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And my old man was into opera, which, as far as I was concerned, was just heavy metal. I like those bawdy opera songs. -- Bono

by Brian Sackett

Dear Readers:

I wanted to take a brief opportunity to share the thoughts and feelings I came away with following the first of two shows in Anaheim, CA. The show was promised to start on time at 7pm and didn't do so until 7:30. Lenny Kravitz was absolutely awful. His mix was filled so much horn section and bass drum, that you could scantly hear his vocals. While not a big fan to begin with, the 40 minute set was terrible. Finishing at 8:10, U2 didn't come out for another hour. "I Will Follow", one of my all-time favorite songs, was the second song of the night and was incredible! The light show throughout the night was stimulating to say the very least and the overall sound quality was spot on, but the set list did not include "New Year's Day". Isn't this like Zepplin not playing "Stairway To Heaven"? I understand the purpose of a tour is to promote the songs from your new album, but really? I was pleased that Bono didn't spend an over abundance of time promoting his politics, instead just playing their music. The crowd was not lively at all, save for a couple of songs, and I was field level and dead center. Why am I not surprised this would be the case in Orange County? Bono. This wasn't LA, as you announced early on, "that it's great to be back in LA", or something of that nature. The set lasted 2:15 and there was no clear distinction really between when the regular set ended and the encores began. This show didn't come close to the one at The Rose Bowl last year, though many of the gimmicks were similar if not identical; the outer space bit, the devotion to Tutu and the woman from Burma, the moveable stage and the red neon microphone shaped like a steering wheel. I look for a sense of "wow" at concerts and judge how good it is by how long I talk to friends about it after it's over. I've seen in excess of 400 concerts in my life, covering bands from A-Z over the last 30+ years. If the Rose Bowl show was a "10", and it was, this show was a "7 1/2" at best.

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