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

by Felt King

To call it a tease would not be fair. For at least the anticipation, the hunt, the chase would have made it worth what many spent, in both money and time. Instead what Bono and the Boys displayed on a bloated megalomaniacal stage Wednesday night was a disappointment. A disappointment to the hoards of fans who have followed their favorite sons of Dublin for tour after tour for nearly three decades, a disappointment for those who came as novices, eager in their anticipation for all that they had heard from those that had seen shows of tours past, a disappointment, maybe, hopefully, for the band themselves.

An opening of "Breathe", left many in the crowd gasping for air, a song although rich and textured, lacks the pop and the bang of a song like "Where The Streets Have No Name" which was buried at the end of the set. "Streets" stood as one of the few highlights in a show that seemed otherwise mailed-in. Unfortunately a 360 tour was far from theater in the round as those that had seats in what would be considered behind th stage, were exactly that. A catwalk behind Larry Mullin Jr.'s drum riser served as a traverse for Bono only 3-4 times, once by Adam Clayton, and never by The Edge. Although Mullin's riser did have "Elevation" and stayed in full rotation for one song, many fans only had fading glimpses and were heard oversaying that they "Still Had Not Found What They Were Looking For".

For a crowd in The House That Bruce Built, on of all days The Boss' 60th birthday, a cover of "She's The One" left most of the crowd indifferent, almost as though they had never heard the song before. "New Year's Day" brought the crowd to it's feet and "The Ungorgettable Fire" momentarily scorched a crowd that was "Stuck In A Moment" of uninspired mediocrity three songs earlier. As mechanical arms of the stage rotated only 180, much of the crowd settled for less than favorable views of the band and sound that did not fill Giants Stadium well. Delay towers towards the back of the crowd contributed to additional impaired views, along with the absence of any type of jumbo screens that have become standard at any type of larger outdoor concert. This left many with an eye on the cost of their ticket, rather than the enjoyment of their concert experience. The two arch set design, complete with a gargantuan spider/alien type truss, did provide selected LED showcases of the band, but much of the visual display became overbearing and at times unsightly.

As the band continued through an almost soul-less set, I watched for Bono to check his palm to ensure what city he and the band were in. This time around for Bono it was not so much pontificating to the crowd as it was pandering to them. The low blow of the evening was delivered when the band chose to skip the final verse of "Sunday Bloody Sunday". Possibly amidst it all, tv had become reality and noone could any longer separate fact from fiction. In any event, the show continued. A twenty song set complete with the band leaving the stage three times clocked in at only one hour and forty minutes. "Ultra Violet" shined musically to open the encore, although the visual accompaniment was a bit overbearing. An aptly titled "Moment of Surrender" closed the show.

Springsteen will play the final concert in Giants Stadium three weeks from now. Bono the showman should learn from Bruce. U2 has built a loyal following, have a catalogue that will stand up against anyone who has ever recorded,and have the strength of four musicians when playing together can tear down any house and build it right back up again with a fervor that will rattle the rafters. May they one day be that band again.

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