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"White people don't do [soul music] very well because we don't want to let go. Nihilism suits us." — Bono

U2 gushes sentiment

- April 29, 2001

by Leonard Martinez

PHOENIX -- Perhaps in a little while, El Paso will get
another chance to host a U2 concert, as it did in 1992.

Until then, fans will have to leave El Paso. And many
did just that, traveling to Phoenix on Saturday for the
band's concert.

The opening act, P.J. Harvey -- who wore a gorgeous
red sequined dress -- let the crowd know who she was
with heavy guitar-driven sounds and a biting voice.

Before her nine-song performance, which included
"This Is Love," "Kamikaze" and "Man-size Sextet,"
people in the crowd did not know how talented she
really is.

By the end of the first song they were impressed with
the sultry songstress.

East Side resident Erika Vallejo enjoyed the show,
especially Harvey's performance.

"The performance was wonderful, and I really liked
that song 'Down By the Water,' " she said.

After a break, U2 took to the stage for a 21-song set.

The band, famous for its political causes, appears to
have been affected more by personal loss in recent

"Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of" was
written and performed for the late INXS singer
Michael Hutchence, and several songs were dedicated
to Joey Ramone of The Ramones, who died this year.

Gone are U2's outrageous stadium setups. In their
place is a heart-shaped catwalk that envelops part of
the floor, where about 300 lucky fans get to watch the
show amid the others on the floor.

The unusual stage setup is the band's attempt at a
more "intimate" concert in 20,000-seat arenas.

Bono, sporting a black outfit complete with a leather
jacket with a red star on the left side of his chest and
upside-down corporal stripes on his right sleeve,
swaggered along the catwalk.

He'd stop, sing and hover just out of reach of the
outstretched hands.

The first song of the night, "Elevation," was played
with the house lights still on. The OK song was taken
to new heights with the crowd pushing the band and
vice versa.

During the third song, "Until the End of the World,"
Bono played the part of a bull "fighting" with The
Edge, playing the part of a matador.

Back and forth, step by step, inch by inch they crept
along the catwalk until The Edge's guitar put Bono on
his back. He reached for the guitar and finally kicked it
with his last gasp.

A few songs later, the band performed "In A Little
While," a song about a hangover, that had changed into
a "gospel tune," Bono said.

The song, dedicated to the late punk-rocker Ramone,
was reportedly played in the hospital room when he
died of cancer on Easter Sunday.

During the encore, the band played a cover of The
Ramones' "I Remember You" in honor of Ramone.
Instead of playing the punk version, the band
transformed it into a ballad.

After "In a Little While," Bono and The Edge played
"Stay (Faraway, So Close)" acoustically. The song has
been played live only a handful of times.

Bono had fun during the show and reminded the crowd
of the band's earlier run-ins with a past Arizona
governor over the state's not having Martin Luther
King Jr. holiday.

Later in the set, the band played the song written for
King, "Pride (In the Name of Love)" which had lyrics
from the song "MLK" tagged to the end.

The concert was just a moment that passed, but it's
one the audience is likely to be stuck in.

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