Thursday, October 22, 2009

U2

It’s been over a week since the show, so I guess I should say something about the U2 concert here in Houston. The emails I’ve gotten range from way far out to something similar to logical and mature in scope of opinion, etc.

It was an amazing spectacle! I’d never seen a stadium concert like this and I figured the chances of seeing a band this big wouldn’t go on forever. There’re only a couple other acts I would throw down cold hard $$$ to see.

Can you guess who they would be?

Reliant Stadium in Houston was packed! Out walks Mullin with his drum sticks in hand, major applause erupts – he starts to play. Adam Clayton strolls out toting his bass, audience roars as he joins the groove. Out walks The Edge. (Mr. Edge . . .I don’t know)
Must lead to some interesting conversations.

“Hello, I’d like to make a reservation for two for dinner.”

“Yes, what’s the name?”

“Edge.”

“Excuse me, did you say “Reg?”

“No, Edge.”

“Did you say you’re a vegetarian?”

“Never mind.”

or

“I need to see the doctor.”

“Are you a regular patient?”

“Yes, the name’s Edge.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t have an Edge in our files.”

“Try, The Edge.”

“Got it.” “What time can you come in, Mr. Edge . . . or should I call you The?”




The Edge starts to play then a few seconds pass before Bono walks onto the platform. The place goes nuts! I was getting my hair cut today and there were two ladies speaking Spanish, talking about the concert. One that really wasn’t that into U2 (so, why the heck was she there???) was very confused when eighty thousand plus started chanting “Bono…Bono…Bono.” Seems “Bono” in Spanish means something akin to “Bonus.”

Over the years, I’ve watched Bono as he’s fronted this undeniably gigantic rock success story. I’ve heard lots of commentary. Opinions are like noses . . . most people have one. “He’s arrogant and cocky.” So on and so on. I don’t know about you, but if I walked onto a stage in front of eighty thousand - give or take a few thousand – every night, I’d probably be a little cocky, too.

Anyway, I didn’t sense that. But what difference does it make what I “sense.”

One comment that was sent to me – and I want to be respectful of everyone’s opinion and their right to have it – mentioned that they were under the impression that U2 was made up of Christians “until a member of the family went to the show and got drunk on the alcohol being served.” Listen, this is not a Sunday evening concert at your local church.
This is big time rock business. I would guess the powers that be at Reliant Stadium and U2 didn’t have late night negotiations over whether beer would be sold during the show. Everybody wants to make their money at these things. Heck, I paid $20 just to park! Like I said, I don’t do this often.

From what little I know about it, three of the four testify to being followers of Jesus.

So let’s just assume the best for a few.

Back to the alcohol thing. I’m assuming the people in question purchased their drinks because, during the little time I spent in line to buy a five-dollar bottle of H2O,
I didn’t see a single person get anything for free. So somebody’s got to take responsibility for their own decisions here. But in this culture, we’re always looking for somebody to blame. “Somebody’s got to be the bad guy, ‘cause it sure ain’t me!”

The Book says there are none righteous, not one . . . and a whole bunch of other stuff along those lines that you probably don’t need me to point out.

Some others I’ve heard from were blown away by the fact that, late in the show, Bono (you know, the “bonus” guy) sang a verse of “Amazing Grace.” It was a nice rendition of the classic and a tremendous testimony. To hear eighty thousand singing along was cool, but they also sang at the top of their lungs to “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Lookin’ For” and “It’s A Beautiful Day.”

It’s interesting to see the reaction of believers when some popular icon makes a proclamation of what we identify as Christian faith. “Oh,” we pine “he’s one of US.” That happened years ago when Bob Dylan made a couple of albums built around Christian lyrical content. “Saved” and “Slow Train Comin’” were interesting but nobody would claim them to be Dylan’s best work. But oh man, how we ran to claim Bob Dylan. BJ Thomas was another, back in the day, that had an experience with Christ only to be overwhelmed (and a little bewildered) by the faithful clamoring over his citizenship in the “us” culture of Jesus people.

If we’d been able to further identify or confirm the sincerity of their faith, we’d probably have drawn blood from one another over the question of whether they were charismatic, spirit-filled, conservative, fundamentalist, etc.

We all remember the fever pitch that surrounded Mel Gibson when he produced and released “The Passion of The Christ.” Not too long after the great success of this amazing film, too many of us cleared our proverbial spiritual throats as he was (and maybe still is) caught up in all kinds of personal firestorms. I just hope there’re some grownup Jesus people loving on Mel, BJ and Bob right now. Truth is, most of us are on the lookout for the next rock idol or movie star to sink our spiritual claws into and claim as our own.

The way I read It, we’re not our own . . . but were bought with a Price.

Why do you think we’re so bent in this direction? Is there not enough value in our own remarkable redemption that we have to validate it with the lives of others we declare to be on a higher level of human nobility?

Eternity will be the great equalizer so we might as well start practicing.

How can we get past this recurring behavior? How can we grow up?

Amazing Grace? It is sweet. It is timeless and indescribable. It has taken on a new, deeper definition to me in the last 5 years. And my deep thought of the day – “Get over yourself.”

Give Thanks.

Wayne Watson

P.S. Please pass this along to anyone you know that might like to read it, really, anyone you like. Anyone you don't like, anyone that you feel might benefit from reading it. thanks.....

3 comments:

Keith Shields said...

Hi Wayne,

Thanks for your thoughtful post. I saw U2 in Vancouver Wednesday night. It was an awesome show.

Hey when might you be coming up to the west coast of Canada? I would love to see you in concert.

Keith Shields

Anonymous said...

It's been a while since you wrote...guess you are staying busy with the new CD and all concerts you have on the calendar. Wishing you the best in all you do.

James said...

Just found your blog and was reading past posts. I enjoyed the contemplative thinking on we Christians tend to create icons of faith...hasn't this been around since the dawn of Christianity?