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by Jim Lawhead

I still get goosebumps thinking about the shared experience of the U2 show at Continental Arena on Thursday night. The reasons are many. Static setlist or not, (this was my 10th show of the tour and 23rd overall so I can relate) U2 never disappoints when delivering a live performance. I have never seen them take the night off and they surely did not NJ when they easily could have had a let down after the magnificent shows at MSG on Sunday and Tuesday.

What was even more special for me was that this was the first time I was in the Heart and it was well worth the wait. Heck, the wait was half the fun. I was also able to share the experience with my brother Jason who got up at 4 am to fly into NYC from Cleveland just for tonights show. I think he enjoyed it more than I did.

It was so refreshing to meet so many cool people of all walks of life in queued up in line with GA tickets. We got there at about 3pm and were 220 and 221 and still managed an excellent spot in the heart against the side railing right in front of the Edge. And getting to the arena so early we didnt have to pay for parking, and added bonus! Everything was so well organized I wasnt bumped once and was able to see every expression on the Edge and Bonos face throughout the show. They are two amazing musicians.

I want to give big-time kudos to Matt and Aaron who organized the GA line. With the help of an excellent security crew from Continental Arena the entry into the arena was smooth and incident free. Great job guys!

PJ Harvey was awesome. What a great talent. I cant wait to see her in a smaller venue where she can really shine. Her rumored boyfriend Vincent Gallo (Buffalo 66) was in the heart hanging with Daniel Lanois and others. If you didnt notice, PJs tank top said Vincent Gallo across her chest. I met both Vincent and Daniel, both totally cool and very gracious. I met Karen from Dublin who grew up with the band and pointed out Paul McGuinness to me. He was pumped up for the show and was very nice.

It seemed that everyone was in such a great mood. A U2 concert will do that to you when you are inside the Heart. There were many musical highlights, Kite/Gone back to back; I Will Follow; and my personal favorite being Stay for two reasons. It was cool to see Bono stumble on one of the verses, have to pause, regroup, and then redo the verse and finish the song. Plus The Edges vocals on that song were outstanding as well along with the duet with Bono. Secondly I was able to move freely within the Heart to gain a better vantage point for that song and take some photographs.

I have posted them for your enjoyment and I hope to see you in Slane.

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