Sunday, June 12, 2005

Vertigo 2005 | Where the Flame Turns Blue...

Above shot showing crowd holding lighters during opening to 'Streets' is from the Joshua Tree Tour in 1987 at the Syracuse Carrier Dome (Vertiblog crew was there!)...

A random shot of audience cell phones from the 2005 Vertigo Tour courtesy of

For years, butane lighter manufacturers would surely see a huge spike in sales in any city where a big rock concert was going on. As any Baby Boomer will tell you, one of the hallmarks of any big gig (including U2) back in the 60's, 70's, 80's, and early 90's was when, during any particularly meaningful song, concertgoers would 'flick their Bic' or 'zip their Zippo' and hold up their cigarette lighters to show their unity in that special moment when audience and band were 'One'.

Today, the cigarette lighter, as a primitive 'instant messaging device', has been replaced by the blue glow of cell phones as they are held high during U2's performance of 'One' during the Vertigo Tour. Once shunned as an item to never bring to a concert, the cell phone has been embraced by U2, to not only provide a special lighting effect, but to also recruit a new generation of technology users to sign up, via text messaging, for the One Campaign, an organized effort to eliminate extreme poverty in Africa in their lifetime. Most people can't help but appreciate the proliferation of cell phones in our culture until they take a look at a stadium full of tens of thousands of U2 fans that are holding them up high contributing to an amazing visual spectacle that a picture can't do justice. To steal a lyric from David Gray, Vertigo 2005 is officially, in terms of the concert experience, where the flame turns blue...


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