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"I'm proud of what we achieved in stadiums, but this record is not about that. There's no artifice." — Larry, on All That You Can't Leave Behind



by Shawn Bison

Two three four, check. Check. Two three four. Why must I hide from myself... when I need the crowd? Bring on this crowd. I love this crooooowwwwwddddd! If you don't know-oh - electricco!

Or something like that.

I was 8 years old as I watched the only U2 Red Rock performance in history being broadcast on Channel 13 (PBS) in suburban New York on a cold Winter's day in late 1983. For the next week I would sing along to that crazy and inspiring song, not even knowing the words or what the song was about. Not catching on the the vaudevillian Send in the Clowns reference (or "snippet," as some folks like to call it) --- why would I? Yearning to see that silly Bono climb up the the rocks and sing that song beside the Red Rocks torches once again --- I begged my dad to tape it on a VHS while I was asleep. One morning, around Hanukkah time, he presented me not with the taped program, but the official U2 VHS of Live Under A Blood Red Sky. I was in heaven. That was my first U2 product and The Electric Co. was my favorite U2 song.

Last night at the second gig, while goosebumps were destructively taking over my left side and while I was reaching for The Edge and Adam duel it out during Electric Co.'s instrumental break, I realized something. I realized that U2 should remake Boy.

My realization came to full fruition tonight at the 3rd Dublin show, especially when they returned to the nonsensical tale of An Cat Dubh. U2 in their forties are men who were born to play Boy's music. If you listen back to older versions of Out Of Control, Electric Co., A Day Without Me, or even I Will Follow, you'll hear the passion - but you won't hear the history, comradere, musicianship, or the band as one. Hearing the rarely-played songs off Boy played these days are just as fresh, inspiring, and goosebump-worthy as the Atomic Bomb songs. The context of the Vertigo Tour's shows embrace these old tunes not as a reintroduction to the band (as Bono likes to constantly describe), but a reminder. A reminder of all that was missed while people paid attention to the more popular tunes.

Tonight's show was equally as fantastic as last night's. I am convinced, once again, that this is the best you'll ever see of this band. And that Achtung, Atomic Bomb, and Boy are the three greatest albums they'll ever make.

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