How do you sum up Leg I of U2’s Songs of Innocence & Experience Tour? Easy, with 1 simple 25 second hug. That’s right, my fellow U2 nuts, throw out your giant video screen, your set lists, Jimmy Fallon, Meerkat, Bono’s blond hair, Periscope, torn up books by the dozens, GA Lines, October, The Roots, The Edge falling off the stage and any other memory you have had thus far about the latest tour, because they all just got curb stomped by Paolo the other night in Madison Square Garden at NY #4.
Allow me to set the scene. As usual, Bono pulled someone onto the stage and in comes Paolo from Brazil, the bald gentleman with the red sneakers to help play, All I Want is You. Nothing new, right, same old dog and pony trick that U2 has done the entire tour….WRONG! Sure, Bono gave away another one of Edge’s guitars. I figure, by the time U2 gets to Australia, The Edge will probably be left with only a ukulele to strum. This time however, Bono gave away something much more valuable, a long embrace. A 25 second hug that was felt around the world. Was Paolo that good of a guitar player? Did he have more than three cords and the truth? Does Bono really like red sneakers that much? Is Bono attracted to other bald men, other than The Edge? I’m not exactly sure why this embrace lasted as long as it did, but I found it to be the highlight of the tour, thus far.
When all is said and done, isn’t “this” what it is suppose to be about, human contact. To me, Bono was trying to throw his arms around the world through Paolo and he did just that. I felt that loving embrace all the way through my buffering Periscope stream. For that 25 second stretch, Paolo represented all of us. In that half minute embrace, everything was alright. It was the embrace felt around the world. There was no time for sorrow or shame, just humanity.
Bono has said often on this tour that their desire is to get closer to the audience… mission accomplished!