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by Michael S.

This was my 2nd U2 show of the year, having seen them on May 12th also at the UC in Chicago.

While I'm of the opinion that the May 12th show remains as possibly the best show on the entire Vertigo Tour to this point, that's not to take away from this show on 9/21.

First, I was glad to not have to deal with the "Kings of Leon" again. Ugh. They were gawdawful, in my opinion. This time it was "Dashboard Confessional," a band that clearly sounds better live than on their recordings. We were hoping to see "My Chemical Romance, though. But DC was okay.

When U2 opened with "Vertigo" for the 1st time on the May 12th show, I thought there'd be no way they'd ever open with another song again on this tour. I was wrong, and I was surprised that I wasn't disappointed with "COBL" as the opener. That night, it just "worked." I will, say, though, that it was tough to gauge the band's energy until the next song ("Vertigo") kicked in. The energy, and unlike May 12th, Bono's singing voice, was back in full force.

The song mix was excellent (although I was still hoping to hear, for the first time as a U2 concert attendee, "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" and "All I Want Is You," and neither of them were played. But U2 did do "...Wild Horses," and I was thrilled to finally get to hear that song live. Although WGRYWH was acoustic, it still sounded great. I was hoping for the full-band version, a la 3rd night in Amsterdam, but the song still sounded great.

"Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" was one of the most heartfelt renditions I'd heard since their Saturday Night Live performance. Bono seemed to be near tears...wow. It was moving.

I *LITERALLY* prayed that U2 would do "Miss Sarajevo." I was not disappointed. Having heard their first-ever performance (on the Vertigo tour) of the song on the 3rd night in Amsterdam, I was wowed. I dare say Bono's operatic stanzas on this night (9/21) rivaled, if not topped that first performance. He should record a tribute-to-his-Dad opera album. He could pull it off. It was beautiful.

The encores were eye-openers. Hearing "Fast Cars" was a treat, and seeing the young plump lady on stage dancing her heart out reminded of the ZooTV days & "Mysterious Ways" + a belly dancer. Awesome! The song sounded great. Earlier, "Miracle Drug" once again sounded excellent. As did "The Electric Co."

Disappointments? Gosh, will U2 *ever* stop playing "Bullet the Blue Sky?" Ugh. I'm so sick of that song in concerts. They play it every night, it's become old and tiresome (in my opinion). I know some who love BTBS, and that's fine...but I'm sick of it. They played "Pride" again. Still one of my favorite U2 songs, but they've played that song almost every night as well. I was hoping for a different song there.

Having never heard Zoo Station on this tour, I was hoping they'd play it; no such luck. Same deal with "Discotheque," as I'd read they'd played the night before with the "Pop Muzik" interlude. Dang! I wished they'd done that again. The dearth of sonsg from the "Pop" CD has been a bit disappointing.

Finally, a bit about the end of the show. Wow. I'd never heard an actual full-band version of "40," so I was pumped when I heard Adam's bass line coupled with Larry's bass drum kick in. The whole ordeal with Bono's hat, hanging it on the mic stand, and Larry walking off stage wearing it was PRICELESS. It figured, my digital camera's memory card ran out literally :08 seconds before Larry finished. Rats.

And the crowd where we sat this time was one of the more well-behaved crowd I've ever been around. As compared to the immature idiots that we were surrounded by on May 12th (read my review for that show for details), we were surrounded by a group of teenagers, some Polish immigrants, and a few adults who didn't drink too much and didn't ruin the night and act like rear ends, thankfully.

It was sad to know that this was their last show in my hometown. Chicago was lucky to have 6 shows...I only wish I'd been able to attend more.

I may post some pics in another review...the photos are on my other computer.

Overall, this show ranked up there with some of the best I'd ever seen.

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