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by Thomas Bell

11/12 Staples

Very solid show. My first of 3 Staples shows and my 4th Southern CA show this year.

No real surprises except Gwen Stefani from No Doubt came on and sang with Bono during the full band version of "What's Going On." They surprisingly complemented each other nicely although this particular song is the only one that the audience didn't really get into. It rained fairly hard in the early evening and parking, although easy to find was ridiculously priced at upwards of $50,00 in some private lots! This didn't damper the Staples arena crowd who really were into the show, especially the first 6 songs, far moreso then the Anaheim Pond crowd earlier in the tour.

I had decent seat about 6 rows off the floor at about the 50 yard line (or center) of the arena on the right and with some kick-ass binoculars, wasn't disappointed in the unobstructed view at all. The sound was also generally outstanding, especially for such a huge arena.

They played an excellent version of "Out of Control" with Bono telling his story about shopping their "3 songs" around to record company executives was tailored a bit to the LA crowd by mentioning their 1st Southern California show at the Country Club (in Reseda) and talking about LA Times' music critic "The Mighty Bob" (Robert) Hilburn telling them they would eventually make it.

Much better version of Sunday Bloody Sunday then the 1st leg shows I saw, same with Kite and New York (with slightly altered lyrics). Bono pulled up a girl from the tip of the heart before they were going to do the acoustic segment and after a bit of nervous dialog between Bono, The Edge and her, they all started in on "People Get Ready" with the girl on acoustic guitar. As they all three walked back to the main stage, Larry and Adam kicked in and it became a full band version.

It was a nice touch added a full verse of "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" to the end of Bad- it worked extremely well. The new acoustic version of "Please" is much like the acoustic vs. full band versions of Springsteen's "Born in the USA" in that the acoustic version really strips the song down to it's roots, transforming it to something else altogether. On other thing, the verse of "Peace on earth" was not played before Walk On tonight.

Only drawbacks are the semi-predictability of the setlist, the fact that the show runs about an hour and forty five minutes and the lack of "The Fly" which has been my big bitch regarding the third leg of the tour. And during the scroll of names from 9/11, "One" ended before the names were done scrolling and they just turned them off- struck me as kind of cold.

Also, it seems the band really hustle through the show as one song isn't even over before The Edge has the proper guitar for whatever the next song is going to be. On the other hand, they seem even tighter then they were last Spring and Bono's voice was in excellent form tonight.



Beautiful Day
Until the End of the World
New Year's Day
Out of Control
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Stuck In a Moment
Angel of Harlem (full band)
People Get Ready (1st half Bono,Edge and girl from audience, 2nd half full band + girl)
Please (acoustic)
Bad / 1 verse of "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses / 40
Where the Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

Bullet the Blue Sky
What's Going On
New York
One (with Gwen Stefani on vocals)
Walk On / Hallelujah

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