Dec 9, 2010

#TelstraWP7: Figaro & Bono

I fell arse backwards into some U2 tickets this week, courtesy of nerdy metalhead and buffet dinner enthusiast Disco Stu.

I left all other cameras at home in order to focus my U2 "360" concert experience solely through the HTC Mozart Windows7 phone prism.

Unfortunately for Telstra, the prism seemed not to be doing its best reflecting on Wednesday night. Of ten photos I tried uploading to Facebook, using the very easy access feature on the phone, only three made it through. I also experienced trouble getting any kind of signal, even though I had the data and WiFi connection buttons flicked to "on". I had no access to the official Twitter app (a problem that actually began earlier in the day); and my attempts to download an alternative failed miserably. Twitt keep bleeping up an error message; Beezz wouldn't connect; and when I tried to download Seesmic - it kept flashing up that it could not connect to Marketplace at this time.

I tried turning the phone off, then turning it back on. I tried flicking the WiFi and data buttons to off, then back to on. Nothing I did worked, and I couldn't ask for help - because I couldn't connect to Twitter to throw a question at the #telstraWP7 peeps! Catch 22 strikes again.

I was really disappointed not to be able to "live tweet" U2. I had all manner of great jokes and captions pop into my head as the concert progressed. Part of the attraction of using the smartphone for me was being able to share this quite extraordinary experience.

A number of people have suggested via Twitter that it was a network problem; something wrong with the towers; too much interference due to the massive number of phones that would have been going at the time; and that some other carriers seemed to have similar difficulties. I guess it's fair to say there would have been a jam, but I really got the feeling there was something else going on.

Turns out I was right; but more on that in a moment. First, some test examples of the HTC Mozart's video capability.

Here's a bit of Jay-Z doing Empire State of Mind, the final big number of his warm-up set:

As you can hear, the sound is really blown out - but then perhaps that's to be expected when causing deafness is a by-product of your particular creative form.

U2 hit the stage around 8:30pm to the strains of David Bowie's Space Odyssey; then launched into Beautiful Day:

It's my favourite U2 song, so I would've been happy had I been forced to leave at that point. Luckily, I was instead able to sit back with a Cornetto and enjoy some top class stadium rock 'n' roll complete with Jesus - sorry, lead singer Bono - whipping and stirring the crowd into I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For-gasms:

The final piece of vid I captured was near the big finish, when Bono encouraged audience members to use their cameras or phones as flashlights, to create a "Milky Way" inside Suncorp Stadium for With Or Without You. It was rather pretty, and I think the HTC Mozart captured the colours quite well:

In terms of photographs - I'm still finding the camera problematic in low light. Contrast this relatively decent one of the band taking the stage....

Any lepers in? Bono's here now....

... with this, once all the whizzbang lights have kicked in:

"It was a beautiful dayyyyyy...."

And that's probably one of the least blurry that I was able to take. It's to be expected, of course - I was a fair distance away and everything moved so quickly it was hard to focus on anything. But I've found that even when you get people to stand still, the camera will still blur in low light - I haven't worked out the "trick" yet perhaps, or get the real feeling of when people actually need to be still to be in focus!

All up, I'd rate my evening the following:

  • Buffet dinner - 5 stars.
  • The Greatest Band in the World - 4.999999 stars (it WAS a good buffet).
  • HTC Mozart camera performance - 3 stars.
  • Telstra Network - 1 star.

Regarding that network - Thursday morning saw me STILL unable to log onto the Marketplace! I even went down to emergency only phone access. Something was definitely wrong, and the folks on Twitter suggested I take the battery out, wait, then put it back in. However, neither I nor The Wah could actually get the damn back cover off, and I was really worried about forcing it too much. So I emailed Mike at Telstra, and the boffins there recommended a reset.

I managed to get the U2 stuff onto the Mac - the Connector program seems to work really well; sucking photos and videos straight into iPhoto - but then the reset took me back to basic settings. Everything I've been customising was lost - and you know I'm a noob. I hadn't done much, but it had taken me a reasonable amount of time!

On the bright side, I was much quicker at finding everything again this time around.

My final impressions of the HTC Mozart to come on Friday....


  1. Sounds like the food and concert were a great time!!

  2. What fun! I'm totally jealous. I adore U2!

  3. What fun! I'm totally jealous. I adore U2!

  4. jesus he is! ;)

    so jealous you saw them with jay-z - saw them at the rose bowl last year with black eyed peas!

  5. Nice, girl. Visit my sites. You will be welcomed. They are:

  6. Hey, found you through the "blogs of note" as many others seem to have :)
    Lucky you, living in Australia!
    I want to visit so badly! I'll be there one day - watch out Aussies!!!

    Sorry, got carried away a bit ;)

    Just started blogging.

    Take care :)

  7. U2 =DDDD

    I've a friend who went for that concert. How envious I am!

  8. amazing..
    i adore you..

  9. nice to know U2 have still got it - saw them a couple of times more years ago than I care to remember

  10. one of the most interesting blogs I could see which. I am adding to observed:)

  11. U2 will be performing an outdoor show in July 2011 in my backyard. Two outdoor shows are scheduled and I will be able to hear and see them from my balcony. Should be pretty cool. Although, I will likely need my binoculars.

  12. My mom (who's 60) and I really love U2 but my mom takes it to a whole new level by traveling to most of their East Coast shows here in the US...

  13. everybody is raving about this concert, def gonna go!

  14. I was lucky enough to see U2 in concert a while back and it was amazing. What surprised me the most was how high Edge can sing! Anyway, I like the way you write and congrats on BON.

    xxx C

  15. just dropping by to say that I'm really excited that you're writing again.also, your recent posts just got me to revisit my unfairly-ignored Jonathan Richman records, and so thanks for that as well. Cheers