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October 2nd, 2005

(no subject) @ 12:16 am

notasecretagent:
I'm currently feelin: curious curious
I'm currently hearin: U2 - Boy/Girl

Hi, guys. I was just wondering, since there was just a question about this a little bit ago - how do you all feel about the GA system this tour as opposed to during Elevation? I'm specifically wondering about what people's thoughts are about getting into the ellipse, and the fact that it is by random selection.

I just had my first U2 GA experience in Milwaukee last Sunday, and didn't get in. I was on the rail outside the walkway, and was surprised at how awesome my spot was even though I wasn't one of the cool kids in the ellipse. :)

Anyway, I don't remember it being discussed much here lately, so I was curious since I was talking about it a little with the guy I ended up standing next to (who was great - U2 fans [for the most part] rock so much!). It may have been extensively talked about at the beginning of the first leg, but I wasn't paying much attention since I was so depressed about not getting tickets at all at that point - luckily it all worked out later, yays. I apologize if it's been beaten to death!
 
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From:walrusoct9
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:43 am (UTC)
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Having been both inside and outside the ellipse, I think you get a better view of the show as a whole from the outside rail...I'd wager that's probably the best spot in the entire arena to experience the whole production. (and actually there were people on the Elevation tour who'd camp out in line all day/night just to get on the rail outside the heart) On the flipside, being right in front of the stage is really cool, especially if you're a guitar player who wants to watch the Edge all night.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the random system, but admittedly I'm one of the crazy people who doesn't think twice about repeatdly camping out overnight in the GA line. I think it's kinda lame that someone who shows up at 7:00 PM can suddenly be right in front of the stage, but on the other hand, if you're close to the front of the GA line, you're still guaranteed a really good spot to see the show.

HOWEVER...my other beef with the random system is (and please correct me if I'm wrong here) that the band spends significantly less time wandering the ellipse than they did the Elevation heart. Edge especially, who on this tour isn't using a wireless system except for the 3 or 4 songs he knows he's going out into the ellipse on. I'm not sure why this is, but I've felt that way all tour...could be all in my head though.

(where were you in Milwaukee? We were directly behind the first row of people outside the ellipse on Edge's side)
From:walrusoct9
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:44 am (UTC)
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Also...Amelie = greatest movie ever made.
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From:notasecretagent
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:53 am (UTC)
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Hee! With the possible exception of 'Say Anything.' :)
From:walrusoct9
Date:October 2nd, 2005 06:01 am (UTC)
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Yeah, but Audrey is way hotter than the Say Anything chick.
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From:notasecretagent
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:52 am (UTC)
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(where were you in Milwaukee? We were directly behind the first row of people outside the ellipse on Edge's side)

This is so weird, I was just about to comment on your picture post about that when I got this comment email. You must've been just a few people away from my cousin and I. We were on the rail on Edge's side, and my pictures have a similar angle of the stage, but we were further left.

Awesome! XD

Anyhow, my views on the random system are basically the same. I was really disappointed when we first didn't get into the ellipse, because I thought we'd be stuck with some crap spots after waiting in line for 12+ hours in the rain, but it worked out great. I just don't like the idea that yeah, some person who gets there at 7 pm and bitches about the length of the line can still get a closer spot.

I do understand why they did it that way (sort of... what was it, they were sick of seeing the same people in the ellipse all the time? :/ ), but I agree that it seemed like they didn't spend much time on the walkway. Bono was out there quite a bit, but there was a definite lack of Edge action, which was disappointing.
From:walrusoct9
Date:October 2nd, 2005 06:01 am (UTC)
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Yeah, I don't know what Edge's deal is. It's a concious thing, because he specifically has his wireless only for a select few songs. ("Electric Co," "Zoo Station," and maybe one other one, plus the acoustic guitar) They used to do "Yahweh" on the ellipse but that's now on the main stage as well.

I know at least one of them, I'm pretty sure it was Larry, did mention something about being annoyed at seeing the same people in the heart every night on the Elevation tour, so I'm sure the random system is a response to that.
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From:corianderstem
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC)
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I was just reading "U2 Show," and someone in there (I think it was Paul McGuiness) mentioned seeing the same people in the heart, and how they'd shake their heads over anything predictable that might happen. Which is understandable - you want to play for people that will be excited.

On the other hand, I hate that clueless shitheads who could give a rat's ass about being in the Ellipse get into the Ellipse and then sit there yelling on their cell phones or whatever.

ANd besides - they're still seeing the same people up front, they're just outside the Ellipse now, along the rail.

I'll hit 6 shows by the end of the year, and 5 of them are GA. If I don't get into the Ellipse at least once, I will be PISSED.
From:walrusoct9
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:37 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I suppose you can't win...the solution? Make the set less predictable. Or is that too obvious? Honestly, in Chicago and Milwaukee last month, I felt like even U2 was bored at times...the first 5 or 6 tunes rocked, then the "Beautiful Day" through "One" part of the set, which has remained virtually the same since day one, seemed like they were going through the motions a bit. Then they mixed up the encores and were a lot more inspired again.
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From:corianderstem
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:40 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, the setlist gets pretty static, but you have to remind yourself that U2 is playing the concert not for the hardcore fans like us, who go to multiple shows, but for those who just get to see one show. They want to hear the hits, and U2 wants them to see the show they've put together.

It would definitely be nice if they'd go the Pearl Jam route and have much more setlist variety, but they're not Pearl Jam, for better or for worse, you know? They are who they are ... but at least they throw us a bone once in a while with a rare song. ;-)

At the end of the day, no matter how sick I am of hearing song A or B, being at a U2 show freaking kicks ASS and it's just so amazingly great, I could pee my pants.
From:walrusoct9
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:49 pm (UTC)
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Right, but U2 has so many songs that I think they could mix it up quite a bit and still please everybody. I mean, they weren't playing "Still Haven't Found" or "With Or Without You" for most of the first leg, and no one really complained. There's "Real Thing," "Discotheque," "I Will Follow," "The Unforgettable Fire," "In God's Country," "Angel Of Harlem," "All I Want Is You," "Ultraviolet," "Walk On," "Electrical Storm" and countless others that could be played and still get a response.

So it shouldn't be the mentality of "most people want to see 'the hits,'" they should just be like "which hits are we going to play tonight?" Other than "Streets" I really don't think there's one U2 'hit' that absolutely needs to be played. (And I could really do without "One" at this point...it's a great song but i think it's time to retire it for awhile)

I think the way to go would be to have an 'A' list (WOWY, Streets, Pride, Beautiful Day, etc) a 'B' list (UTEOTW, Discotheque, Electric Co), and since 10 'Bomb' songs have now been played, maybe keep it to 5-7 songs a night and pick different ones each show. It sounds complicated, but that's how the Stones and some other bands do it, so that it stays fresh for everyone.
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From:corianderstem
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:52 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I'd definitely be on board for that sort of set-up. I can certainly go without hearing Pride or Bullet ever again.
From:walrusoct9
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:55 pm (UTC)
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Word. Was "Bullet" even that big of a song? I was 6 when it came out so I don't really remember, but jesus, they've played it on every single tour since 1987.
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From:corianderstem
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:58 pm (UTC)
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No kidding! I can live with hearing Pride, because there would be a lot of disappointed people in the audience. But would any of the non-diehards walk out of a concert going "Gosh, I'm sorry they didn't play Bullet the Blue Sky."
From:walrusoct9
Date:October 2nd, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC)
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Haha. But I always walk out of a concert going "Gosh, I'm sorry they didn't play 'Lemon.'" :)
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From:ladyclayton
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:53 am (UTC)
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I have a love/hate relationship with it. In some ways, the scan system is nice, because if you're unable to camp out overnight to stake out a close spot (as will be the case with me at NYC 2, since my plane doesn't get in until the afternoon), you have just as much a chance of scanning in as the first person in line. On the other hand, with the Elevation system, you were guaranteed a close spot if you camped out, whereas you are not with the Vertigo system.

I think what bothers me about GA in general is how ugly people get about it...and this ugliness has been there with both the Elevation and Vertigo systems. Cutting, lists, check-in times. Silly. There is a lot of speculation that U2's camp implemented the scan system because of this kind of activity (and to discourage overnight camping, which happens anyway). It's ridiculous. And this kind of thing seems to only be present in the US. The three days I was GA at Croke Park were the most pleasant GA experiences I've ever had (besides the San Jose Elevation and Vertigo gigs...that is a venue that has its GA down COLD), because no one was being a jerk. Ditto for Live 8. The GA experience at Live 8 left me with much love for European crowds.

Neither the Elevation system or Vertigo system is perfect. I'm not sure it's possible to come up with a perfect system for GA. hm.
From:walrusoct9
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:56 am (UTC)
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I've heard horror stories about Croke Park, at least the first night...I heard everyone was packed in to very tiny spaces for about 24 hours. :\

I did 5 GA lines in Chicago and with the exception of the very last show, we didn't have any problems at all, everyone was very cool. Are the lists/numbers/check-in times/etc totally anal? Sure...but except for that one day, I thought it worked pretty well. I don't know what the deal was on that 9/21 show, but everything else I've experienced this year worked really well, I thought.
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From:ladyclayton
Date:October 2nd, 2005 06:06 am (UTC)
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They did move the barricades in, but that was more right before they started letting people into the inner queues (there was one mass line outside the gates and about ten inner lines inside the gates...all were admitted at the same time). It was rainy too, and loos weren't easily accessible before they let us in the inner queues.

I'm glad that people were cool in Chicago...let's hope it continues! I saw some nasty stuff on the first Vertigo leg (apparently, U2 security saw it too and wasn't amused), and I've heard lots of tales of the latter half of the first Elevation leg. By the end of the third Elevation leg, there were a lot of people who hated each other because of that kind of stuff. :(
From:walrusoct9
Date:October 2nd, 2005 06:10 am (UTC)
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I dunno, Kelly was saying how they moved the lines the night before and somehow there went from being 30 people in front of them to about 500, and from the pictures I saw it looked like everyone was pretty tightly packed in. Oh well...it's not like I ever had the money to go anyways. *sigh*
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From:ladyclayton
Date:October 2nd, 2005 06:08 am (UTC)
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I don't know what it is about San Jose, but the shows there are always amazing. The SJ crowd has a vibe like no other. Is why I always travel up for those shows. :D
From:walrusoct9
Date:October 2nd, 2005 06:09 am (UTC)
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Just go to Oakland the day of the show and camp out at the box office...if you're one of the first 5 or 10 people in the box office line, you're almost guaranteed to get a GA ticket. (ideally you get a number in the GA line or have a friend in the GA line while you're at the box office) With one or two exceptions, they've dropped a fair number of GA's at every show on the tour.
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From:ladyclayton
Date:October 2nd, 2005 06:37 am (UTC)
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This totally works. I didn't have tickets for either Anaheim show, and by doing the box office thing, I was able to get GAs for both nights.

Good luck!!!
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From:unorthodox_muse
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:55 am (UTC)
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I was not fond of the random system thing. I thought it sucked ass, even though I had a great spot on the outside the rail I would have rather been inside - esp. after having paid to join the f'ing website to get advance tickets.
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From:indiansummersky
Date:October 2nd, 2005 04:30 pm (UTC)
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I don't agree with the lottery system. I saw U2 in London, so it wasn't an issue, but I felt much sympathy for all the big fans out there who queued all day, only to have some person with marginal interest in the band get given a place in the ellipse over themselves. Honestly? Had that policy been carried over in Europe, I would have been furious about it. Part of being in the ellipse is about being with some diehard fans - people who you can relate too, and share a exclamation of joy with when they play some song which hasn't made the setlist in years.
I was lucky. The queuing policy was great, and they were very strict about queue jumping. I guess this makes my opinion of it a little more subjective, but I still had preconceived disliking of the lottery system before my concerts.
From:onebadkite
Date:October 2nd, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC)
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Maybe a spot in the ellipse would make a mediocre fan a diehard fan. I didn't get this vibe from you, but I remember reading a lot of boards when the tour started, and some diehard fans were whining... and to me, it came off as U2-fan-egotism. The truth is, some people can't afford to get the day off from work, but still want the GA experience at a concert.
I have a tenure at my job, and was able to get the day (and the night before and morning after) off from work, so I'll be queueing it up from early in the morn. But Joe Schmo who started just last month, may not want to ask off...
To me, just because someone doesn't give the effort or dedication to the guys, doesn't mean they should be deprived a sublime concert experience.
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From:indiansummersky
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC)
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I apologise if this comes off as fan egotism - it's not meant to be at all.
However, is it not possible for these people to get the GA experience from further back in the arena? I'm not saying that Joe Schmo shouldn't have a great time - I don't consider myself to be better than anyone else who was queuing on that day, nor did I think I deserved a better experience than anyone else in that queue. This is why I said it was good being with some diehard fans, and not just diehard fans - it's just as great being with people in the ellipse who discover songs they hadn't heard before and seeing their reactions. I focussed on the latter because of personal experience from the day.
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From:scatteroflight
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:27 pm (UTC)
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I just wanted to add to this. I had two experiences in the ellipse, and two outside of it. I was front row the first night, on the rail outside the second, inside the ellipse near the back on the third, and way back by the soundboard on the fourth. They were all uniquely different experiences, and as far as having a great GA experience goes, I'd say that it has less to do with your spot in the arena than it does with your mindset going in.

Front row was amazing, as I'd never been there before, so it was incredibly cool to be that close to the band, but I also had an awesome time way back near the soundboard, dancing with my friends and watching the crazy U2 fans who didn't get into the ellipse or near the rail having the time of their lives. I was at the back with a guy we'd met in the line earlier in the week who was beside himself when they started playing "Discotheque" because he'd been waiting to hear it live for years.

I have to say that I would have preferred GA to be run the way that it was during Elevation, but knowing what I know now about how great it is anywhere on the floor, I'm not sure I'd line up for multiple shows again.
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From:indiansummersky
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:34 pm (UTC)
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Just to say, I agree with you about how great it can be being further back - at the first show, my friend and I were more or less 3/4 of the way back from the front, but we still had a great time dancing and singing - plus, it was alot more social because we could actually hear what people around us were saying, plus, we could come and go without risk of 'losing our place'.
From:onebadkite
Date:October 2nd, 2005 06:25 pm (UTC)
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You didn't come off us egotist, I was trying to say those previous posts I had read were. You and I... just have a difference of opinion. :-)
From:walrusoct9
Date:October 2nd, 2005 05:34 pm (UTC)
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Maybe it's a little U2 fan egotism, but I believe all shows should be like that. Those who get there first get up front. It's a bit unfair to people who just can't get a day off of work or whatever, but I think most of the time, the ticket go onsale so far in advance that barring some kind of last minute emergency, it's possible to work it out so you can get one day off for a concert.

You can have a sublime concert experience from further back, but I think dedication and effort should be rewarded with a better spot.

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