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"I would call myself an aggressive pacifist." — Bono



by Henry

There have been some excellent reviews posted here, so I think I'll take a different slant with mine. First of all, I agree with the reviewer who said that the set lists haven't changed that much over this tour - not that I've been to alot of the shows, but from reading the lists at various websites I know this to be true -EXCEPT at the MSG shows. This is where I'm a bit upset - MSG crowds were treated to some great oldies that true fans adore: "Out of Control", "Eleven O'Clock Tick Tok", "New Year's Day." Plus the special treat of having their producer Daniel Lanois play guitar for one of the songs. I think U2 is such a powerful band that they could mix it up at ALL shows and not just "treat" the New York crowds (and by the way, judging from the bus fiasco, most of the fans at the Jersey shows were from the City anyway - more on that later).

But that's really a small complaint. Let's see - how many times did I openly weep at the show while singing along to every word (Hey - I'm no macho tough guy, but it's fairly unusual for me to bawl at concerts) - during "Bad", during "Where The Streets Have No Name", during "One" (I defy anyone with a humanist soul to not at least get choked up when hearing that song live), during "In A Little While" (dedicated to Joey Ramone). Hell - I even got choked up when the band segued into "40" briefly - in years past the traditional way for the crowd to bid the boys goodnight. This is a cliche, but U2 is the single greatest live rock band EVER and their shows are a tanscendent, communal, spiritual experience.

Now for the bad part - Continental Arena is horrible and their staff is even worse. They were wholly unprepared for the overwhelming numbers of people who needed to get back to the city via NJ Transit buses. No one was around to even attempt to organize a line and eventually it turned into a fracas (thank god this was a U2 show and not Limp Bizkit - I can't imagine what an aggressive angry crowd would have done in that situation).

Finally, I think they should limit the tickets - no more behind the stage seats. The power of the music still comes through, and for a true fan that's enough but I still felt very disconnected from the magic at times. And forget about whatever visual, lighting and staging effects took place - I have no idea because there was no way to see that. I know it's a business, but still...

Looking forward to winning tickets to Slane Castle, Dublin and if not, the return of the greatest band of all time in the Fall.

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