October 18, 2010

U2's The Edge Soundchecking


I was a big fan of Davis Guggenheim's It Might Get Loud,  (which I originally posted about in August of '09) in part because it's a great documentary in it's own right, but more personally, because I'm a big fan of each of the films three guitar slinging subjects, Robert Plant, Jack White and The Edge.   The Edge, in particular, is a guitarist who's career, style, influences and sound I'm very intimately aware of.  In the summer of 1983, while sitting in the backseat of a friend's dad's car, driving back from another friends cottage, I found a cassette copy of U2's War album.   I was instantly drawn to the sound.  Raw, urgent, dramatic.   There was something that just drew me in right away, but the most distinctive thing about it was the unique, slightly haunted sound of The Edge's guitar.  I hadn't heard anything that sounded quite like how he played.  Laced with echo and delay it was a sound that was familiar and unique almost simultaneously.   The echoey clanging sound filled in the blanks and bled into other parts of the song.  I was hooked.

The above clip, from It Might Get Loud, shows The Edge sound-checking a guitar, and playing snippets of 'Until The End of the World,' 'Pride (In the Name of Love)' and 'Bad.'   What can I say, stuff like this really presses my nerd button, and if you dig this, you will really enjoy It Might Get Loud, if you haven't seen it.  The Blu-Ray version of the flick has a ton of extra performance footage (like the clip above) that shows these excellent guitarists dropping their iconic riffs both by themselves, and, in the film's nerdtastic climax, together.

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