The concert at the Rose Bowl was filmed with 27 HD cameras and was streamed live on Youtube and it is these recordings that are the base for this release. The set list of 22 songs was a mix of both new songs from the "No Line on the Horizon" album and old classics. The recording has been edited in a few places, most noticeable by the exclusion of their opening song "Breathe", which is included among the extras on this Blu-ray, but otherwise nothing cut detracts from the experience. We are treated to 129 minutes of beautiful music.
As mentioned before, I am not fan enough to have a single song, which I feel should always be included and because I cannot come up with any U2 songs which are mediocre or bad, the set list on this release seems quite perfect to me. Considering the amount of music made by U2, there will always be songs which are left out, but in this case we get a good mix of new and old, with a good balance between ballads and rock and everything in between.
Much of the music of U2 is made to be played live and there are several songs which, to me, are better here than on their studio albums. Particularly "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight", where all the members of the band are out among the audience, on the circular walkway around the stage (Larry Mullen, Jr. with a bongo drum) and really give all they have got, is worth mentioning as one of the highlights of the concert.
The band seemed at the top of their game from beginning till end and delivered an enthusiastic performance. At the concert I attended in Gothenburg Bono's voices seemed a little rusty singing the first couple of songs, but there were no signs of anything like that at the Rose Bowl performance. He is at his best performing in front of huge crowds (97.000 people in this case) and the amazing scene is perfect for reaching as many people in the crowd as it is possible. U2 has described the audience as the fifth member of the band and that is very close to the truth with the 360° stage. The Claw, as it is called, is a unique setup and is the world's largest concert stage. It is placed much closer to the centre of the stadium than usual for concert stages, which gives room to have the audience stand and sit all around it (hence the name of the tour), which allows the band to focus their performance in any direction. This is helped along by a marvellous big-screen which, like the stage, is circular and displays its images in all directions.
U2 may not be the best musicians around (although they have become a lot better since their early days), but they are a fantastic live band, probably the best in world, and with their focus on impressive and immersive stage shows, their performances are an experience that no one should miss. The last couple of tours have mostly been indoors affairs with 20.000 people, making it possible for U2 to have a more intimate connection with the audience, but with the 360° stage they have succeeded at bringing the intimacy with them, even when playing crowds of 90.000 people. Unfortunately it is not really possible to capture the immense size of the Claw and the way it connects the band with the crowd on film, but other than that it is hard to find any fault with this recording.