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

I had waited a long time for U2 to return to the arena setting and I was determined to make the most of it. Having returned from Manchester the week before (and waiting for my hometown show of Glasgow to come) I was ready to go.

My wife and I waited in the pouring rain and brilliant sunshine (London weather!) for seven hours to see if we would get into the heart. And we weren't disappointed, sure enough all the waiting had paid off and we got our blue and white checkered wrist bands. I never really appreciated HOW close I was going to get the band. The opening tunes of "Your Love (Is Taking Me Higher), Sergent Peppers Loney Hearts Club Band and the "Elevation" intro really got my heart pumping. I've been to a lot of gigs but this has never happend at any other shows excpet U2 ones.

U2 started to file on one by one, first up was Adam cool as ever followed quickly by Larry who was....well, Larry then The Edge and then my man Bono. Big as life it's self. If I ever wanted to be a rock star I wanted too be him. Just far too cool. The show kicked off with the sledge hammer that is "Elevation" this song really is better live than it is on record, just a really raw rock song. That parted way into "Beautiful Day" without drawing breath. Just a great start to a show. Everybody just went wild. I had positioned myself mid-way between the stage and the tip of the heart at Adam's side of the stage. It was during "Beautiful Day" that I got my first really close viewing of Bono. I had been close before, but this verging on scary. I must have taken about ten photo's of just that walk down the ramp.

Once Bono was at the tip of the heart they performed one of my favourite U2 songs live "Until The End Of The World" just a classic song lyrically and musically and much better performed live. From here came "Discotheque" I love this song and never understood way people gave it such a hard time and I am glad U2 stuck by it. They've also tided the song up since the PopMart tour which was nice to hear.

I've never really herd a lot of the really early U2 work performed live and for the first time I got to hear "Out Of Control" I just went nuts. At this point I was just estatic and just felt real joy. This show was more than just superfical it was almost spirtual. There was some really tender moments more none than that of Bono dedicating "Kite" to his the dying father (dying just to days later) I had lost my own father to caner three years earlier and U2's music had helped me through some very black moments and I really felt what he was going through and I felt a lump forming in the back of my throat and the eyes beginging to well. But I thought to myself "I'm a man, and a Scotsman at that, I can't cry!"

Bono and The Edge performed a beautiful "Wake Up Dead Man" I've never really been a fan of this song before but it's became a real fav on this tour. I then had one of moments that is just permanetly burned into your memory. Bono stood just a matter of feet away from me on the ramp during "All I Want Is You" he stood there for a good minute just singing/listening to the band pick up rythum before going into the finale of the song. Just the most amazing moment for me and my wife knew it!

"Mysterious Ways" was great. It's the first time I have ever seen people dancing at a concert. I remember looking around the arena and just seeing people dancing in the stands (as was my wife)just a really nice moment. "Bullet The Blue Sky" was intense with ending of the song altered to incorporate the peom "Celebratiy Killer" (I think) about John Chapman (John Lennons killer) all the while Bono was shining a spot light deep into the crowd with the back drop screens freezing on an image of Lennons blood stained glasses at the end. Just chilling.

I had worried that my favourite U2 song "With or Without You" had become a show filler (PopMart)rather than stopper (Joshua Tree and Zoo TV) but this show rekindled a passion for it again live. A great moment was during a crowd requested "Angel Of Harlem" and it turned out out to be one of the best songs of the night. I only wish they'd had played more of there alternative stuff like "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" would have been great on this tour as would have "Please" I can't be the only one that loved "Zooropa" and "Pop"!.

The show as a whole is quite simply been the best show I've been to wether that be U2 or not. A lot has been said of the ticket prices, myself included, but it was worth every penny I've came away from $15 shows feeling more ripped off than I did that night. The show had nods to previous concerts without being nostalgic (the lone buffolo on the blue screen during "One" the belly dancer image during "Mysterious Ways" and the spot light during "Bullet The Blue Sky".

I want to thank U2 for just giving me the most memroable nights of my life and I hope they continue to produce music that touchs my soul. Because right now, there is not another band better at doing that than U2.

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