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

I stood right at the tip of the heart for this one. One row back from the rail, Bono was right on top of me for the last verse of Until the End of the World. It was amazing. The only drawback to being at the tip of the heart is the fact that it is too easy to pay too much attention to Bono (and Edge). It's hard not to fixate on Yer Man when he's standing two feet away. It's to surreal to be real when this guy who I listen to on a daily basis, watch on TV, is standing mere feet from my face. You can see how completely he wraps himself in the song, how he becomes the lyric. During End fo the World he reached over my head to accept a bouquet of flowers from a woman behind me. As his hand extended his eyes only saw the flowers and their bearer. Later in the show he accepted an American flag from the crowd and hugged it at the tip of the heart. It touched my heart deeply to see this man who cares so much about humanity weeping for our country, our city. It's his country and city too now. We are all one.
Ever since this tragedy occurred I've been longing to be in the presence of U2. To hear them play, to elevate my soul. I got a taste of it in their telecast from London during the telethon, but here they were singing in the city. Bono the mouthpiece, the preacher, Edge the shaman with the strings who conjurs up vibes and melodies, Adam the Zen bassman, and Larry the backbeat who keeps it all secure (Bono emphasized this by draping his American Flag jacket in a "safe place" over Larry's bass drum). Tonight there was time to rejoice, to mourn, to look to the future and remember the past.
The songs were the songs. What can I say that hasn't been said. Truly amazing. Bono and Edge did an acoustic version of Please with a fan who accompanied on piano. It was an appropriate indictment and plea to all the "religious nuts and political fanatics." What's Going On served as the prelude to New York. Pure magic.
The grand finale, the coup de gras, the ultimate highlight was when a horde of New York's Bravest took the stage with the band for Walk On. They placed a fireman's cap on Bono's head and he led them around the stage. At the songs close everyone stayed on the stage as the group exchanged hugs with the firefighters. Some guys took the mic and gave short speaches of remembrance as the house lights stayed down. Then Larry's bass drum kicked out a steady beat - thud thud thud thud - and the opening notes to Out of Control rang from Edge's guitar. It was truly magical as the band rocked this twenty-something piece of post-punk magic with the FDNY dancing on stage amongst them. It was off the hook, out of control and transcendentally elevating.

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