have—for the good. Thanks to them I'm a musician. Gracias Bono, The Edge, Adam and Larry."
-Javier Mendoza, St. Louis musician
"They rocked! Now I know what 'packed to the rafters' means. I've never seen Busch Stadium completely full. There wasn't a bad seat in the house!"
-Lisa Barton, Florissant
"Thought it was amazing. To have that big of a stage and still have have Bono interact with the fans, like bringing people on stage or sitting down with his feet in the crowd. To have just The Edge and Bono alone playing acoustic during 'Stay' made that huge stage still feel intimate. Great show. Set list hit every album. Thought it was cool when Bono read the set list from the Washington University show in 1981."
-James Swink, Hazelwood
"Unbelievable, nothing like I've ever seen before and not likely to see again. It was the most amazing performance ever. Bono is perhaps the world's greatest frontman we've ever seen. And it was a technical masterpiece, really fascinating!"
-Susie Meyers-Penn, St. Charles
"It was incredible. There are no words. If it wasn't on my bucket list, it should have been. To say that Busch Stadium was transformed is an understatement. The Claw was an amazing engineering feat in itself. And the four gentlemen from Dublin weren't so bad, either! I loved it when the five guys with U2 360 on their chests went up onstage with Bono. They had no idea they were out of order, but it didn't matter.
-Mary Schepers, Oakville
"Thank you God for allowing me to live these 32 years to experience what I did last night. And for giving me the strength to fight for my own personal freedom, which no one will ever again take from me. And for U2 for sharing their incredible talent and inspiration."
-Alyssa Stahr, Oakville Patch editor
"My wife got free tickets from her great co-workers and took me as her date. I'm not the biggest U2 fan, but that was a good show—despite Bono's posturing and tired calls for freedom—yawn."
-Jim Bielicke, Fenton
Editor's note: Sheri Gassaway, of Affton, is an associate editor for Patch.