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by Steve C

Overall just a tremendous show.

This is my 6th U2 show (4th tour), and one thing about U2 is that they have always been incredible about developing a setlist that had the appropriate ebbs and flows...building up of energy into an explosion that raises the roof, and then coming down a bit to give everyone a moment to catch their breath before raising the bar even higher. That didn't work QUITE as well here as it has in previous tours. Elevation is a great, great opening song, and the crowd was super into the show right away. But as good a song as Beautiful Day is on the CD/Radio, it's just not a great song live, IMHO, and it actually seemed to halt the momentum a bit. It would probably be a better encore song or something, just not in the #2 slot.

The first part of the show was good but not great. I'm not sure if it was the 3 days off or not, but it seemed to take the band about 1/3 of the way into the show to really get going. You can sense when the band is simply performing the way they do for every show and when a show starts to take on it's own personality and the band are reacting to the crowd as much as the crowd is reacting to them. The other thing holding the show back a bit at the beginning was the sound. At times the echo was so bad I hardly heard Bono.

That problem muted some of the excitement for Until the End of the World, New Years Day, and Kite, which is really a shame given the strength of those songs. NYD seemed a bit rushed and uninspired actually. Kite should have soared and it WAS great...but the sound issue took some of it's steam away.

I would agree with previous show reviewers that New York could be replaced. Perhaps instead of alternating Kite and Gone, just keep both of those and drop NY. It was another momentum stopper for the crowd. Stuck in a Moment, however, was a pleasant surprise. Never one of my favorites from the new album, it was great live. That song, along with a few others, showed Bono the singer rather than Bono the performer...those moments were amongst my favorites during the night. To see him really get into his own music that way is a real treat.

The last 2/3 of the show was just awesome. Great stage and use of lights/effects. The band playing their asses off and much better sound. Edge was on fire...best I've ever seen/heard him. Bono's voice is definitely stronger than it was during Popmart. I loved seeing how relaxed and genuinely happy the entire band was. When Bono introduced Larry he said, "He's the man who started the band...(pause) and he may be the one who ends it! (laughing)".

I'm not sure if Bono sensed that he needed to kickstart the show a bit because of the sound problems at first, but he really poured on the showmanship in the last 2/3 of the show...Wow! Bono jumped behind the stage and then, with help of security, climbed up the railing to the stage-back-left seats where he sang while being held in place by a large number of hugs. Didn't quite see what else happened up there but after he returned to the stage he apologized to someone over in that section during the song. Later, Bono shocked everyone when he not only jumped into the crowd at the outside point of the heart during The Fly, but then walked through the entire GA audience to the area by the sound board. We just kept saying "Oh MAN!, he's NUTS!", but it was great. Great show!





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