i recently was talking about the best concert i've ever attended, and for me it was a pretty easy choice. in the spring of 2005 i went to see U2 in concert in philadelphia. my friend and i were in the last row of a huge arena, but from the moment it started, the two of us and everyone around us could tell it was going to be a special night. with every song it was as if the transcendent quality of their music built. but what took the night to another level was the was the way the concert closed. U2 has an old song, 40, that is based on psalm 40 in the bible. it's pretty short and pretty repetitive, an easy one for the audience to sing along with, even if they hadn't heard it before. and above all, it's just a beautiful song. bono sang the song and kept repeating the chorus, as an arena of 40,000 sang back to him.
and then he left the stage. and those 40,000 kept singing.
after a few more minutes, the edge left the stage.
and we kept singing. it was crazy and completely amazing. 40,000 strangers going along as 1. it was very U2, and it was very perfect.
finally, the bass player, adam clayton left, and it was just us and their drummer. and we kept singing, 40,000 strong. finally, after a few minutes he got up, took a bow, and left the stage as the crowd went crazy. it was, hands down, the coolest thing and the best way i've seen a concert end, ever.
"music can change the world, because it can change people." -- bono