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We realised that there's only a certain amount of Joshua trees you can chop down.-- Larry, on recording All That You Can't Leave Behind, 2002

by Gary Palmer

As the previous reviewer mentioned, it was a misty and cold October. Municipal Stadium was the old home of the Cleveland Browns, and not a particularly great place for a show, but you take what you get, eh?

A couple of memorable things about this show: Bono was wearing a cast on his arm, having fallen off the stage in a previous show. He was clearly frustrated by this, as it impeded some of his signature poses. I remember him commenting on it at some point, saying he was sorry for the arm, and something about being clumsy.

Sunday Bloody Sunday: A smoking delivery, and a talk in the middle in which he said that "I see a lot of people waving the Irish flag and shouting about 'revolution.'" (and here I have to paraphrase) "So many people have died in the name of 'revolution.'" (back to direct quote) "Well I say, 'Fuck the revolution! NO MORE!...NO MORE!..." etc. That moment sent chills up and down my spine, and I'll never forget that 'revolution' while sometimes necessary, is never free.

October > New Years Day: I've always loved that combination. One flows into the other so flawlessly, and the live performance of October has always given me chills and sense of religious awe.

The concert ended in a very mellow manner--just look at the set list: Running to Stand Still, With or Without You, and "40". "40" was a classic U2 closer for some time, and having never seen them before this, I don't know if this was common or not, I suppose it probaby was, but they played for a long time, and gradually wandered off the stage. The crowd continued to sing for a long time and, this may be unusual, the band did not come back. The house lights came up, there was some chanting for "more" and then people started wandering out. What was spectacular about this was that people were STILL singing, even as we exited the stadium. As we walked outside to our cars you could still here remnants of singing "how long to sing this song?" A long time, apparently.

As a first time U2 concert, this was fabulous. Bono had a bit of trouble with his voice, but not bad, and his arm was clearly a frustration, but the setlist was phenomanal, covering every song I would have had on my "must hear live" list at the time. It was very memorable, with key moments forever stuck in my mind.

Oddly enough, the next time I saw them, November 7, 2001, they played "Out Of Control" as the 5th song in the set, and played "Bullet the Blue Sky" as the 16th song of the set. A strange coincidence.

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