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

I arrived about 6:40 down on the floor, after running around to get my wristband and finding the proper gate for floor access. I waited axiously for the start. PJ Harvey was good, and I like her, but I was thinking, 'ok, you tried, but get off the stage and bring on U2.' During the break, the guitar techs were up on stage tuning gear and the sort. The Edge's guitar tech takes a stroll down the heart shaped ramp and my freind Jason and I realized how close we were to the tip of the heart. As nine o,clock neared, the crowd started cheering and getting excited. And then suddenly, there they were walking out on stage. No introduction, no hoopla, they walked right out and broke into 'Elevation' with the house lights still up. Half way through the lights went down. When they finished, I was screaming and jumping expecting to hear 'Beautiful Day.' The screens started flashing images and Edge broke into 'The Fly.' The crown went nutty. I looked at Jason and we were both blown away. They played 'The Fly, Mysterious Ways, Even better than the real thing, One, Wake Up dead man, Until the end of the World, and New Year's Day' all in the next sequence. I felt like I was at Zoo TV. They pulled a fast one on the crown expecting to hear the standard line up. He made his first of many journeys to the tip of the heart during 'the Fly,' the crowd pushed and reached for Bono as he stopped and sang to the audience as is we were the only ones in the room. He reached into the audience, touch hands with adoring fans. I realized then that I was only about 5 feet away from Bono. I was 5 feet from Bono himself. i could see the color of his eyes and the expressions on his face I was so close! They allowed small cameras in and I ran out my whole roll of film by the end of the second song. After the quasi-zoo tv set, they went back into songs from the new album, dedicating 'Stuck in a moment' to Joey Ramone, followed by 'Kite' and 'New York.' They played the 'Sunday Bloody Sunday & the Sweatest Thing,' And broke into an acoustic version of 'Angel of Harlem' where the Edge joined Bono for the duet at the tip of the heart...5 feet from me. At that point, bono whispered something into the edge's ear and said something about the next song being an old b side that they haven't played in about 3 years. Edge started playing some familiar chords, but I couldn't quite make out what he was playing until bono started singing. And then I recognized the song. 'I still haven't found what i am looking for' on the acoustic guitar. the slow moody version from Rattle n Hum, just he and bono, at the tip of the heart, five feet in front of me. that was the most amazing version of the song i have ever heard, and i have 4 or 5 live versions on different tapes. they walk back to the main stage and bono starts singing...'you say...you want...diamonds...and a ring of gold. you say...you want...your story to remain untold...' and edge comes crashing in with the chords and i melted. i almost crapped myself. They played the most amazing version of 'all i want is you.' the full version with the stinking end solo and everything. absolutely electric. the only live version i have heard is off of 'PopMart' and it was abreviated with just the first two verses. the whole song. it had to have lasted 10 minutes. time stopped for me at that point. by the time i found my way back from the cealing, the video screans were raising...showing the blood red background... emitting the most beautiful red glow I have ever seen the organs were being piped in and bono was quoting a psalm and dedicating the song to God and the heavens above. the entire crowd went nuts as edge chimed in with the repeating intro into the main chords and the lights went up just like in the 'Rattle n Hum' video...and they were playing 'where the streets have no name' simply electric! At one point, he was singing to me at the tip of the heart and he sprinted from the tip of the heart, all the way around the stage and back down to finish the song. those three songs took the show!!! They tore through pride to finish the first set. The came out for the encore after the NRA bit and played the most phenominal version of 'Bullet the Blue sky.' And I can't even describe 'With or Without you!' They played 'I Remember you' and then into Beautiful day. The finished the set with a version of 'Walk On' that seemed to never end. They repeated the chorus a number of times at the end and kept playing for what seemed to be 10 minutes before finally saying goodbye.
I don't know if I can ever seen another concert again. with this show as my first, I can't imagine seeing any band out perform, out play, or outshine the biggest band ever to walk on stage. I can't describe the energy in the crown down on the floor. when they walked out and jumped into Elevation, with the house lights still up, the crown went absolutely nuts. a sea of energy and elation, excitement, adoration, sweaty bodies jumped and moved and reached out for their collective musical idols. it was unbelievable. I can still close my eyes and see his face, see his lips forming the words to his songs. I could see the expressions on his face as he reached into the audience as if he wanted to jump into their arms and feel how electric they were. the lighting, video, the effects all added to the show's brilliance. the four video screens were right about my head. I could look up and see them as the played. that seemed no different than watching them on a concert film or a video, but I could look up at the stage and see them, live in person, on stage. I was standing in a sea of bodies screaming and yelling and jumping up and down to get a better look at them on stage. I knew every word to every song, every note being played was familiar, but seeing them on stage playing the music I love and know so well, everything was so much sweeter. I am yet to hear a U2 song that is not ten times better played live. and to see them so close, they are figures that seem so unreal, so inhuman, and there they were, alive, in motion on stage, five feet away from me. words serve no justice to how amazing that show was. I left soaked through, I couldn't hear a thing, my voice was next to gone. my legs, my back, my arms, my neck, my head, ached. my eyes burned from sweat. I walked out absolutely exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally. and I stood, screaming at the top of my lungs after the encore, wishing the show wasn't over. so I bought a t shirt. the energy and the passion they displayed in concert, even after 20 years of performing, after 3 nights at the same venue, they still have not lost their love of playing for an audience.. and that is why they will live forever as the greatest band to every play. And I am going to try to get tickets when they come back next fall!!!!!
U2 Rocks. Thank You for an amazing show.

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