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

First, let me just say that all of the reviews that I have read regarding the show were completely off-base. The show was ten times better than the so-called experts reported. I fully expected to come to the show and feel alienated by the size and complexity of the stage. The show was, on the contrary, very personal and it drew me into the music. The way the songs were performed with such a sense of feeling and spontanaiety made me realize just how great U2 really is. This was my first time seeing them live. I now regret having turned down tickets to their Zoo TV show.

There are so many highlights that I don't know where to begin. How about when Bono was out on the acoustic stage and he went from his "this is where we spent all of that cash that you gave us" speech directly into "I Still Haven't Found..." Despite all of their riches, they still haven't found what they are looking for. Right in the middle of that song, he pointed to The Edge, who then began playing the chords for "All I Want Is You." That was a moment of pure musical genious. Then, during "New Year's Day", Bono was again on the acoustic stage when he gave the command to the control booth to "Turn the lights to red." They complied, and the entire audience was bathed in a glow of red. This song must have been added for this show beause there wasn't one image on the screen during the entire song. Just an on-the-spot demonstration of their God-given gift of music. I was also impressed by the idea of coming out of a lemon for the first encore. That in itself made the show worth the $53.50 ticket price.

Maybe this show was just an exceptionally good one, but suffice it to say that this was the best concert I have ever seen. I have seen some of the greatest acts of our time, including The Rolling Stones (Voodoo Lounge), Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, The Da1 WIatthews Band, and maybe the best pure entertainer in the world, he does it without the big stage designs, Bruce Springsteen. U2 combines the most awesome stage design I have ever seen with a very personal and genuine show (Bono repeatedly thanked the crowd "from the bottom of our hearts for coming out to see us tonight"). Add to this the best music of the past 20 years, and they have come up with the complete package, glitz and glamor coupled with pure entertainment.

The only parts of the show that I did not like (This is being very picky) was "Bullet" and "If You Wear That Velvet Dress." These are the only two songs that kind of caused a lag in the show. Bono's energy and fun even turned "Miami" into a very powerful and different song that is recorded on "POP".

Bono, The Edge, Adam, and Larry are truly an extraordinary group of musicians who are slowly, but surely convincing the world that thier new direction of music really is good stuff, and it is. Despite the obviously negative way that they have been recieved since "dreaming it all up again" for the second time, they keep going, believing in themselves with the fullness of their hearts.

This front of fakeness (The lemon) and insincerity (The arch) is not as it appears. It is, in itself fake and insincere. I think that this tour is just a new way for them to continue their personally emotional work of the '80s and present it in an unexpected way. After seeing them in person, I now understand and agree with Bono's sentiments that he is part of a band that is a continuation of a line of bands which includes The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Lucky for us, because now we have been blessed with.... U2.

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