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by raw

This is the second U2 show that I've seen in person, and it was everything that I wanted the previous one -- the Washington, DC Popmart in May 1997 -- to be. I liked Popmart, but I felt that it was missing the fabled intimacy of U2 concerts. That intimacy was present tonight in spades. Most of the audience remained standing throughout the entire show, and in general they didn't seem to want to see it end. More than one person commented that it was the best concert they'd ever been to. (I agree.)

I'm not one who enjoyed the show because, as you hear so often in reviews, the band seems to be returning to its '80s incarnation. To the contrary, I would have enjoyed hearing more '90s songs, particularly "The Fly" (which I was expecting from keeping up with the set lists) and anything from Zooropa, my favorite U2 album. However, the band played so well and the concert was so intimate and heartfelt that nothing seemed missing. I was surprised by all of the visuals -- some of them seemed more complicated, if on a smaller scale, than anything in Popmart.

I agree with the person who says that people don't seem to be getting the anti-gun message from the Charlton Heston video. Additionally, the audience generally seemed not to know what to make of Bono's explicit lines about America killing itself in the midst of "Bullet the Blue Sky." They appeared puzzled when the song ended, with the unspoken question seeming to be, "What was that all about?" The message was clear and fairly powerful to me; I hope that I misread the audience reaction, but I don't think I did.

Three songs that audience members seemed to be less involved with were "Kite," "Gone," and, especially, "New York." It's a shame because all of them are very good-to-excellent songs. U2 should definitely keep them in the set.

So while I would have had more '90s songs in the set list if I could, the concert was outstanding and would have been a good one for video release.





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