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by Jon

This was my fourth show on the U2 360 tour and I thought the band's performance was better than in Houston, Tampa and Atlanta. This is the general trend as the boys get near the end of a tour; the music is tight and they all feel loose as they near the end of what I'm sure has been an amazing (and tiring) journey.

I traveled to Salt Lake City from out of town and I've been waiting for this show for 16 months since the original show was postponed. We jumped in line around 2:00 in the afternoon and caught most of the sound check which is always a good primer. The stadium opened the doors around 5:00 and we slowly funneled in, finally arriving at my preferred concert position just left of center on the rail outside of the pit.

Ultimately, I was very disappointed with the fans here. I was warned ahead of time that the fans tend to be very reserved and that was accurate. The fans rarely had their hands up (unless prompted by Bono), very rarely jumped up and down, and were just not giving back what the band was putting out. You can watch clips of Where the Streets Have No Name as they get posted and you'll see what I mean; flattest response I've ever seen to Streets at any U2 show. That's not to say the other fans weren't having a good time; they were and many were singing along. We carried the crowd choruses just fine during Sunday Bloody Sunday and With or Without You, but again, not nearly as strong as other venues; even if you "pro-rate" for the smaller stadium. I found that the number of folks who pushed their way to the front just to stand there was unusually high. Several kids (11-15 years old) were on the rail next to me; their parents meant well, but the kids were a bit of a buzz kill because they weren't big U2 fans and were seemingly unaware that they were at a rock show and in the presence of the biggest band in the world. I understand bringing kids to the show (I have a four year old who thinks Mysterious Ways should be the National Anthem:-); but people, of any age, who don't like a band or rock'n'roll in general, should stay off the floor in my opinion.

Shout out to the two teenage (I'm guessing 16-17) young men in the U2 260 shirts on the backrail of the pit who were jumping, singing and drinking in the U2 experience all night as well as John and Alejandro who we had the pleasure of standing in line and watching the show with. Wish there were 40,000 more of you guys! I'd score the crowd as a 6 on a scale from 1-10.

Now, onto U2. They were absolutely on-fire last night despite not getting what they deserve from the crowd. Bono was very relaxed and spoke to the crowd as much as I've ever seen. I was suprised that they started the show with ample daylight remaining; around 8:45 I believe. The intro and Even Better Than the Real Thing were amazing. I'm a huge Achtung Baby/Zoo TV fan so this intro works great for me. I Will Follow still has a great edge to it and the band sounded great on this one. Crowd didn't really know Boots or Magnificent very well, but again, the band rocked them out. Boots was very strong. I prefer the version of Magnificent played on the first several legs of the tour to this one which hasa much softer intro and awkward drum breaks going into each chorus. Mysterious Ways was awesone, but again, just didn't get the response I was expecting. Bono worked the crowd from the outer stage during Mysterious Ways leading into Elevation. The beginning of Elevation was similar to the Vertigo Tour with just the Edge's guitar and Bono sining a few lyrics leaving the crowd to sing "Elevation"; transitioned quickly to the U2 360 version of the song. End of the World was incredible; their showmanship and musicality were on open display here. Incredible job by the entire band on this one; it's a shame more folks (at all shows) don't know whis song better; incredible song! Then the set list took a bit of a turn in a good way for long time U2 fans. Bono asked Edge what he wanted to play next and they came up with All I Want Is You. Great song and performed beautifully. When they rolled into Love Rescue Me, I was blown away. This was of course a tribute to Bob Dylan on his 70th birthday. I thought we might get a small snippet, but they played two full verses; amazing! The acoustic version of Stay with only the Edge and Bono was beautiful. Other favorites, Beautiful Day (included bringing three "sisters" on stage that had been following U2 360 for a while), Pride, Ciy of Blinding Lights, Walk-On and One were very strong. Bono's voice was incredible last night and he showed it off on Miss Sarajevo. The screens came all the way down to the floor for Zooropa and the band stood inside the screen like a cage; very cool dynamic and it was awesome to hear Zooropa. I really didn't care for the I'll Go Crazy Remix at previous shows, but it was very good last night. And the few verses from Discotheque were a great addition.

After One during the first encore, the band played Blowin in the Wind and a quick snippet of Times They are a Changin; transition into Streets was not as good as Amaxing Grace or All I want is You, but the fact that this might be the only time they do this version (again, Dylan's birthday) made this a very special experience. Streets was strong as always, but I felt the crowd was flat and this was not the "religious experience" version of Streets that I have seen in Anaheim, Houston and Tampa.

For the last encore, With or Without You was excellent and Moment of Surrender was brilliant; shame more people don't know this one as well. The highlight of the final encore for me was Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me. A post from Denver (I believe) mentioned that the band didn't quite have this one togehter; maybe they read that and fired back because I thought they came out swinging on this one. Band was killing their instruments and Bono sprinted to the hanging mic, jumped and did a big swing out over the audience as the music blasted. Great job.

This will be my last 360 show and I've had a blast. Looking forward to the new album, watching U2 dream it all up again, and hoping they keep it going for another tour!

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