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

After a looong day of waiting, its finally time to Wake Up by Arcade Fire.

Vertigo is the perfect opener, I jump and sing and scream continuously for the next 6 songs, not taking a breather until I Still Havent Found, which I of course have! ;)

Bono looked surprised and touched by all the white bands at the beginning of the show, which he acknowledged in several songs (vertigo, follow, beautiful day, new years day). This prompted the audience to wave them several more times.

During Electric Co. it was great fun watching Edge coming down the catwalk for the first time, and I managed to take some nice shots. This song reminds me a bit of Until The End of The World, as Bono and Edge interacted in the same way.

The snippets throughout the show were great, especially Bullet with Butterfly Wings suited El Co. perfect. And one of the biggest chills of the night came during the intro, as Bono shouted: This bands just started!!

Elevation was another great jump-and-shout-song", but this new version didnt really blow me away (Im an avid bootleg-collector, and my friend was really surprised that I managed to wait until after this my first Vertigo-concert to hear any of the new Vertigo-shows) I was so ready to rock after the first chorus, then the song didnt kick in until after another chorus. Still, great to see Larry more involved, singing lots of backing vocals during the entire show.

Beautiful Day much, much better than in Stockholm in 2001 this song is built for big, open spaces, just like the great stadium Nya Ullevi. Outside, the stadium looks like the mother ship in some science fiction movie. It gives me the chills every time I see it appearing between the trees and streets in the middle of Gothenburg city. Climaxing with lots of Were sgt peppers LONELY hearts club band and fading into Blackbird, Edge watching Bono intensely. I looked up at the small video-screens right then, and noticed Larry looking up, into the sky, as if he saw a real blackbird flying away, with his broken wings Bono made that song real for more than just Larry. I saw Larry smile several times, it looked like he enjoyed himself a lot tonight.

New Years Day again, one of the few low-points during this otherwise amazing night. It looks like the crowd love this song, but I personally felt it should be replaced with something more fresh (their back-catalogue isnt exactly small, so why this tired, old war-horse night after night after night after..??)

Still Havent Found now the goose bumps started coming. Up until this point, I was so excited that Id just jumped and screamed and sung along, all sweaty and pumped up, but now I came down and I felt tears in my eyes. A beautiful, beautiful moment.

All I Want Is You Bono was out on the catwalk constantly, and I was so busy taking pictures that suddenly this amazing song was over before I had the chance to scream another YOU-HOOO. It seemed Bono wanted to reach out for a girl, but after a little while he just stood up again, all by himself and continued singing. Maybe he was just trying to reading the upside down sign from the same girl he pulled up later, during WOWY. The sign said: Wanna dance? Im short

All of a sudden a familiar guitar intro is echoing and building across the venue. The next we know the screen lits up in thousands of beautiful colours and the majesty of City Of Blinding Lights pours down on us, just like the rain a little later in the show. One of the nights biggest moments.

Miracle Drug what to say. An amazing song, lots and lots of delicious goose bumps all over. The visuals were so fascinating, especially watching the green heartbeat going up and down across the screen. Bono introduced it by talking about those 4 opening notes, but then he got a bit uncertain if it was 4 or 5 notes, and he had to count it with his fingers while he looked over at Edge to get it confirmed. A sweet moment.

Great singing by Edge at the end. Playing with his eyes closed, Edge really poured his heart and soul into those six strings all night

Sometimes My brother, who attended the show with me and my girlfriend, commented that after the Oslo show, some newspapers managed to call this song Sometimes you can make it on your own. They also wrote that Larry Mullen was the bass player of U2. Do your homework, amateurs!!! ;) Anyhow, Bono told a heartfelt story about his old man conducting the opera on the radio with his knitting-needles. Bono looked almost overcome by feelings at the end, giving it all at the end of the song. Black Hills of Dakota was another perfect snippet at the end.

Then the eerie intro of Love and Peace sounded across the arena. I decided to step a little further back to get some overview and space. It was so nice to be able to dance and jump around without bumping into each other. I guess all the crowded fans outside felt a little envious on us who could move around freely inside the stage-area. Compared to some bootlegs I now have heard, I remember the version tonight as lasting longer and with more intense drumming at the end. I cant wait to hear the bootleg of this show!! (though I know no bootleg can reproduce the live feeling, it will do as a very nice document of an unforgettable night!)

Several Swedish newspapers claimed the day after the show that this song was pretty boring, and that it didnt fit the live setting. I totally disagree. One of many highlights for me this night. It was so cool to see Adam working the crowd on this one, standing out on the b-stage, bass held high, looking out into the crowd, hitting those two notes at the intro. He looked so relaxed and confident. Way to go Adam!!!

Sunday Bloody Sunday got us all jumping and singing like mad again, and the transition to Bullet was just great. Just when you started to think they would play the ending a little longer, BAM! Edges guitar just soared on this one and it was breath-taking to watch the fighter plane across the screen as he played his awesome solo. During SBS, Bono delivered his coexist-speech with lots more empathy than on some previous bootlegs; repeatedly shouting All sons of Abraham! while he looked up at the dark clouds.

Miss Sarajevo what to say? I was almost shocked to find out U2 decided to swap this one with the eternally beautiful Running, and after hearing a great version at the Berlin show, I still feel a little betrayed. Later on they also swapped Yahweh for Party Girl, another disappointment for me. Still, Bono delivered his opera on Sarajevo with lots of feeling, almost choked with emotions at the end, reaching the high opera notes.

Pride and Streets two big crowd pleasers, although my feelings for Pride are the same as for New Years Day. I missed the big lights and the red screen at the intro of Streets, even if both came at the end. Great African wails from Bono at the intro of Streets.

One Edges guitar solo took me by surprise. I dont know how many times Ive heard this song (or how many times the band have played it) but it was something in the air tonight for sure, as Bono finished with some lines from Rain, smiling at Edge trying to find the right chords.

Then the downpour came, and once again the magic set in. It was so amazing to watch all the rain in the rays of light from the big spots at the back, even flashes of lightning beyond the stage. What more perfect intro to the encores.

Zoo Station came almost immediately after One had ended, the encore break didnt last long at all. Maybe the rain made the boys feel sorry for us, like lets get this show over before they all drown! Edge on the other hand didnt seem to mind the rain at all, strolling out on the b-stage, singing All right! All right! working up the drenched crowd. My brother was shirtless at this point, later claiming it was U2 who rocked it off, not the rain..! ;)

The Fly was stunning. Compared to Elevation, this new arrangement kicked ass, as where the former suffered from it. The sound throughout the show was amazing, and it really showed on this one; Big, warm and rich on tones and nuances, Edges guitar piercing through the rain. When Bono spoke between songs, his voice echoed all over the stadium. Spine-tingling stuff.

With Or Without You not as big goose bumps-factor as I had wished for. Maybe it had something to do with the arrangement, I dont know. It was more majestic during the Zoo Tv era. But I know for sure that neither of this was on the mind of the short girl who finally got picked up by Bono.

All Because of You Edge is having trouble starting the song, and in the downpour Bono says: Cmon Edge, the neighbours, the neighbours (I guess due to the fact that the show started a bit late, 21:27) I waited in vain (or rain?;) for the scream right before the guitar-solo, but still this song was one of the highlights for me this night. A very cool moment during the song, Bonos singing, Some people get squashed and Edge filling in right on the spot: crossing the tracks while Bono is looking over at Edge. It made my day (night).

Party Girl Edge, who seemed more ready to play Yahweh (which was a shame they didnt play tonight), looked a little surprised as Bono started singing I know a girl, a girl called party several times. Complete with champagne-bottle and all.

Vertigo boy this song goes by so fast!! Too fast!!!

PA Its the end of the world as we know (and I feel fine) Does anyone know who sang this version? It was not R.E.M. At first I didnt recognize it, as it was sung completely different by what sounded like a woman. Very cool version.

What more to say? 3 days later, Im still a bit hoarse and my neck hurts from all the head-banging. They didnt play 2 of my favourite songs (Running + Yahweh) but they made it all up, by putting on the best U2 show I have ever witnessed. Period.

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