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by hosive t.

Monday nights show was distinctive for the unique time period when u2 came to town. It was unmistakably in Philly during the NBA finals against LA. The crowd was equally rowdy about the 6rs as they were about Edge(Sporting Iversons 3). And Bono hauntingly reminded everyone that he had this ominous day in American history on his mind. Here were some highlights:

Timothy McVeigh:
Bullet the Blue Sky is Bonos pulpit time during the show. But do the fans know it? They still cheer when he flashes the American flag inseam of his jacket. Tonight at the end of the song, he spoke of a country that woke up to Timothy running to the arms of America. It was chilling because this morning we were waking up to a groggy Monday commutebut Mr. McVeigh was waking up to a different reality. The fans cheered which made it more disturbing. What exactly were they cheering for? Blood? Justice? America? Bono? Bullet the Blue Sky? Tim McVeigh? The most interesting and alarming part of the show.

(One)of the most beautiful Songs:
Bono bared some of his thoughts on the zooropa album tonight. He responded to critics dismissal of the album as an artsy exercise; an artsy indulgence. Bono did not seem to think the time was wasted. He said that out of those sessions came one of the most beautiful songs they had ever written: Stay. But it was hugely disappointing that fans did not know the song! He tried to get the audience to sing along while he went on to the conclusion of the song but they quickly faded out. Definitely a let down after Bonos declaration.

Larry and Adams hit machine fatigue
While the audience was lost on stay, they were in full force on bad, pride, Sunday bloody Sunday, with or without you. They were distant on in a little while and the newer material. Fans around me even sat down and went for snacks during the new songs! But rose to their feet on the hits. Larry and Adam had expressed how tired they were about becoming a hits jukebox after the Rattle and Hum business. Their fears maybe closer than they think. Maybe not in the heartbut definitely those in the upper level. Clearly people came to see old u2. Ironically, those people often where the teenagers! I guess they learned all those songs off the greatest hits disc.

In a little while saved by a Ramones T-shirt.
Fans around me actually were sitting down and disinterested until bono pulled the girl with a ramones shirt to sing with him. They were visibly perked and cheered. He noted that you never know where a ramone t-shirt will get you. Ironically, it got him some fan interest.

New York cant save itself
New York may play well when it goes to the tri-state area next week, but it has not in Chicago and now Philly. New York is received like PJ Harvey is by most of the fans. A small group is into it while the rest are waiting for the show to start. Bono said they would only sing songs they were feeling. What about songs that fans are not feeling? New York has become an unplanned intermission.

We is in Philly
Fans cheered lets go 6rs and beat la throughout the show and in the exits as the fans left the building. Makes you wonder if people would rather have seen Iverson and Mutombo show up. Something I learned about Philly culture: on the ride down the orange broad street line, seemingly the African American Population got off while the White folk got on at City Hall. Surprise! The white folks were headed to u2. On the way back from the concert, just the opposite happened again.

U2 has great material and still perform at a high level. The Stay, Bad, Streets, Pride combo was a great way to end it the first set with material from all eras. The two encores were charged especially after bono expressed himself on bullet. The fly was especially frenetic. The new material was excellent.great to hear live interpretations of studio work. I just wish the fans didnt have the NBA finals distracting them.

rockville, md

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