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LAST HURRAH: Jaycee Carroll high-fives fans as he leaves the Spectrum court after what was likely his last home game. Click Arts&Life for a link to photos. / Photo by Tyler Larson

Today's word on journalism

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Grammatically Speaking:

"We owe much to our mother tongue. It is through speech and writing that we understand each other and can attend to our needs and differences. If we don't respect and honor the rules of English, we lose our ability to communicate clearly and well. In short, we invite mayhem, misery, madness, and inevitably even more bad things that start with letters other than M."

--Martha Brockenbrough, grammarian and founder, National Grammar Day

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Review from Sundance: U23D is a must-see

By Ben Hansen

January 23, 2008 | PARK CITY -- Is U2 still the biggest band in the world? Are these musicians larger than life? If three-dimensional production has anything to do with it, the answer to both of these is a guaranteed yes.

The Sundance guide's preview of the hottest ticket in town stated, "U2 has always understood the power of multisensory engagement in conveying its message, in this case, coexistence, so it's not surprising that the band would be inspired to explore the immersive possibilities of 3-D. Call them polarized or rosy, from behind these glasses, the world may indeed be a place of peace and hope."

After months of buildup and global anticipation, U23D was finally released to two sellout crowds at the Eccles Theater during the opening weekend of the Sundance Music Festival. Fans from all over the world flocked to Park City this weekend to catch the show, many without a ticket and hopes of finding a way in. Rumors were rampant that U2 themselves would be in town for the show. How could a band live up to such high expectations? Pretty easily, if that band happens to be U2.

At about 9:15 p.m. Saturday, U2 made a surprise entrance past the line of eager ticket holders and walked into the venue. Fans could not believe what they were seeing -- U2 was going to watch the movie debut with them! As soon as the line released, fans rushed into the venue to get the best seat possible within eyesight of the band, but the band was nowhere to be found. As soon as the audience was seated, the band entered the theater through the side door, alongside the festival founder Robert Redford himself.

The band went to the podium in front of the screen and gave a quick speech before the show began. Lead Singer Bono relayed to the audience, "It's somewhat fitting that we are in a high school. We are a high school band after all!" They then took their seats squarely in the middle of the audience.

What happened next was almost beyond words. From the second the actual concert footage began, every sight and sound experience made me feel like I had returned to an actual U2 concert! The 3-D experience created by 3ality Digital Entertainment was unlike anything ever experienced in this type of movie before. The capacity audience was yelling and screaming in excitement with the fans from the footage, but it was nearly impossible to differentiate who was yelling, who was singing along, and who had their hands in the air between the virtual and actual audience. This was truly the closest thing possible to being at the actual concert, and with some of the added effects, possibly even better.

The set list included an excellent blend of old and new U2, including songs such as One, Where the Streets Have No Name, Sunday Bloody Sunday and Beautiful Day. The camera angles used added greatly to the experiences, providing a new and interesting perspective for even the most devout fans that "have already seen it all." Added visual effects including superimposing band members onto each other's frames, floating text, and Bono literally reaching out into the audience to "Wipe your tears away."

U23D will open later in the week in selected theaters, with a larger opening scheduled for next month. This show will definitely increase your appreciation for the 3-D experience, and should not be missed. With 13 total songs in the set (not counting the added track during the credits) there was enough meat to appease the most ravenous U2 fans, but still room to want to hear more. Hopefully the band continues their trend of exceptional music and gives us another album and tour in the near future. When asked if they would return to Utah soon, Bono responded, "The answer to that is yes. We will be back."

I'll see you at the band's next show.



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