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"I think Bono's approach to lyrics and what he actually says is very real and very valuable and a lot more worthwhile than all these schlocky cliche-ridden lyrics that you get from a lot of bands." — Adam

by Megan

The most beautiful thing about live performance of any kind is the mistakes, the imperfections. I want to experience all of the inconsistencies and mishaps of a show, because that's when true heartfelt emotion emerges.

Last night was magical. It was a completely different experience than when I saw them way back on October 31, 1992 (I remember the date because I knew it was Larry Mullen Jr.'s birthday and I was a senior in high school). I don't remember that night of years ago all that well, but the feeling each night gave me was so completely different. Last night was like falling in love all over again.

For those who might have seen them perform during the last tour, you should be better able to relate to this experience. It was once again a bare boned stage in order to create a night of good music. Music and passion were the focus. The night was about having fun and feeling inspiration. I felt both.

There were some very tender moments. I have never laughed and cried so truly as I did during last night's performance. Before "City of Blinding Lights" Bono pulled a little girl from the crowd, dressed in sparkling pink, and walked her around the "ellipse." She was absolutely adorable and Bono seemed so protective over her. She just waved to the audience the whole time while walking around that circle. It was obvious from every seat in the house that Bono was sucked into her innocent charm; we all were.

Before playing "Miracle Drug," Bono talked about the Pope who had just died. He shared the rosary that the Pope had given him and he told the story of giving his sunglasses to him when they met. He told it with such love and grace, it was apparent that he had been greatly affected by the man's passing. It brought such simple truth to that song and I felt it in my core.

Following that song was "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own." I knew this song had been written for his father and it has always been the most touching song to me from HTDAAB. At first I felt like Bono was simply just performing it, holding in any thoughts he might be having at the time. There was a screen (made of strings of light rather than something opaque) behind the band on the stage that had a computer-type image of a headless man walking. When Bono first turned to the picture, his voice suddenly became more intense and heartfelt. The pleading I felt from him while he sang, nearly preached, that song touched me profoundly. It was a beautiful moment.

When the first notes of "Bullet the Blue Sky" were played, I got excited not only because I knew I would get to rock out, but because I also knew that they've been playing my all-time favorite song afterwards. And, sure enough, the boys did not let me down. When I first heard the gentle notes of "Running to Stand Still," I reached out and hugged my friend who was standing next to me. Without thinking I shouted out "thank you!" It was played and sung so passionately that I cried while I sang along. One of the best moments I've ever experienced of live performance. I've never felt something so passionately at a concert before; I've come close to those feelings, but nothing ever pushed me toward catharsis quite like that.

Many of the older, more popular, songs were also highlights. We all sang "Pride (In the Name of Love)" in honor of MLK, again making me feel such passion. I danced hard to "New Years Day" and accidentally bumped into the man sitting next to me. Even "The Fly" was a great rendition.

Two political highlights were the performances of "One" and "Where the Streets Have No Name." During "One" Bono urged us all to help Africa. I know some people are put off by his constant promotion of causes, but I've always felt the opposite. He inspires me with his passion, and I once again walked away wanting to somehow make the world a better place (though I didn't need a concert to make me feel that way). "Streets" was sung during the encore and I have never felt such unity with a crowd of thousands than I did at that moment. A flow of flags from various countries lit up the lighted backdrop, one flowing downwards after the other like a waterfall of nations. Maybe my teaching immigrants has made me more passionate and empathetic to others, but I, too, long to live in a world "where the streets have no name." Simply beautiful.

The night ended with a prayer, first with a soft rendition of "Yahweh" and then with 40. It was a soulful way to end the night, building on the political unification that we felt from the previous songs. Politics and ideology were stripped away at the end; we are left with only each other and God. It wasn't about religion, but about faith. Faith in humankind and faith in each other.

I walked into that arena with hope in my heart, but I walked out feeling all the world nestled safely in my soul. More than any other live performance, music has this special ability to bridge together a myriad of emotions, people, and cultures. Last night the world was not separated into different people and countries; we were all "one love, (and) we get to share it."

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