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"Basically, I think we're all nutters, but somehow it works." — Adam

by JoMan

3rd show for me on the Vertigo tour (Boston and Philly prior). Awesome night - great crowd energy. U2 delivered.

Had NOSEBLEED seats - WAAAAAAAAAY at the far end which you would think would take away from U2's trademark crowd intimacy - but the boys proved once again they can play to every seat in the house. And Montreal - well - what can you say - we ARE the loudest crowd.

Tough start for Bono's voice had everyone on Edge (pun intended). At one point Bono stopped and coughed the loudest cough you can imagine, totally stopped singing, paused, then said "I'm sorry", then offered a $50 refund to everyone (which of course we'll never see - Ha!). You could sense the crowd was not sure where it was going to go - and the band was a little uncertain for a few songs. Edge covered for Bono on the high parts for a few tunes.

But Bono was not to be deterred. He pulled out EVERY trick he had to make up for it - singing in various registers to get it out there, inserting lyrics from many other songs (some cool Beatle/McCartney tributes), making wisecracks, dancing, strutting and taunting, reaching out to the crowd to help sing and the crowd responded with full support for several songs. Then - inexplicably - his full voice kicked in and the boys launched and never looked back.

Many, many highlights - but one of the key moments was Bono hitting the long sustained opera note in Ms. Sarajevo. He absolutely nailed it and the crowd went beserk with affirmation. SBS and Streets were the usual frenzies. Until the End of the World was smokin'.

During All Because of You, the band suddenly stopped cold, Bono walked back to Larry and held the mic for him - and LARRY SPOKE! "Sorry for the technical faux pas" - or something close to that. Bono said it was the first time Larry every made a stage announcement. Then they kicked it off again and drilled it right to the end - with a righteous 40 exit.

Arcade Fire were a trip. It was impossible to figure out what they were doing at times - trading instruments in the middle of songs, drumsticks flying in every direction hitting everything imaginable (including a motorcycle helmet on one player's head), bodies bobbing and crashing all over the stage. Stark raving madness. But they had this percussive, chanting Celtic groove thing going and the crowd was wild for them. Gutsy exit jumping off the front of U2's ellipse into the floor crowd and parading around and out of the venue with full drums and other instruments keeping time while the whole arena sang their chant-like chorus. The more organized of concert promoters and security people were probably freakin' - but as Bono later said - he saw the future in Aarcade Fire. My bet is Bono loved it. After all - it was a very U2 thing to do... youth with a dream on an unstoppable mission.

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