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July 23, 2024

by Brian Council

I was in attendance at the Athens gig last night (Sep 3rd, 2010). I came all the way from Phoenix, Arizona to see this show; I am on my way to the airport very soon to go back home and was inside the country of Greece for only about 36 hours total.

I had seen them in Phoenix just 10.5 months ago (in Oct 2009), and frankly wasn't impressed with the set list of that particular show. Too much stuff from the new album, though Ultraviolet was a nice treat at the end.

That "new album" issue was correted (in my opinion) here in Athens. Perhaps because this was the first time they have ever played in Athens, and only the 2nd time ever they've played in Greece, they chose to play more "greatest hits" material. I wasn't complaning! It was nice to hear I Will Follow, Pride, and Hold Me Thrill Me.

The Greek couple next to me were estatic over *finally* getting to see U2 live for the 1st time in their lives. It was my 5th time seeing them; about an hour into the show I was thinking "this is about the best U2 set list I've ever heard!" Near the end it slowed down a bit with more serious songs like Miss Sarejevo (the crowd gave Bono a standing ovation for attempting Pavarotti's part), Walk On, One, and of course Bono's monologues about political prisoners in Burma and such. The encore was fantastic. The Greek crowd went nuts over With Or w/o You. They literally drowned out Bono singing the entire verses and choruses loudly. The "woh-hoh-hoh-hoh" part at the end of that song was incredible, with the entire stadium bellowing it. Bono appeared genuinely touched. After they came back on, but before they could start "Moment of Surrender", the crowd (unprompted) started up the "woh-hoh-hoh-hoh" chant again. The band just had to sit there and wait a minute or two before it petered out before they could start their final song. Very poignant.

Overall a much better set list than last year's Phoenix show, and the Greek crowd was quite into it. I'm glad I made the trek over.

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