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

My 8th U2 show, first time this tour, and I have mixed feelings. On one hand, it was great seeing the boys again. And knowing that there will always be just 4 musicians on stage is, in fact, a real relief to me. I've seen The Stones 7 times, and I'm not sure if they would ever be able to pull it off with just the five of them on stage, but it would really be nice to see them try...but it's not gonna happen. As I was watching the show last night, I said to myself, I can't believe this awesome music is being generated by just 4 people. It really is amazing if you thinkabout it.
Anyway, I loved the sound and the lighting. Bono's voice was it top form. The band seemed like they have most of the songs down by now. I heard a couple boots from the first 2 shows at San Diego, and believe me, U2 is a band that you do not want to see in the beginning of a tour, as they get much better after repetition. I've seen them rehearse for the Outside Broadcast tour in Hershey, PA in '91, and they were very disorganized, and had to do several songs over again during the show. I think the admission fee then was $15, so they coulda played the same song for 3 hours for all I cared.
As far as energy goes, I think I'd rate this show near the bottom of all the shows I've seen. Bono seemed too content just strolling about, and by the time he got down to do his cat walk, The Black Cat was over and Into the Heart had started. It just seems like he's going through the motions more than ever. I'm just very grateful that his voice sounded so good last night....as it really did make up for anything else.
As for the setlist...well, there were really no surprises last night, but hearing Zoo Station, Electric Co., An Cat Dubh, and 40 really made my night, as I've heard all of the other standards played many times before. I am really bored with New Years Day, Mysterious Ways, Pride, Sunday Bloody Sunday, and Streets, but I know that for anybody who's seeing U2 for the first time, these are most likely what they want to hear.
The new songs sounded great, especially Love and Peace and Vertigo. My only wish is that this new disc would've had a couple more ROCKERS on it, especially when they're playing 7 or 8 songs off the new album. With the exceptio of Love and Peace and Vertigo, the other songs are just mid-tempo, which is fine, but IMHO, they (Blinding Lights, Yahweh, Miracle Drug, Species)really slow down the tempo of a live show as well.
OK, whoever is reading this all the way through must be WAY bored by now, so I'll just rate the show and split. I give it an 8 out of 10, where the best show I ever saw was the Zoo TV tour in '91 (10/10), and the worst was the Popmart in '97 (7/10).

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