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[T]he hardest place in the world for what we try and pull off as U2 . . . is the U.K., where the arts and politics are very separate. -- Bono

by Thomas Bell

Very different show then last night. Although I think the setlist was generally
better last night, tonight's show was at least as strong as last night's as far
as energy level. Again though, the Pond audience didn't give the band that extra
"oomph" to push the band and put this show over the top.

Tonight I had a GA ticket and when I couldn't reach the guy that wanted my
extra, I wound up calling a buddy who'd never seen U2 and told him to haul ass
to the Pond to meet me. The GA line was probably at 350+ people by 12 noon
today. We wound up standing about 5 feet back from the tip of the heart which
was a perfect place to take in the whole show. Let me tell you, today was a
really hot day and the floor was steaming! I pretty much dressed for a day at
the beach and was still drenched by the end of the show.

I noticed Elvis Costello hanging before the show out chatting with just about
anyone who'd talk to him in the enclosure in front of the mixing desk.

I'm sure being much closer to the stage and on the floor helps, but the sound
quality was far better for me tonight then last night when I was seated in a
Golden Circle seat behind the soundboard.

Tonight featured stronger versions of "I Will Follow", "The Fly" and "Mysterious
Ways" then last night. I was very happy to see the band do "Gone" and "Sweetest
Thing" tonight. Kite was sorely missed though and if I had to chose between Gone
and Kite, I'd say leave Kite in more often even though Gone is one of my
all-time favorite U2 songs.

During the acoustic segment at the tip of the heart, Bono saw a girl with a sign that said "Angel of Harlem" and Bono and Edge played that instead of Desire which was on the printed setlist. Bono also pulled up the girl onstage during the song mentioning "it pays to advertise" and danced with her briefly. During The Fly, Bono was almost pulled into the audience by the arm at the tip of the heart and walked away with a kind of hurt/angry look on his face which he proceeded to milk for the rest of the song by sucking his thumb while wearing someone's silver cowboy hat.

The audience gave the strongest response of the night to "Streets". The place really came alive during that song.

One the other hand, Sunday Bloody Sunday should be retired. It's the type of song that literally demands a sense of urgency whenever it's played and the band just seem to play it by the numbers now. The Bob Marley verses do not add anything to it. Even though it got a strong reaction from the crowd, I really get the impression the band is playing it more because of the fact it is a crowd pleaser then a song they are really consistantly into playing like "Streets."

Bono's voice was again spectacular. To me, the quality of his voice is the biggest revelation and best surprise of the shows I've seen this tour. He is really pushing it and
going strong from beginning to the end of the shows. It is worth noting that the band seemed to tire a bit once they got past Bullet tonight but considering how good they've been two nights in a row, who could blame them?

It was interesting to note that Bono dedicated the last song to Johnny Cash.
Considering his health the last few years, does anyone know if he's gravely ill?
One thing that has bothered me about the two shows I've seen is that Bono seems
to dedicate a lot of songs to dead rock stars. I just hope Cash isn't next.


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