He may be a Christian, but Bono is a pretentious performer, and the filmed concert in U2 3D (2007) is often propagandistic. Admittedly, however, the 3D in this IMAX presentation makes the event–a U2 Latin American tour–even more exciting than it already is, and the crowd footage fascinates. The musicianship pleases, in my estimation–that of guitarist The Edge, bass player Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. As for the songs . . . well, “Vertigo” is a stirring number on disc, but in concert it sounded wretched. “With or Without You” is hardly good even on disc, but “New Year’s Day,” a stand-out, is indestructible. “Pride (In the Name of Love)” is catchy; it too sounded good.
Not so “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” worthless lyrics and all, around which Bono crafted a political didacticism about co-existence among Christians, Jews and Muslims–a message your average dedicated Islamist will fiercely reject. And there’s anti-war propaganda as well, which is fine, but U2’s obtuse, political Christian witness is not my kind of witness.
The music here usually sounds tuneless, but even on CD it’s not all that memorable. To be sure, there are some likable things about U2 3D. A lot of rock music fans will eat it up, notwithstanding, to me, it has little to recommend it.