Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Music-Filled Weekend: U2 3D and the Ballet

This past weekend I enjoyed two drastically different activities which shared a common theme: music.

First up was seeing the U2 3D movie that's been in theaters for a few months. I have never been fortunate enough to go to a U2 concert (even though I've tried), so I'm happy to report that seeing this film was the next best thing. I was with someone who I believe has gotten tickets to almost every U2 tour there's been, and even he was blown away by the experience. The concerts that were filmed for the movie were performed in South America in what appeared to be gigantic stadiums. After the movie was over, one of the main things everyone was commenting on was how we would all be afraid to see a show with that many other people--it was insane how packed in the crowd was.

If you're wanting to see some cool 3D effects, however, this probably isn't the movie for you. The trailer for "Journey to the Center of the Earth: 3D" had more "Ooooh Aaaahhh!" moments than did the actual feature film. But while there weren't that many instances of, say, Bono reaching out to touch your head, the 3D technology did allow you to see the depth of the crowd and an interesting perspective of the stage, without being cheesy. I honestly did feel like I was in the crowd, minus sweaty, scantily-clad twenty-somethings crushing up against me.

Here is the 2D version of the trailer, which unfortunately doesn't do a great job of capturing the high energy of the movie.

The highlight was "Where the Streets Have No Name." When that well-known guitar part at the beginning of the song kicked off, I got totally distracted by some of the people in my theater who were literally bouncing up and down in their seats--it was hilarious. 90% of the songs they played in the film, which is 90 minutes long, were some of U2's most well-known hits, so if you like the band at all, you would probably enjoy the movie.

A slightly more subdued experience followed on Sunday, when I went to the Joffrey Ballet. I'm not going to pretend to be cultured enough to know the details about who performed or the history of the acts, but it also wasn't the first time I have seen a Joffrey production, and I did really enjoy it. This time around there were three productions that made up the show--we got to see a little taste (one or two acts) of each. Lilac Garden was about a bunch of people cheating on each other. Dark Elegies featured a lot of moping around. Offenbach in the Underworld showed us a night at a crazy after-hours saloon where tons of people went to blow off steam (which included the entire group performing a high-energy Can-can)--very Moulin Rouge-ish. I liked the first and third performances, but could've done without getting all depressed by Dark Elegies.

Since I usually do something clumsy about once a day, I have great respect for ballerinas and dancers--they are so graceful. I have no idea how anyone can walk on their toes in those thin shoes like that, seriously. My feet hurt just thinking about it again! I need to go find my comfy slippers.

- e

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