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by Shannon

We had GA for Albany, and we showed up at around 12:30; we were #224/225 in line. There was a guy in line with a Wire tag who was marking your hands with your line position. It was totally unofficial but it came in handy later when people tried to show up at 6 oclock and jump in line. The people around them checked their hands and since there was no number they boo-ed them right to the back of the line. Mob mentality, who knew? The people in the front of the line had been there since 3:45 a.m. Yikes!

P.J. Harveys performance was very intense. I can understand how she may not be everyones cup of tea but she was very powerful onstage. The crowd seemed to be coming around by the end of her performance, at least from where we were standing, inside the heart just to the left (Edges side) of the tip.

Then a funny thing happened before U2 came out. During Higher Ground, the guy in the lighting rig suspended above Adams side started to really get his groove on. I mean, this guy was letting his freak flag fly. People inside the heart started to cheer him on which only fanned the flames. He began to pull up his shirt and lift his pants leg up to show us some skin. He even lifted up out of his seat to do some pelvic gyrations, much to the delight of those below. He led everyone who happened to be watching in an impromptu hand-clap-with-a-wrist-twist move that had many cheering and laughing like mad.

On with the show...some random observations. Bono flubbed the lyrics to In My Life but quickly recovered and then sang a very emotional Stuck in a Moment. At the end of Stuck (before the high parts), he turned to the Edge and said, "Help me Edge". And then before Kite he said something to the effect of "Have you ever felt weak, sick, shitty....? That's not what this next song is about, but that's what I'm about tonight. I'm going to need you to help carry me...".

Throughout the show he kept gesturing for the fans to sing for him, especially during the falsetto bits. I thought they might even cut the show short because he began to cough so hard after singing one line that he looked like he almost threw up. But every time he looked like he was done for the crowd would sing even louder and it seemed to give him another boost to carry on.

**Warning...gratuitous sexual content appropriate only for female Edge fans like myself...The bullfight during Until the End of the World was most excellent from my vantage point, and it really is a moment best experienced as up close and personal as possible. The Edge seemed to really be into it, baring his teeth and really working it as he stood over Bono. Between that and his hip movements during The Fly, as my friend and fellow Edge-lover Cate said, "There wasnt a dry seat in the house." Grrr...

Okay, back to the music. During Gone Bono sang the line "The drugs don't work/They just make things worse" (by the Verve I think), and I thought I saw him say "Elegantly Wasted" during that section as well, but maybe my mind was working overtime, since he was chanting "Hutch! Hutch!" at the beginning of the song.

Before Stay he said something like (paraphrasing), "Not a lot of people know this song, because not a lot of people bought this record. But we had a lot of fun making it after the wall came down in Berlin. This was during the 90s during our arty period. When youre from Dublin, youre allowed to have an arty period. And if you put a P in front of that, then you get Party."

Right before he sang In My Life, Bono mentioned that he had been in Albany when John Lennon was shot and this foreshadowed a rather stunning moment later in the show at the end of Bullet when he started rapping something like, "Who's that man/Mark Chapman?" over and over and then used the hand-held light to simulate gunshots to the head, in the final moments of the song. Chilling.

At the end of The Fly, the final refrain of "gotta go/gotta go/gotta go" was repeated over and over, with an echo and overlay effect. Then when they came back out the first thing Bono said into the mic (with the same weird inflection) was "gotta come back/gotta come back". He clearly cracked himself up, as well as the Edge.

At the end of one of the songs Bono did a moaning vocal from an old Led Zep tune. Im not a fan so I dont know the name of the song but when I called a friend and gave her the tone-deaf version of the "aaoowww aaooowww aooowww" that Bono sang she said she thought it was from "Heartbreaker". Did anyone else catch this? Bono was back on the main stage and it was at the very end of the song. It seemed like it made the Edge laugh.

The girl he pulled up during With or Without You was so stunned that when he asked her to help him sing the high "whooooo" part she stuttered into the mic "I forgot the words, I don't know the words". At that point he asked the rest of the crowd to help him out and they gladly obliged.

There was some fella inside the heart right at the tip dressed exactly like the Edge, complete with black cap, goatee, earring, red shirt with bedazzled #7 and jeans. I neglected to check his arse to see if he had a blue sequins "Edge" decorating his back pocket but he was pretty authentic nonetheless.

Even though Bono was clearly struggling with the pain in his throat (a fan handed him a water bottle at one point and he downed it), the show was amazing. Larry and Adam seemed very happy at the end as they were saying their thank-yous to the crowd down in front, even if Adam did flee back to the comfort of the main stage during Desire. And, as stated before, the Edge turned in a very fine performance, indeed. ; )

To all of you seeing one or more of the remaining shows, I wish you safe and happy travels.

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