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It's . . . more honest to say we're rock stars, we're havin' it large, we're havin' a great time and don't focus on charity too much, that's private. Justice is public. -- Bono

by scrittoresabino

Vertigo-04-02-05 Well this was my 1st real show of the tour. I had gone to the rehearsals, but that doesnt count as a real full "show" even though it was great and they played a full setlist. So comparisons to Elevation are inevitable. Immediately the 1st thing I noticed was that the sense of anticipation was not as great in the GA lineup as it was for Elevation. But again, the people were really nice and really cool. There was the usual camaraderie amongst fans and shared experienced etc. There were 3 people in line, next to my friend and I, who all came alone. It was nice getting to know them a little and chatting some. They made a pact that if any of them got in they would take each other. It was one of the guy's Bday (Happy bday again Patrick? - sorry Im retarded with names). So it was a little disappointing not getting into the bomb shelter, actually very disappointing. It stayed in my mind for a little while. But I was at least very happy as Patrick got himself a great bday present as those 3 got into the shelter! I stood about 10 rows back from the ellipse to get a better view. I went nuts when I heard Arcade Fire, but I was also in panic mode trying to call my friend back from the bathroom so he can make it in time for the opening, he finally made it just in time. I had already heard that U2 had changed it up a bit, and the opening the night before was different, so I wasnt too surprised when they came out to the low rumble and spotlights of "Love and Peace". This song is just amazing live. It truly goes down as one of their greatest songs performed live it has the blistering power of SBS, the sinister tone of The Fly, and the swagger and sexiness of Mysterious Ways. This song alone equals the greatest moments of any of the tours Ive seen (ZooTV, PopMart, Elevation). However they did not seem to extend it as long as it was on the Rehearsals. They kept the momentum going much better (than the rehearsals) with Vertigo (instead of Electric Co. following 2nd), which was another great performance and rocks harder and better than any other U2 song live. I think these 2 songs in particular are soooo good live in large part due to Adam and Larry. Edge and Bono usually come through and shine on their performances, but Larry and Adam equally shine here. It isnt just Edges guitar that is rockin, or Bonos charisma singing and passion, but Larrys martial pounding and Adams sexual bass lines that gave these 2 songs in particular an added swagger as well as drive and energy. The extended ending of Vertigo w/the Stories for Boys break was also amazing. Elevation was a really nice way to keep the energetic flow going. It wasnt quite as good as on the last tour. Although I do like the extended slower lead in to the song here, I felt that would have been better after a slower song, following Vertigo a faster intro would fit better. But maybe it was best because after starting with these 3 songs in a row I wasnt sure how long I would last. The Boy trio was really great, esp. Electric Co. Most people still had the momentum going from the 1st 3 songs and by the end of Electric Co. were won over and cheering, jumping and dancing quite vigorously. An Cat Dubh received a lukewarm response, but unlike the section I was in (w/ contest winners) at the Rehearsals, people were still into it and not bored. When it neared the end of Into the Heart, Bono reached out and sing to a little girl for quite a while It was a really touching moment and people got really into the song as it started to climax as a result. Then he took her up onto the stage for the beginning of City Of Blinding Lights and she seemed to be in wonderland as the confetti fell. This was one of the greatest moments Ive seen at any concert of any tour. He hadnt done this yet at the previous shows. You saw his face as well as the little girls and it was magic! It fit both songs perfectly and both were performed to the highest standard. You could feel the crowds sentiment for the moment in their faces and the different kinds of expressions that were released outside of the standard clapping and roaring. Beautiful Day brought the whole arena into another frenzy and this was followed by an excellent Miracle Drug. Bono talked about the Pope here and dedicated it to him. At the rehearsal thought that this song was really good but hadnt reached greatness yet well it already has now. This was another highlight. It was sooooo extremely moving. People were crying! (And some werent even catholic or Christian) You could tell not that many people recognized the song at the beginning, but by the end people were roaring with approval during Edges guitar solo and at the close of the song. Sometimes was also much improved from rehearsal but hasnt reached greatness quite yet the 1st 1/2 may be a tad too slow, but the final 1/2 wins everyone over. At the very 1st recognition of New Years Day the 1st thought that crept into my head was Oh noooo! Not this song, this is really turning into a greatest hits show. But the thought quickly disappeared, as the performance was EXCELLENT. Next Sunday Bloody Sunday brought huge cheers and it was performed with such passion and intensity. Definitely more than I have ever witnessed live. Under the political and social context of this show, this song may have more life and vitality than even the War era days. (Although I cant really say that since I wasnt there) But while it was reactionary and pacifist before, it how now evolved into an activist call with real backbone, as Bono isnt just preaching he is ACTIVELY doing and leading. The entire band really plays this with more passion and energy. It goes beyond the anger Ive seen from performances @ Red Rocks and RnH, this song is sung now with real purpose! Bullet was good, and I did enjoy it, but I also wouldnt miss it. Running To Stand Still was also very good but not quite on the level of ZooTV Then the trio from ZooTV kicked in and got me really going. It got a good reaction but not quite the reaction of the songs before or after it. If there was a low point from the overall reaction it may have been Zoo Station. I however was happy to hear it, although I am still not quite as certain about its placement. Thematically it works really well to go from a song of desperation and despair into one of renewal and adventurous spirit to take on the world. I am just not sure if it works well after the UN thing, it isnt bad, Im just unsure about it. The Fly was great as always, one of my favs on record. And the band performed it with swagger this nite. Mysterious Ways was a real surprise for me, and it really rocked the house. Everyone got into this in a huge way. Everyone was dancing, shouting and singing. It was a real high. Pride going into Streets was really good. Although the crowd sometimes does not know whether to clap or sing. Finally we were able to pull off the chant while going into Streets. Both were performed excellently, and yes the red, followed by the blinding white light is missed a little but the white lights coming on at the final climax is really exciting. Following this high with a little speech about unity was nice. It was slowed down, and Bono instructed all lights to be turned off with only our cell phones lighting up the arena. It was another perfect moment where the speech audience and music were one as they played that song. All Because of You is a great opener for an encore. Although I do feel 1 more song would be perfect after this and before Yahweh. Gloria would make the setlist absolutely perfect here. Yahweh and 40 were a really nice duo to slow it down, become reflective and bring everything to a warm close. Overall this show has more energy from the music than any of the other tours. The pacing up front is relentless, and it is high after high. The new songs are standouts faster than any songs have ever been for U2. While Streets, Elevation. And The Fly became immediate concert standouts and highlights on their opening tours, all of these songs were accompanied by very strong iconic visuals to add to the experience and somewhat cement a signature performance with visuals and music tied together. Love and Peace and Vertigo certainly have nice visuals, but nothing that is iconic and nothing that would really tie itself to the song as much as Streets, Elevation, and The Fly. I think this really says something about how good Love and Peace and Vertigo are musically performed, and how great they are live. Strangely, I didnt think about or miss Bad! This was a shocker. Maybe it was because another song sorta took its place as the emotional release highlight Miracle Drug. This song is just amazing. And from the floor at least, there really are no visuals that enhance it. This song should NOT be dropped fro several tours. It has already reached that pinnacle of U2 songs that brings awe, and brings out extreme emotions from the crowd, and really makes all of us feel like we are in this struggle together and gives us all hope. This song is amazing live. Overall the graphics, lighting, and overall visuals mostly suck, and dont do anything for the songs (with the exception of Love and Peace, City Of Blinding Lights, and esp. Vertigo, which have all of this down). Maybe some of the ideas, like the flags during Streets, are great but the execution of those ideas visually has not been good. The music really is carrying everything. There isnt much movement in the lighting either. This show had some of the greatest highlights of any concert (U2 or otherwise) but there was something missing overall, not quite sure what exactly maybe it was just an overall tone? And feeling from the crowd (but mostly everyone seemed to really be into it)? Maybe fluidity between songs? Maybe something intangible? Ill give it a 9 out of 10

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