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Mike Terry, Deseret Morning News
U2 guitarist The Edge salutes press photographers in Park City's Eccles Center.

PARK CITY — After Saturday night's world premiere of "U23D," the four members of arguably the biggest rock band in the world promised to return to play Salt Lake City again soon.

After screening the 3-D concert film for an audience of fans for the first time Saturday night, the talent behind the movie talked to the hard-core fans who had just given the film an enthusiastic standing ovation.

Most of the "questions" were declarations of love or appreciation, but a few questions did manage to surface, including the query if the foursome would return to Utah soon.

"The answer to that is yes," said lead singer Bono. "This might be time to kiss some Salt Lake (butt). It is well known that Salt Lake City is a sophisticated place for music." This comment was greeted with some laughing from the audience, but the Irishman seemed sincere and continued, "There are some great radio stations here, and we will be back."

The vocalist also had high praise for director Catherine Owens and the team behind the technology that made the 3-D effects so effective in the film.

"They could have played it safe," he said about the film. "But they went to South America with our rock band. Catherine knitted the whole thing together. It actually took two years, and it really took an inhuman effort."

Another earnest question came from Wendy West, of California, who wanted to know if editing the film had to be done while wearing 3-D glasses.

Owens, a sculptor by trade, explained that the film is first edited roughly in 2-D and the 3-D team then helps mold it into the finished form.

"3-D is now open," declared Bono.

Another fan asked if the group was planning on using film to tell a more narrative story — like the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine." After a dismissive two-word, unprintable curse from Bono and a humorous pause, he answered more fully.

"I am the greatest fan of the Beatles, but are you telling me 'Yellow Submarine' is a deeper narrative? I think that under our work there is a deeper narrative — nonviolence and human rights. That is hardly a flippant thing to do."

The location of the screening wasn't lost on the band either.

"It's something fitting that we are in a high school. We are a high school band after all."

A representative from National Geographic was on hand to see the crowd, which roared at the conclusion of the film, just as they would have at a concert. The organization that grew from the nature magazine has reportedly played a big part in keeping the film invigorated and ready for its wide release, which occurs Wednesday in Utah, and Bono didn't forget them either.

"There are a lot of great things that have come from the United States," he said. "Right at the top of the list of great things is National Geographic."


E-mail: lc@desnews.com