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

As much as I hate stadium shows, I convinced myself to attend this one. And at $55 a ticket, it was a lot of convincing. I'm not a new fan, I've followed U2 since the OCTOBER album, and saw them for the first time in 1985. I'm also not one of those fans yelling how great 'old' U2 was compared to the 'new' U2. I think ACHTUNG BABY is one of the strongest things they have ever done. I do think that ZOOROPA would have been better as an ep. though. As for POP, I think it is much stronger than ZOOROPA, but not even close to ACHTUNG BABY. That's enough history, now my review.

The band has been saying for awhile that while there are a lot of special effects, the emphasis is and always will be on the music. I disagree. The music was totally lost. There were some high points; WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME, DISCOTHEQUE, PLEASE, I STILL HAVEN'T FOUND.., BULLET THE BLUE SKY & HOLD ME, THRILL ME... But overall, it was flat. Bono didn't seem to be interested in the songs, some he half sang, some just kind of fizzled out at the end. I don't know if Bono thinks he is so great he doesn't even have to try or what. But I know if I had his job and was being paid millions to do something I love, I would give it my all, it is his job after all. Don't let the effects carry the show. Which is what happened. The pacing was also very awkward. They came out and DID DISCOTHEQUE for the first encore and the place was rocking, everyone was going crazy. Then they go into IF YOU WEAR THAT VELVET DRESS? It shut the whole place down. These are just MY views.

As for the effects... They were everything the band promised, The lights, the arch, the mirrored lemon, the video screen etc. But the theme was lacking. This tour is called POPMART, but there really is no theme. Just a bunch of cool effects. ZOO TV made sense and in my opinion was a much more cohesive and entertaining show. Bigger is not always better.

Music: 6
Effects: 8

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