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by Jon Freedberg

11/12/01 - LA1

The show last night was very good, but certainly not the best show that I've seen this tour. They have been keeping the setlists much shorter this leg, and last night was no different. 19 songs, without any NEW additions.
I wouldn't say that Bono's voice is completely shot, but I do believe that it is sore and that they're probably a little road worn at this point. Bono was definitely stretching on some of the high notes and tried to avoid as many as possible by either taking the low part or letting the crowd sing as evidenced in Angel of Harlem and Bad.

Out of Control is fantastic, although many fans in the arena did not recognize it.

Kite just keeps growing on me. Bono gave a great lead in about how he wrote the song for his kids, but now realizes that his father wrote it for him. (Same speech he's been giving since his father passed away.)

Stuck in a Moment has been a live gem since the beginning of the first leg of the tour, but now that it has gotten some significant radio play, the entire crowd sings along which is great.

Please was quite chilling, but I prefer the full band version that blends into Streets.

Gwen Stefani was a bit out of key for her first verse of this song, but came back strong during the chorus.

I felt like the encore doesn't entirely work. When they last came to town, they basically played the greatest encore that any band could play in the history of Rock n Roll (unless the Beatles came out and played just about anything) Back in April, U2 played: Bullet, With or Without You, Pride, One, Walk On. The crowd was in a complete frenzy by the end of the show.

Now they come out and play: Bullet, What's Going On, New York, One, Walk On.
The real problem that I have here is that New York, while a very good live song and very thematically appropriate for the encore, takes a lot of "juice" out of the crowd, because they aren't very familiar with it. It stops the momentum that you would like to see build to One, which is clearly the climax. I would rather see New York moved into the main set and Pride or With or Without You (which I understand is being omitted because Bono is having trouble with the high notes) moved into the encore.

The end of the first set seems more like the encore should with Bad, Streets, Still Haven't Found, and Pride. There was so much crowd energy for these songs, that basically was left hanging until One.

Having said all of that, I had read about the FDNY, NYPD, and Passenger names being scrolled across the screen/crowd during One. And this was the single most moving gesture that I have ever seen at any concert. There are probably only 2-3 acts that could pull this off (Springsteen is the only other that comes to mind). But this was unbelieveable. Especially considering how many transplanted New Yorkers live in LA. Everyone who I was with was weeping, and I'm not exaggerating. What a fabulous moment and a classy tribute.

Finishing off with Walk On carries new significance and ends the concert with a hopeful feeling. Can't wait to get there tonight.

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