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

After having read all the raving reviews, I started doubting. Was I somewhere else and not in Gelsenkirchen yesterday?

Generally, I was not impressed. Maybe because my expectations were too high after the Elevation tour. OK, I don't want to be to negative here, it was a good concert, but hey, from U2 I don't expect just a good concert, I expect a bit of magic. And (fortunately), these 4 guys are only human beings, it cannot be magic all the time in a nearly 30year career.

The Joshua Tree concert in Rotterdam was absolutely magic (maybe also because it was my first U2 concert). The Elevation concert in Arnhem was magic and revealing after the disappointing Pop concerts in 1997. Zoo TV tour magnificent, Love comes to town very good.
Quite an impressive tour track.

So where did the Gelsenkirchen concert fall short on previous experiences?

First of all, the quality of songs from the latest album. In my opinion a bit disappointing. U2 must have felt the same, as they played not too many of this album (especially compared to all their previous tours, where in general, they played nearly the complete latest album)

Secondly, the atmosphere. I'm very sorry to say, but it was not the community singing experience of for example Elevation/Arnhem and Joshua Tree/Rotterdam. (As a Dutchman) I expected more of a German crowd, as the 1992 Zoo TV concert in Dortmund had a great crowd. I also experienced a great Dortmund crowd at other concerts (for example Simple Minds). Maybe in general, the average age of the U2 crowd is increasing a bit too fast (when I looked around I felt a bit young - though 37 years old).
The "still running" (running to stand still) and "hey....hey....etc" (party girl) were only sung by a part of the audience and in no case sung by the complete audience. A bit disappointing, I found the "community singing" dimension bringing extra magic to the special experience of U2 concerts.

Thirdly, the (always arguably) choice of songs. Why play Vertigo twice. I've never ever experienced U2 playing a song twice at a concert. There were too many other and especially better songs to close the concert (Bad, I will follow, 40 or so many others). Having read about US concerts, I hoped they would play 40 as the final song, however....

Fourthly (less important), the performance of some songs were a bit disappointing. Especially The Fly and Bullet the blue sky.

Highlights to me were:
- the Achtung Baby part, especially Mysterious ways with great gitar solo.
- Sunday bloody sunday / Where the streets have no name (when crowd got very enthousiastic).

Again, not a bad concert at all, but as I said, U2 standards are very high......


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