Entertainment behind the scenes
U2 played live for the world on Sunday night via YouTube.com, and as they were in Hollywood, Bono gave the band a movie star sheen when he introduced each member. He compared drummer Larry Mullen Jr. to James Dean, bassist Adam Clayton to Clark Gable, The Edge to Mr. Spock of “Star Trek” and himself to a mix of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito.
But if the setting was L.A. (Pasadena’s Rose Bowl to be exact), the show’s direction was aimed at a global audience. Before U2 performed “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” images flashed on the screen of green-glad protesters in Iran, some of them stained in blood. The crowd reacted with cheers of support for Iranian dissidents, just as they cheered on Bono’s rendition of “Walk On,” a tribute to Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, later on in the show.
“Thank you America, thank you everyone watching on YouTube on all seven continents,” Bono said at one point in the show, as he acknowledged the global audience that was tuned in for the live Web stream.
U2′s new concert contraption, The Claw, performed without flaw, transporting the band members around on giant moving bridges over the audience, with a huge video screen that slowly expanded and contracted like an accordion.