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by Jimbo in CT

Well, I'm just back from my first stop on the Elevation tour, and second U2 concert overall [PopMart Boston 7/2/97]...and I have to say the boys were at the top of their game tonight. The fire was there for sure. I'm told that Bono's been having some voice problems at times on this tour, but as he told us, tonight he was singing like a bird. Let's all hope he sounds for the rest of the tour like he did tonight. The overall sound was great, the crowd was into it, and it all made for an excellent return to Connecticut for U2, after a nine-year hiatus. Here are some more specific thoughts:
I expected Elevation to be a superb opening song, and wasn't in the least disappointed. The crowd ate it up right away. In my opinion, it's the best show-opener the band has used since Where The Streets Have No Name led off concerts on the Joshua Tree & Lovetown tours. Of course, the band appeared before the lights went off; that was pretty cool.
Beautiful Day kept the momentum going. A very cool live song. It was awesome to hear the crowd sing along with the first two (new) songs as if they were U2 classics...which they're fast becoming.
Until The End Of The World slowed the pace somewhat, but really peaked toward the end with Bono & Edge doing their charging bull imitation thing.
Mysterious Ways...nothing really new here, same great live song it always has been, and one of my all-time favorites.
In My Life into Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of again. A few comments from Bono about John Lennon, then the first half of In My Life a capella, then into Stuck, which I thought sounded great.
Kite was nice...at the end, Bono sang the "did I waste it?" section over again without the band.
Gone was always one of my favorite live songs from Pop, and it's nice to hear them still playing it. I thought it was one of the unexpected highlights of the concert...the song flat out rocks.
New York...not my favorite song, but definitely more exciting live than the studio version might lead you to believe. The band hit some crescendos just when they needed to, and I think shortened certain parts of the song too.
I Will Follow--great. Much better than the PopMart version too, in my book. The crowd might have hit a lull during New York, but they really responded to I Will Follow in a big way. Also, kudos to the band for resurrecting "your eyes make a circle."
Sunday Bloody Sunday rocked. Nice to finally hear this song live in person, after I wasn't sure I ever would. Good old-school U2 intensity to this one, nothing at all like the Sarajevo PopMart rendition.
In A Little While followed the expected Joey Ramone tribute. Just Bono and Edge out front for this one.
Bono introduces the band, they all come out front, and Desire hits. I'd say this was about halfway between acoustic and aggressive. I especially liked Larry's drum solo, and of course Bono's harmonica wizardry.
Back to just Bono & Edge for Stay, and Bono pulls a girl out of the audience and dances with her for most of the song. The crowd wasn't as excited for this one as I'd hoped, but the performance was great nonetheless.
Next we get Bad, and finally I can die in peace, having seen and heard this song played live. What more can I say, except Bono hit his "wide awake"s like it was 1985.
"40"--a nice touch and another one I wasn't expecting to ever be fortunate enough to hear. Well, all we really got was "how long to sing this song" repeated a bunch of times. And it was attached to the end of Bad and not sung at the end of the concert where it belongs. But I'll take it.
The TV screens go all red...Streets. The crowd went absolutely nuts for this song. Not that that's a surprise or anything, but this might have been the emotional peak of the night actually. Absolutely perfect moment.
Pride, and of course everyone's forced to go nuts again. Cool to see the old Zoo TV one-two punch of Streets & Pride closing out the main set. I mean, how can you go wrong with those two songs?
The band went off; Charlton Heston came on. As somebody's review said already, the crowd here also cheered after something Chuck said...and I'm not sure that's what U2 were looking for. At least they stopped cheering when they saw the little girl playing with a gun. But anyways, I thought Bullet The Blue Sky was outstanding. I was always disappointed with the version I heard in '97, but tonight made up for it. I don't think Bullet was as fast tonight as it was say, on Rattle & Hum, but it was no less intense. Bono shone a spotlight all around the arena...hard to describe unless you were there, but I just thought it was awesome.
With Or Without You next...again nothing new, but a sure crowd-pleaser of course. Sing-along hour at its best.
I hate to say this because I absolutely love the song, but I didn't love the re-done The Fly tonight. The spirit and energy were there to be sure, but it just sounded very murky to me, and I couldn't make out much of the melody. It was still good to hear though, and to see be-LIE-ve on the screens.
What can you say about One? Everybody knows it's one of the greatest songs ever written. Played live, it can make everyone in an entire arena or stadium feel as one. Bono: "Have you come here to play Jesus...well I did."
I have to admit I wasn't sold on Walk On as a show-closer...until I heard it tonight. It works better than I could have imagined. Simply a beautiful song, and a good note on which to end the evening...
I'll try and keep my next review a little shorter, till then everybody...dream out loud.

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