U2 is playing in Oakland tonight, and we're reasonably confident that of the roughly 20,000 people who will be attending, we are dreading it the most. Yes, we loathe the pompous rock wannabes of U2. We tend to spit at the very mention of Bono. Shown pictures of his wraparound eyewear, we fall into violent spells of projectile vomiting. Made to suffer through one of the Edge's interminable, delay-soaked guitar solos, our fingers begin to crawl up our throats in a subconscious attempt at self-strangulation. (That is, if we don't expire of boredom first.) And don't even get us started on the fawning reception given to that 2004 document of aimless self-importance known as How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Yuck!
We could go on forever -- or at least through the rest of this week -- but that is not the point. Rather, we're here to say that as much as we dislike U2, there are a few things about the band to which even our cold-blooded critical mind cannot object. Or so we'd like to think. Below, we attempt, with much difficulty, to find five U2-related things that we cannot dismiss, mock, or hate on:
1. The first 10 seconds of "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
We begin with an easy one. The drum beat to "Sunday Bloody Sunday" explodes our little cranium with joy every time it comes on. The slithering hi-hat/snare play here makes for maybe one of the best rock drum beats, ever. The guitar riff that goes over it -- not that little intro fiddling, but the main power chord progression -- is straightforward and powerful, too, making for one of the few U2 songs we really truly like.
2. The lyrics to the third verse of "One"
Fight as we may against the raging appeal of this grandiose love song, that line about playing Jesus "to the lepers in your head" gets us every time. So we're saps -- sue us. At least Mary J. Blige made a version we can properly abhor.
3. The Edge jamming awkwardly with Jimmy Page and Jack White in It Might Get Loud
Various scenes from this 2009 rockist porno have the Edge explaining his guitar style, the history of the band, and a few other things, most of which are as interesting as the average U2 song. But the part (around 3:34 in this video) where he jams with Jimmy Page and Jack White? So awkward. You can just see the Edge cringing as Page butchers his riff -- all while Page wears a comical fat frog smirk. This we can get behind -- even if it does kinda make us like the Edge.