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by CS

Drove in from Chicago and was a 3-day U2 excursion for me.

DAY 1: The atu2 screening and reception for "Killing Bono" with author Neil McCormick in attendance. Great event and McCormick was generous, funny and gave a great interview (he deserves to have a better movie made from his book, but that's another story). Thanks to atu2 for putting this together. Nice work!

Day 2: THE CONCERT. My fifth for this tour (3 in Chicago and one in Denver).

I have such an appreciation for this tour. The ambition behind it, the scale, the innovation, the abstract themes of time and space, the playfulness. Everything I've always loved about U2 is in the 360 show, no matter which leg.

The show went through the usual motions with regard to the set list, but Bono did try to keep the spontaneity alive, first by bringing a young boy on stage during City of Blinding Lights and then the couple during WOWY who have seen 60 shows together.

And of course, the sudden arrival of Bad at the end. You know you've been to a lot of shows in your life when you half-expect to hear Streets come in as the crowd sings "40". I've heard Bad end a show before (Chicago, Vertigo, 4th night) and it totally works as a closer. But it's always better if you don't expect it.

As for the crowd, I've read reports on d-baggery and then other reports of "best fans ever." It really is a luck of the draw with whomever ends up surrounding you. I wish I had more real die-hards near me, but what can you do? I really couldn't help notice how many empty seats there were in the stands. It was like an early PopMart show in there. Bono at one point said "the whole town is out here tonight, thanks!" I think more Pittsburgians played zombies in George Romero movies than were at that show last night.

For this leg--the Achtung Baby Anniversary leg, which I say with affection--it lost a little something conceptually. I don't mind a show that is celebratory for the sake of it, as this one appears to be. U2 has every right to do that and they put on a great show in Pittsburgh, don't get me wrong. But I have to say that I am glad a DVD exists of the prior leg of the tour. Given a choice, that's the one I like a little more. Apples and oranges, right?

Oh, and this was the best GA situation I've ever been in. Beautiful weather and in the shade under a bridge the whole day. The sun barely touched us and there were plenty of food options within walking distance. Plus, close parking. I'd do Pittsburgh again, definitely.

DAY 3: Stopping at the R&R Hall of Fame for (among other things) a screening of U2-3D. Got me thinking... every tour needs a U2-3D movie, ESPECIALLY the 360 tour. Think of the possibilities! Is it too late to get the ball rolling on this before Moncton? It is? Damn!

Oh well. They've given so much already and I love this band for it. Thanks for always keeping it interesting, boys! As you move into your fourth decade together (as a band), it'll be interesting to see what ground is broken between now and when you actually do celebrate 40 years. What new technology will be explored? How will the shows get bigger while still retaining the freshness and intimacy?

How long to sing this song? As long as humanly possible, please.

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