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by Alfred

"Leave it Behind"

Those last words echoed through the Pond of Anaheim, and the concert answered Bono's question affirmatively- "Did we get the job?"

Yes, you sure did, and put on a breathtaking show to boot.

The greatest rock band in the world put on a fantastic show in front of 20,000+ on hand in a sold out arena. I myself was lucky enough to be in the "heart", along with my friend Nick and my brother Alex. We were up front and to the left hand side of the stage, which means we were staring at the Edge the whole time! Bono was not far away, just to the left, and let me tell you, it was the most magical experience I personally have experienced. First things first, P.J. Harvey ROCKED!! She was great, considering the Pond only looked, at the most a quarter full. I really enjoyed her set, and was glad she got a little recognition on the tour. Now, on with the goods...
After P.J.'s set was done,we all waited around for about forty-five minutes while the techs tested the instruments made last minute adjustments the arena filled up quite rapidly then, and when the first sounds of the "Elevation" remix came on, the entire place was packed and on its feet. The boys then walked in, very calm, relaxed and went to their instruments almost immediatly. Bono then grabs the mic, and as the band blasts in "Elevation", he takes control with his falsetto opening. He had the crowd going, so much so that no one noticed that the house lights were still on! This was quite a feat in itself I might add, and halfway into the song, the lights dim out and we are left with the best band in the world!
He ends the song with a snippet of Radiohead's "Creep", and, if i remember correctly, proceeds into what i think was a little portion of "Daydream Believer" (someone may have to clarify this, because no one else has yet to say anything about it). They perform a flawless version of "Beautiful Day", and go into one of my favorites, "Until the End of the World". Bono and the Edge meet down the catwalk, and do an outstanding bullfighting routine in which the Edge battles Bono, and wins. With Bono taking a rest and the song over, Adam comes in with the heavy bassline to "New Years Day", and brings the place to a frenzied pitch. He goes into the song "Kite", off AYCLB, and dedicates it to those who had ever lost someone they loved. This was not one of my favorite tunes off the album, but the emotion put into it and the timely lyrics changed my mind on that. I couldn't sing past the first verse due the lump in my throat and my eyes welling up with tears. It was quite simply beautiful. This is not to mention the nice projections of purple/blue patterns displayed on the entire crowd. Next came "New York". What a song, I disagree with those who want it off the setlist. With large silk screens coming down from the rafters and Bono, arrayed in cowboy hat, singing at the top of his lungs, the band played a great version of this song.
Bono then grabs his guitar again (he had it during Kite) and goes into "I Will Follow". Now this was a crowd pleaser, and the whole audience was jumping up and down as Bono led the way. "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" was next, and during the beginning of the song, the Edge's guitar string broke. Bono ad-libbed while the Edge got a new guitar, and the song proceeded. After the little incident, things got rolling again and they ended the song really strong. Bono next dedicates "Stuck in a Moment..." to Michael Hutchence, late singer of the group INXS. Very emotional song for Bono, and he pulls it off quite nicely. After that, "In a Little While" is played, a great song that I could listen to over and over again. There is something about the chemistry these guys have that is pure gold, and shows in their live renditions of songs. Next, the acoustic set is brought out, and one of the my personal highlights from the show comes up. After a good version of "Angel of Harlem", Bono intros the next song by saying that the reason they don't do this next song live anymore is because "i forget all the words". He jokes that he recorded the song in L.A. (joking, because the song was originally recorded in Dublin, Ireland for the album "Zooropa") and goes into the song i had hoped to see all along- "Stay (Faraway, so close)!! Knowing all of the words, I sang along accordingly with all my voice. "All I Want is You" was next, and the full band version was so great. You could hear the crowd gasping as they realized the Edge going into the chords for the song. Although I was personally looking for "Bad" to show up, this more than made up for it. Then it was time to rock again. "Where the Streets Have no Name" started up, and once again it brought the roof down. Bono did a lap around the stage and catwalk, and you could see the rest of the band chuckle in amazement of their fellow member giving his all. That song introduced the large television screens which rose from the back of the stage. Graphics shone from the illuminated T.V.'s, and Bono disappears to the back of the stage when the opening riff to "Mysterious Ways" comes in. Then, you see a large screen raise up from the back with a silhouetted lady dancing on it, bathed in psychedellic colors (very James Bond-ish, if i might add) and Bono is laying on top of it! He begins singing, and as the screen lowers, he gets off as others rise up in the same manner. He even sings to one of the screens, and caresses it before walking away. He pulls a lady out of the crowd to dance, one in a catwoman-like suit, and has his fun with her. The song ends, and the Edge starts in with a barely recognizable guitar part while Bono sings lyrics which i never heard. He then segues into "we shine like a burning star/falling from the sky/tonight" in a stunning acapella intro. The rest of the band launches into the re-worked version of "The Fly", easily my favorite song of the night. So much for this whole "rap/rock" era. This song put crappy bands in that genre to shame, pure shame. In a different key, and stripped of its industrial sounding guitar riffs, the Edge, Larry, and Adam purely rocked the house. Bono, meanwhile, was pulling a Zoo TV extravaganza, shaking uncontrollably and limping about like a wounded animal. He then runs off the stage as the band finishes up, and they retreat as well.

For the encore, the t.v. screens are back up and shows a haunting tale of Charlton Heston's pro-gun movement, and afterwards, wars, school shootings, and a little girl with a gun is pictured. That was a great way to drive the point across, as Larry hammered into "Bullet the Blue Sky" and once again the crowd is in amazement. Later in the song, the lights are all out and Bono retrieves a portable spotlight and shines it out into the crowd. He ends it off with a bit of the David Bowie tune "Young Americans". We next hear the bassline to "With or Without You", and the crowd is in for something special. The lights down, and the whole arena is turned into a giant constellation map. With stars slowly rotating around, the song takes on new and intensified meaning. I literally had my jaw dropping the whole time. They then do another crowd favorite, "Pride (in the name of love)" and afterwards leaves the stage again.

Their final encore is introduced by Bono, who tells everyone thanks for making him live out his dreams and giving him the best life in the world. He starts to cry, you can see the tears welling up in his eyes as the band goes into "One". He has to step back from the mic a bit, and goes back to sing the song. This song was pure magic, them and us, no big displays here. What a song, what a night. Bono even does his ending "hear them coming love/at the door..." just like I hoped he would. He chose not to sing "Unchained Melody", but instead did a different song which i believe someone earlier described as a Neil Diamond song. They then finish it off with "Walk On", telling us all to leave behind the emotional baggage that brings us down and to start over again. With the crowd bathe in the words "Leave it Behind" and additional lyrics to the song, they end and triumphantly walk off the stage. A glorious end to an unforgettable night, and may i say thank YOU, U2, for making it one I will always treasure.

P.S.-Special thank you to Douglass and Stephanie, you know who you are, for making this concert fun and showing us the ropes to it.

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