Neon Heart, Dayglow Eyes
If we're honest with ourselves, no matter how much we like an artist, straight concert films are generally kind of boring. Unless there is some compelling backstage or tour footage to spice things up, it's hard to sit through an hour and a half of just a band performing on stage. I've bought a lot of concert videos of my favorites artists, but when it's pure concert footage, it usually takes me at least two viewings to get through it.
That said, U23D is an absolutely amazing film, and I'd be saying that even if U2 weren't one of my favorite bands. I've seen them four times, so I'm not going to try to sell you on the ridiculous "Even Better Than The Real Thing" angle, because it's simply not. But it is really effing good, and worth seeing even if you're not a fan of the band. Billed as the first all digital live action 3D movie, it's visually stunning. The shots put you above, behind, in front of and on the stage. You pretty quickly get over the gimmicky aspects of it being a 3D film, and just lose yourself in the experience. Add in the incredible sound in an IMAX theater and it's truly something to behold (the film is also showing in non-IMAX digital theaters, but it's definitely worth an extra four bucks to see it on the giant screen if you have the opportunity).
Apparently the footage was shot at seven concerts in South America during February and March of 2006, but it's edited to make it look like it took place at their stadium show in Bueno Aries, Argentina. They do a pretty good job of it, because it's pretty seemless. U2 fans will also appreciate the pacing of the songs, especially the way the politically minded songs flow together in the middle of the set. The biggest surprise of the movie comes during "Miss Sarajevo," when Bono sings the opera solo that was performed by Luciano Pavoratti on the original recording. Nobody is ever going to mistake Bono for one of the great tenors of our time, but it's impressive nonetheless (a snippet can be heard on the multimedia page of the movie's website).