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by Simon Davis

U2 @ MSG....WOW!

Having once again paid over face value for Golden Circle seats, and travelling a long way, I was looking forward to both U2 and the City, loooking forward to being surprised by my favorite band, and boy was I!

I got into the arena at 7:15, and the first thing I noticed was that the rail outside the heart was empty of people with the exception of about 15-20 at the tip. I also noticed that for the next 20 minutes people entering the floor could go into the heart. This was a bit disappointing since I had gone the GA route previously in DC Night 2 and could not get in after waiting in line since 1:30 PM! Oh well, that's what I get for preferring luxury ths time around...:-)

As soon as the band came on stage I couldn't help but notice that Bono's voice was in pretty good shape this time around. The setlist went as expected in the beginning, but this being my first show of the third leg, I wanted to hear the new songs added.

Angel of Harlem: to be honest I was never crazy about that song from the album and other live versions I'd heard. Well, I think Edge was using a different guitar on this tour and that a made a difference. Also being within a mile or two of Harlem kinda made it more fun to sing along to. I actually liked it very much (of course I say that for most U2 songs!).

Please: Another song I was not crazy about them adding in Baltimore. But hey what do I know? The guy they used on keybooards, Bruce, took over the main guitar part and Edge played acoustic. That's how the album version should have been as far as I'm concerned! The lyrics also were eerily reminiscent of the Sep 11 disaster, great performance!

Still Haven't Found: Good stuff this song always, very glad they added it on this leg. During the middle Bono ran up to the right of the stage and actually tossed his microphone to someone in the audience. Then I heard a guy proposing marriage to the love of his life and she accepted-live in front of 15,000 people, very cool!

Pride: It's too bad I had read on this site about the MLK video they added, but it was enjoyable all the same.

Bullet: No gun-control message this time around.

New York: I was not crazy bout this song either previously. Ever since CNN showed it during their footage of scenes from the Sep 11 attacks, it was all I could listen to. I couldn't make out many references to the attacks, but the lyrics were dramatically changed and I was finding it difficult to sing along. I think they also added a projected image of a NY skyscraper to the lighting. Very good stuuf especially being in NY and all.

One: I had also read about the band scrolling the names of the victims in the background, but it was something else to see it. Very very touching. FDNY had around 400 caualties when my friend stopped counting. It was on this song that I noticed that Bono was wearing an FDNY t-shirt to accompany Edge's Yankees t-shirt.

Walk On: After noticing that the pre-encore bit of the gig had only taken 1:15 (just like in Charlotte, one of the shortest shows on the tour) I really wanted to see something extraordinary. Well, my wish was granted! Seeing the firemen parade around the heart with Bono and giving high-fives to the audience as well was something else. Bono was wearing a policeman's hat from what I could tell. The whole thing seemed to be very generous time-wise as far as showing off the firemen. And then, Bono said "I can't go home now...this is our first single!" Or something to that effect. Everyone went nuts!

Out of Control: This was the first live version I'd heard, and it was real treat. I think the only other place they added a song after Walk On was in Turin, everyone enjoyed it to the max, including me. After 4 shows (this was the 5th), its really special to be surprised pleasantly by changes like this.

All in all, a very emotional show, I really want a bootleg of it, audio and video if possible! I would say it is my best so far, making the trip more than worthwhile.

Next (and last) stop: Philadelphia Nov. 2!

-Simon

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