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by John Kelly

A quick review on last night's show at NEC. B,ham.

I've been a huge U2 fan for years and have seen both the Zoo TV and Popmart Tours, however tonight was my first ever chance to see U2 in my hometown, Birmingham.
Firstly a fantastic gig, like watching them a small club, but unfortunately for me, all the pop kids got the best seats and mine were 3 rows from the back of the arena!!!!!
So my review is a little bit dictated by the crap seats I had.....never mind.
Anyways the gig, Elevation got the crowd rocking straight from the off....and into beautiful day before you had time to blink, although new tunes they were greeted and sang like old-time classics.
For me tonight I thought 'kite' and 'Stay' were two strong standouts.....kite particular seem to have a deep emotional pull.
Personally I thought they wheeled out too many of the old favourites like 'Sunday Bloody Sunday', 'New years Day' and 'I Will Follow' just to please the pop kids....don't get me wrong all of them get the crowd up and rocking, but for me ( the Selfish Fan!) I've heard them all so many times at U2 gigs, I have preferred something different, many 'WILATW'", 'In a little While' or 'TGBHF'. Again after the reception of 'Elevation' and 'BD' I think a more adventures setlist would have gone down just as well.
Had a few great surprises tonight like the acoustic version of 'Wake-Up Dead Man' really strong tune and the new version of the 'The Fly' tremendous!, I didn't realise what is was for a few moments! And 'New York' (in which Bono mentioned the "Bull-Ring"! Ha! Ha!) could well become a concert regular, very impressive.

Lastly on a sombre note, I thought Mr Bono was a little distance tonight and seem to be holding back a little, didn't connect like he usually does, I think he may have been pre-occupied ( and he's f***ing well entitled to be, his father's ill, after all it's only a concert, nothing important........) and maybe I'm reading to much into it but at the end of "Bad" he inserted a few lines from "The Drugs don't Work" by the Verve,.......... very poignant perhaps.

Thanks for a great gig.........Yours JAK..........

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