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U2 Tours (formerly part of AtU2): A Comprehensive Guide To U2’s Live Performance History
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by Nick

We arrived in London Earls Court Station at 11:30. However due to us leaving from the wrong exit, and some very badly placed sign posted, we ended up wondering around London for an hour before we reached the Exhibtion centre. We found the queue to get into the queue. about 200 people had red tags with numbers on them - we were too late for one. The security people let them into the queue first, then they let people in twenty at a time. 40 people went in before us, then it was our turn. We found our way through the small intestine resembling rails, and found a place to sit. We had quite a bit of space. So we played hangman, and played cards. I remember a particular embarrassing moment when we were playing snap, and I yelled out "SNAP," in a very loud voice. All in all, it was a nivce atmos. I was expecting it to be much more hectic. We were even allowed out the line to go to the toilets (allthough they only bought 2 porta-potties, and one of them was blocked) and then find our way back. At 5:30, we were told to pick up all our rubbish. At 6, the started letting people through. People were told not to run. The first 300 or so people were given a blue and white checked wrist-band which guarenteed them a place in the heart. Of course, I didn't know this, so as soon as I got my wrist-band, I hastily put it on, and ran as fast as a could without actually running - but there were no queue jumpers, and we weren't push, I was very suprised about that. We made our way to the heart. It was an amazing feeling - to actually be there after having waited for so long, not knowing. TO see the microphone on the stage knowing that in 3 hours, Bono would be there. We then went out for a bottle of beer each. We went back in at about 7, toget a good place for teh support band. At 7:15, PJ Harvey came on, wearing next to nothing. After the first song, we left, and had another beer and a pizza. When she was finished, we made our way back. I got a very good place in the heart, about 4 rows from the front. But then I had to go to the toilet, and I thought that it was better to go then and lose my place than to go half way through the concert. So I went, and came back, and it wasn't hard to worked my way to a pretty good place - slightly to the right about 7 rows back. People were on-stage doing soundchekcs, and we heard snippets of songs - Pride, Bad, Mysterious Ways, Elevation, Beautiful Day. Then, suprisingly early, the Elevation remix came up on the speakers, and crowd started to move. U2 came on in the order Adam, Edge, Larry, Bono. The crowd were going wild.

They launched into Elevation, leaving the house lights on. I was but 3 metres away. When you are so close, you can see that Bono is actually miming the "Woos." Doesn't really matter though. When they played the thrid chorus, the house lights when down, and the spot lights came on. The other heart member went mad - it was like a single body of people going up and down.

Beautiful Day was aided by a spectacular lighting performance. THis wa pretty much the same as in Birmingham. Bono ventured onto the heart for the first time, and as I remember, walked all the way around.

Until the End of the Worl followed. Bono spent most his time on the heart, and he even went into teh audiance a little. During Edge's solo, Bono went upto the Edge, and kissed him on the lips. The crowd adored this, and they were singing along all in unison when he sang "Love love love, love love, love love love love!" At the End when Edge had his second solo, Bono made horns with fingers, he and the Edge taunted each other up and down the catwalk. This was done much better than in Birmingham.

Discotheque sounded much better, hearing it a second time. Edge made some great sounds with his guitar in the intro. Then when the main guitar riff came in, I jumped higher than I ever have in my life! At the bridge, they didn't go into the "Boom Cha!" bit, but for a while, Edge messed aroudn with cool guitar sounds, and Bono ad libbed. Edge electronic flickering guitar sounds gave way to the first verse and chorus of Staring at the Sun, which was beautiful.

Bono then said Hello to the audiance, and explained how no-one can understand the Irish when they say "Allright." This was hilariously done.

The next song was introduced as a goodbye song to Bono's father, and was as poingiant and beautiful as ever. Kite. Everyone sang their hearts out when BOno went "I'm, a man, I'm not a child." After they finished, Bono carried on with his acoustic, and they repeated teh first verse.

New York followed. It was ok, but it didn't have the same effect as it did when I saw it in Birmingham. The bit where Bono stood in front of a white curtain, with his silouetter cast against it buy a stobe light didn't seem as spectacular second time around.

Next was an excstatic version of "Out of Control." Its great to see that even though this is one of their smallest hits on one of their smallest albums, all the crowd (except me) new all the world. During the bridge/break thingy, Bono introduced their first single, Out of Control, Stories for Boys, and Boy-Girl. This was very well recieved by the crowd. Half way through the song (I'm not sure if it was this song - it might have been a different one) Bono kicked a cup of water or beer into the nearby audiance. A couple of drops landed on me! The crowd loved it. Everyone was jumping up and down during this one, it was so touching.

Before the song has ended, Larry's distinctive drum riff broke in, and everyone knew it was "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Bono invited the crowd to sing the intro. The song got more and more intense as it progressed. Unfortunately there was no "Get up Stand up," as there was in Birmingham, but the crowd singing "NO MORE," with BOno was just amazing. Bonob gave it his all from "I'm so sick of it," and so did the crowd. There was no outro thought - they just finished.

Wake up Dead Man as in Birmingham was a bit of an anti-climax, allthough Bono's voice was powerful in that.

Without warning the band brok einto "Stuck in a Moment," the crowd knowing every single word. Edge's solo singing was beautiful.

In a Little while and Stay tonight were replace by the Ground Beneath her Feet (acoustic) which wasn't really a fair trade. Larry and Adam left the stage back on. The Ground Beneath Her Feet was nice, but I would have much prefered the other two. This was played at the tip of the heart.

Edge came back and was handed his electric, and thus played "All I want is You." This was fairly meadiocre until about half way though when the crowd broke into "All I want is, YYOOOUUU!" Then later, Bono sang the "All I want is," and the crowd sung"You!". I would have prefered to hear Bad, but oh well.

THe organ riff came in, and everyone knew it was time for "Where the Streets Have no Name." Edge's solo intro was wild. When the whole band came in, everyone went wild. Bono sprinted around the heart, like a march hare.

Mysterious Ways was quite spectacular. The audience new every single word. During the second chorus, someone handed Bono a money note, from the audiance. Bono gave it back to him and grinned. Bono seemed to be really enjoying this one. At one point he unzipped his flies! The audiance loved screamed like crazy. At the end, Bono and us took it in turned to sing "Allright."

A few strokes of the guitar with delay gave away what was coming next. Pride was much better than it was in Birmingham. During Edge's solo, Bono prompted teh audiance to shout. He made a gesture like he throwing something to them. They left the stage after this one.

The crowd carried on singing "oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh," a la Pride. Then someone started them off singing 40. "How long to sing this song." Then loads of weird stuff was played over teh sound system, and Charlton Heston appeared on screen, saying rubbish about guns.

THis was promptly followed by the angriest version of Bullet the Blue Sky I have ever heard. THis was my favourite song of the evening. I went nuts during this one. Have it my all. Bono was good too. :-) When Edge had his solo, Bono took out a very powerful torch, and shined it on him. He then shined it around the audiance. Then he shined on himself, at the tip of the heart, and was singing vocal ad libs. At the end, he was just yelling for all he worth "Hey Johnny." It was so powerful.

A fairly mediocre version of With or without you followed, allthough it was good to hear the "Yeah, we'll shine like stars in the summer nights," bit at the end.

Then they went off, and they crowd picked up their unanimous singing of 40.

U2 came back on, and crowd very at the height of madness at thsi point! People at the front were shouting for Party Girl. BOno mumbled something like "What? What do you want." Despite my franctic yelling of "PLAY BAD" Bono and the Edge started a sombre version of Angel of Harlem. After the first chorus, Adam and Larry joined in, and they played the more familiar version. When Bono sang "She heart and SOUL! Yeah YEah!" the crowd were so loud that I could barely hear him.

Then it was time for One, which was pretty much the same as in Birmingham. Bono thanked the audiance for paying for his hotel room. He played a little solo on his Green Gibson at the start.

Walk On was spectacular again. At the end, Bono broke into "I love you." This is such a huge live song. It was the perfect song to finish with. when the they finished, I realised how dry my mouth was, how I could barely talk because I had been singing so hard, and how every bone in my body was aching.

Some hopeful people stil screamed for more, but I knew it was over. When they played Grace over the sound system, and the house lights came up, people knew it was over.

Then it was straight to teh tube station to buy drinks, and cheap merchandise.

It was a totally different experiance, being in teh heart. It was well worth the 5 and a half hours of queuing - being so close to teh band was amazing - I could see the sweat and wrinkles on Bono's face! I could ever read teh make of Adam's base guitar, sometimes. I was disappointed that the set-list wasn't much different then teh one in Birmingham, and that they didn't play bad, but it was still just so incredible. The best one was Bullet the Blue Sky. Other amazing ones were Sunday Bloody Sunday, Out of COntrol, and Mysterious Ways.

What a night.

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