Saturday, July 30, 2011

6 ways technology enhanced my U2 concert experience

It's been a week since the U2 concert in Minneapolis - the 360 tour - a show that may go down as the most amazing performance this town has ever seen. I've been reflecting on all the ways it impressed me... and I realized that in many ways technology enhanced my experience - allowing me to interact and enjoy it with other people in a way we couldn't before we all carried smart phones in our pockets.

Don't get me wrong, the music was great! It was especially cool that most of the outdoor concert took place in the pouring rain. But rather than talk about Bono's wardrobe choices (mostly leather) or the cool hat I bought - I'm going to share 6 ways technology enhanced my experience:

Here we are at the stadium - Me with the winners Kathie, Suzi, Brenda and guests.

1. Free tickets. None of this would be possible if it weren't for StubHub and their Moms Night Out promotion. Of course this is because I'm a blogger (who happens to talk about music & activities around town quite a bit). They offered me and 3 readers + guests tickets to the concert, plus dinner and transportation. It was a fun giveaway and we are all grateful!

2. The stage. It looked like an alien spaceship - although everyone called it "the claw." Like the name of the tour, it was 360 degrees around and there wasn't a bad seat in the house - there was even a second circle around it the band walked to from bridges connected to the stage. Even more impressive at night, the whole thing lit up and the black digital screen in the center, top showed close ups of the band.

3. Texting - smart phones played a big part of the event. Although there were 58K people piled into TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota, it actually felt... intimate. As soon as I arrived, a number of friends and I started texting about where we were all sitting. Some friends visited me in our section... others we simply tried to find from far away. I was in an orange shirt, so that helped my friend Paul find me and snap this pic from a ways away. Hint: I'm right in the center.

4. Twitter. Whenever two or more twitter peeps gather, a hashtag usually erupts. It allows us to track all the tweets about an event. The hashtag for the concert was #U2360MSP. And even a week post-event, I'm still seeing a number of tweets from people reminiscing.

5. Video and photos. I know there were pics shared in real time of the concert on twitter and facebook. And the next morning the videos started to appear on You Tube... allowing us to relive some of the most amazing moments. I was watching them in awe and sending them out to my networks, hoping to share just a moment of the experience with them. Here's one of my fave songs from that evening:

6. Fan Cam. A couple of days after the event, I saw this 360 photo of the stadium that allowed attendees to find and tag themselves. Here's how they caught me... (click out of the pop ups on the screen and you'll find me in the center). I also got a kick out of Greg Swan's humorous screen grabs of random people on the fan cam over at Perfect Porridge.

Were you at a U2 360 concert in Minneapolis or elsewhere? I'd love to hear if this resonates with you or if there were other ways you felt technology influenced your experience (positive or negative).

p.s. Let's connect on Facebook! You can find my page here.


Mandelion said...

Not everyone's technology experience was so great. Getting a signal was a benefit of being in the stands. My niece and I had a blast but once more people started arriving, I could not get a signal down on the field where we were. I managed to get one tweet and one Facebook post sent. I missed a chance to meet up with friends who were so near but so far because I didn't get her text for 4 hours. I couldn't check the weather radar. Upside? I spent the entire time watching the show instead of tweeting about it. :)

Marketing Mama said...

Great point, Amanda. My cell coverage was spotty at best - but luckily texting worked okay for me, until my battery died, at least. :)

~Kathie~ said...

Great recap post on a fun evening!

Anti-Supermom said...

I too, was pretty happy t be unplugged and actually have a real, awesome date night with my husband.

That was my favorite song too, I find myself singing it constantly.

Elizabeth Harty said...

I love gigapixel photos! How appropriate that you were on your phone when the photo was taken.

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