by Ron Limbert
I was pleasantly surprised when they launched straight into Mysterious Ways and UTEOTW. Only later did I realize this was at the expense of the 'Boy section.' I felt this show was overly saturated with new songs. Origin of the Species and Sometimes You Can't Make It for some reason just killed everything for me tonight. Love and Peace turned out great, as usual.
At first, I couldn't quite pin point Bono's mood. He seemed like he was in a darker, AB mood, but that possibility was quickly killed by the slew of Bomb songs. About 7 songs into the set, I felt the band was just kind of going through the motions. I guess I can't blame them, it's been a long tour. But for many of us (as in not in a 2+ night city) this was the only single chance we had of seeing U2 since 4 years ago (Dec 1, 2001). 2001's Elevation Tour seemed a lot more positive and energetic to me...however a lot of that most likely depends on my next major point...
THE CROWD!!! Never in my life have I seen such a disrespectful, disinterested crowd. During certain songs I was the *only* person in my 150 person block standing up. Listen, I know your legs might hurt...but show some respect and try to act the least bit excited. This isn't a Solar Bears game, ya know? Besides that, about 15-20% of the people in my section got up in the middle of a song to go get a chili dog or some snack. I guess they just couldn't wait to blow $4 on junk food and miss 15 minutes of a show they payed $50-60 for. Sorry for the rant...but come on guys! Most the people around me didn't know a single thing about U2. One guy even swore to his spouse that U2 song what was actually a flippin' Jesus Jones song. How cool is that?
Back to the music. I was a little disappointed when they pulled out the acoustic guitar for the encore...one of my goals in life was to hear Zoo Station Live. Oh well. The First Time was amazing, as usual...just wished they would do the full (non-acoustic) version. Stuck In A Moment was a nice surprise, even though I'm not its biggest fan. The deciding factor was right after Yahweh. Larry went to the set, and attacked the first snare...nearly confirming my worst possible fear: a Vertigo encore. Luckily, the band ended with 40. I'll be honest: 40 saved the show. If they didn't end with 40, this would have been one of the more disappointing U2 shows I've heard. All I can say is nothing matches the feeling of being one of a many thousand screaming, "HOW LOOONGGGGG...."
So-yeah-U2 is still my favorite band. :)
I should be able to post a handful of pics later this week.