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by Steve P

Wow! What a night! The anticipation in the crowd prior to the gig was amazing - and the band never let us down. From the break-neck opening of Elevation and Beautiful Day the show just got better and better. Personal highlights were the newer songs, in particular Kite and Stuck in a Moment. It says something about U2 when their new material can put such a fantastic back catalogue in the shade on a night like this. Bono was in fantastic voice, especially as the crescendo of an acoustic Ground Beneath Her Feet came to a haunting and dramatic close. (Bono had introduced it as 'written by a pop group called The Salman Rusdie's'). Not too much crowd interaction from Bono but it was apparent that they played Angel of Harlem due to a request handed to him from the front of the crowd. For, at the songs close, he pointed at the person who had handed him the note earlier in the gig. Other highlights included Bullet the Blue Sky which closed with Bono repeatedly shouting Mark Chapman! and an image of the glasses John Lennon was wearing when he was shot (blood and all) - very powerful. Best received songs tonight were Streets (just one big bouncing, clapping arena - stunning) and Out of Control where Bono seemed to be getting at people that had criticised them at the beginning. During the song he also introduced the band, just by name. Also, With or Without You was done a la Rattle and Hum, with the 'we shine like stars in the summer night' outro. Praise too for the Irish gang in the upper tier who refused to throw down their Irish flag to Bono during Sunday Bloody Sunday - as he quipped: 'typical Irish - thick'. This really was the band at their peak - I just wish I was going again.

PS. Praise too for PJ Harvey - a great set, well appreciated.

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