Alibi V.12 No.50 • Dec 11-17, 2003 

Music Article

U2 U2 Go Home: Live From Slane Castle, Ireland (Interscope)

As anyone who's seen them live knows, there's no substitute for U2 in concert. And, as anyone who's seen them live knows, there's nary a more—annoyingly so at times—preachy lead singer than U2's Bono in concert. U2 Go Home, the band's first live DVD, makes both of the aforementioned points patently clear.

There are 19 tracks here, all of which represent significant junctures in U2's collective career: from the sparse, self-conscious groove of "New Year's Day" to the triumphant attitude of "Beautiful Day." Fancy interactive camera-play (previously only available as a feature on select porn DVDs) and DTS sound aside, U2 Go Home presents America's favorite Irish band in true form. The performances are studied, but not so album-like that the viewer is left disappointed. Bono, of course, rambles on—at times nearly embarrassingly: "Thank you for spending your hard-earned cash. You've given us a great life!"—between songs, but his doing so somehow charming more than it is skin-crawly. And in that sense, U2 are perhaps the only rock band of the past three decades to have fully embraced their stardom without making a complete mockery of themselves. Much of this is due to their active willingness to parody themselves over the years, which has led them to do something virtually no other band has been able to do: smile coyly at their own success.

U2's debut concert DVD covers a lot of ground, underscoring their uncommonly diverse catalog while offering clues as to their longevity. Not a single song filmed here is a throwaway despite the fact that many of their records have contained as much digitally delayed filler material as not. Edge sounds like the Edge, bassist Adam Clayton remains the stoic figure and Larry Mullens plays perfectly into his Ringo-but-cuter-than role.

With special features taken into consideration, U2 Go Home literally offers hours of listening and watching enjoyment that will appeal as much to staunch U2 fans as it will music lovers who, at the very least understand the band's immense contribution to modern rock.