U2 3D Explodes in IMAX Simon’s Theater Show “The Sweetest Thing”

Bonnie Godas

U2 is no stranger to film projects. In 1988 “Rattle and Hum” was released as a follow up to the Joshua Tree Tour in 1987. The general theme of this movie was actually a chance for U2 not only to show themselves in a different light but to actually play host and honor the rich diversity of American Music and to a country that helped to make them one of the biggest bands in the world. “Rattle and Hum” was an ambitious project featuring performances from the legendary BB King and Bob Dylan, as well as the music of Jimi Hendrix. The film also celebrated musically diverse areas like Harlem, a neighborhood with one of richest musical traditions in the country.

“U2 3D”, a project produced by National Geographic, gives the viewer an opportunity to see this band in a different and unique experience on a screen that is 100 times larger than a normal TV set. For those who have never seen U2 in person, the film gives an authentic feel of a U2 concert. For those like me who have had the pleasure, we see them in a different light that actually reveals creative and visual experience that you wouldn’t have an opportunity to see during a normal show by the Dublin rockers.

The film, which chronicles the band’s 2007 Vertigo Tour, was released mainstream in 2008 after debuting at the Cannes Film festival in 2007 and making a splash at the Sundance Film festival in 2008. Although it is based in a show in Buenos Aires, the movie was actually edited from four different shows, and because the band wore the same clothes in each concert, it gives the illusion of all being from one. It opens with a girl running, while “everyone” is chanted continuously until until the next scene that takes begins the journey of a true musical experience. Before editing, the movie originated with twenty six songs but was soon reduced to fourteen but still summarized most of U2’s career with the exception of their first two albums, Boy and October. The songs were chosen specifically for a mainstream concert and would introduce an audience who had never seen U2.

Opening with Vertigo, the newly released single from “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” for this particular tour showed Bono at his best and along with the rest of the band takes his ‘virtual” audience into an experience they will never forget. The next song, It’s a beautiful Day” from “All that you Leave Behind show an exuberance and elation that you can actually feel, not only from the band but by the audience were the viewer gets an opportunity to see how people actually react to when seeing a show. The emotions were varied, from ear to ear smiles to almost tears of joy-pretty amazing for one band to draw so much from a fan. The film continues to take the viewer through U2’ musical history covering other hits like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “New Years Day”, and “Pride” from the” War” album. These are all very powerful songs that explain the emotion of this band. The power of music is mind boggling so underrated but no other type of communication can be as effective.

The effects from this film were unlike any other I have seen where Layers of graphics, as U2 is big on political messaging, covering the screen. Bono’s big message is coexist and he means it. And though the general theme is peace and Love, the message is clear to all audiences, whether it be Buenos Aires. Melbourne or Boston

I am very glad that I had the opportunity to see this film and I encourage you to see it, even though you would not consider yourself a fan. But who knows? Maybe after this you will.