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U2 concert film debuts in 3D at Sundance

After a career playing to sold-out stadiums, U2 did what their fans have done for years – stood in line to see U2 perform. That concert was “U2 3D,” a film of the band’s 2005-06 Vertigo tour, shot at several shows in South America with new 3-D technology.

“I was really hoping we weren’t crap after all these years. Luckily we weren’t,” guitarist The Edge told The Edge, joined by singer Bono, drummer Larry Mullen and bassist Adam Clayton, joked about the absurdity of seeing themselves perform after playing together for more than 30 years.

“It’s kind of horrific,” to see himself on stage in 3-D, said Bono. “It’s bad enough on a small screen. Now you get to see the lard arse 40-foot tall.”

The Edge said the 3-D technology allowed “the songs to shine through,” though he was surprised to see the chemistry of the band in the details on screen, and how far apart his bandmates were on stage.

“Are you saying you felt lonely up there?” said Bono, smiling.

“No, I felt lonely for Larry,” The Edge replied.

“He likes being on his own,” said Bono. “Didn’t you bring him back a bottle of water?”

Bono said he loved playing to the enthusiastic audiences of Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro.

“Irish people are essentially Latin people who don’t know how to dance,” he said. “When people are screaming and roaring and shouting, the humbling thing is to realize it’s not really for the band or artist on the stage. It’s for their connection with the songs. A song just can own you … . I think that’s why concerts are so powerful. If that song is such a part of your life, and you hear it, it’s too much almost.”

Bono also expressed hope that the film would allow more people to experience their music, especially teenagers and college students who might not be able to afford the pricey tickets to their sold-out shows.

The band is working with longtime producers Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno on a new album that will merge Lanois’ respect for traditional music and Eno’s futuristic sound.

“Music like the band had formed on Venus, and somewhere between that is our next album,” Bono said. “Where they join, where something feels always existing but you never heard it before, that seems to be what the two of them bring out in us.”

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