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

What a fantastic show!  The new songs really have a lot more energy and edge (pun intended) during the live performance!  The setlist was fantastic:  7 new tunes, plus Two Hearts Beat as One!!!  Even the standard tunes they seem to play at every show (I Will Follow, Mysterious Ways, One) seemed heavier and more rockin' this time around.  Desire and Angel of Harlem also had an electricity to them that I've not heard during previous live performances.  The arrangement of Sunday Bloody Sunday was the perfect balance of being stripped down without being completely acoustic.  The fan who was brought on stage to play guitar during Angel of Harlem elevated the energy of the performance.  The visuals were powerful and enhanced the music further, particularly during Iris, Cedarwood Road and Until the End of the World.  Bono's speech where he thanked the people and organizations who contribute to the Red Campaign was simple, yet classy, avoiding the "preachy" vibe that can sometimes take away the impact of what he is trying to get across.

There were times when the band was not as tight as I've seen them in the past.  This was most evident during Invisible, where Bono seemed to be in another time zone compared to the rest of the band, though they did get it back on track, and also during One where Bono had to stop Edge a couple of times to tell the audience to not clap along ("the rhythm should come from the drummer").  In both instances though, in my opinion, it helped to humanize and energize both songs.  The studio version of Invincible has always seemed stale and plastic sounding to me, so this live version really elevated the song.  As for One, I'm not sure if it was to help Bono hear/feel the song better, or if this is how they've been playing it all along during this tour, but it just seemed to have a harder (dare I say funkier) attack to it as compared to when I've heard it before.  

The only negative aspect to the concert was the boominess/muddiness of the sound.  For the most part it was easy to overlook, but when Bono was speaking into the loudspeaker during Bullet the Blue Sky it was impossible to make out what he was saying.  Edge, Adam and Larry made it up for this by rocking the heck out of that tune. 

This was my fifth time seeing U2 (once on Elevation tour, once on Vertigo tour, and twice on 360, including the final show in Moncton within the inner circle) and this show and tour is easily the best experience I've had at a U2 concert.  I have no pictures to post as I couldn't take my eyes off the concert once to fumble around with my phone.

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