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

What a difference a day makes.

After what I felt was U2's struggle with getting this show to flow at the first Pasadena show, the second show at the Rose Bowl clearly was the band addressing the issues and making changes to the song order.

This second show wasn't so much what they played but when they played them.  And the difference was night and day.

The band opened with Sunday Bloody Sunday and New Year's Day.  Both fan favorites, both very well received.

The first major change occurs when A Sort Of Homecoming is dropped from tonight's setlist.  The band goes right into Pride.  While it's no secret that the fanbase has been very vocal over the years about Homecoming being back in the live show, it's beginning to seem that the band just might be willing to sacrifice this song to improve the flow of the show.

With Homecoming out of the show tonight, U2 goes right into The Joshua Tree after playing three successive big songs in a row.  The crowd is still into the show.  The band feeds off this energy, the result being U2 playing the album that made them superstars with an intensity that wasn't there the previous night.

The band is clearly into the show tonight.

From the opening notes of Streets to the closing notes of Mothers Of The Disappeared, the songs have a power all their own.  Anton Corbjin's visuals only add to the intensity to this part of the show with Exit being the highlight.  It's becoming clear that for this section, the band members themselves are secondary to the imagery and the music of The Joshua Tree. 

The encore brings us to a few more changes different from the night before.  Where Rose Bowl Night 1 had the band come out with 3 fast hard hitting songs, they change direction and come back with Miss Sarajevo and Bad.  The songs are very well received and in my opinion, the show is starting to gel and have some flow

The band leave the stage for a second encore break.  They come back with Beautiful Day, Elevation and Ultraviolet.  All well received.  Even more important, the show appears to be flowing smoothly.

I get the impression that the band is clearly experimenting and happy with the result thus far.

They follow with One.   Bono uses this opportunity to speak to the crowd about the ONE campaign, and his hopes that the current administration doesn't "screw it up".  Even more important, the band hasn't lost the audience as tonight's show has flowed smoothly and beginning to take shape.

The previous night, Bono called an audible and the show closed with I Will Follow.  That isn't the case tonight as the band closes with The Little Things That Give You Away.  The song is solid.  However after 2 plus hours of familiar material, perhaps the band might want to rethink moving this song to another spot in the setlist as where Night one ended with a bang, Night two ended with a bit of whimper.

As the tour moves on to cities after Los Angeles, it appears that U2 just might have made enough necessary adjustments to the running order of the show that the tour will flourish.

It usually takes them about 5-6 shows for them to work all the kinks out.  They clearly are in the final stages of working those kinks out.

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