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"U2 saved my life in a way because I am unemployable. There's nothing else I can do." — Bono

U2 in top form as it thrills fans

- December 18, 2005

by Scott Iwasaki

Michael Nelson took the four-hour drive from Boulder, Garfield County, with his wife, Lara, and toddler son, Zack, to see U2 at the Delta Center.
While Zack stayed at his grandparents' home in Holladay, Nelson and his wife joined his sister and brother-in-law for a night of music.
"I've liked U2 ever since they first hit the scene," said Nelson, the managing ranger for Anasazi State Park. "They rock. The drive will be worth it. I've loved every album they've done. Except I didn't get into 'Pop' as much."
For 22 years, Emi Jones also has loved U2.
The Tokyo, Japan, native and her husband, Jeff Jones, who now live in Layton, make it a point to see four or five of U2's shows during each tour.
"This one will be our fourth this tour," said Jeff Jones about the Salt Lake City concert. "We saw them in San Jose, Denver and Toronto."
Emi Jones latched onto the band when the album "War" hit the record racks in 1983.
"I like their sound," she said. "And I think (lead singer) Bono is good looking."
Bono (born Paul Hewson) and his charisma, as well as the band's musicality, didn't disappoint the Nelsons, the Joneses and 26,000 other U2 fans who filled the Delta Center Saturday night.
The group — Bono, guitarist Dave "The Edge" Evans, drummer Larry Mullen Jr. and bassist Adam Clayton — were in top form as it launched into the set that included "City of Blinding Light," "Vertigo" and an acoustic version of the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood."
The band played to the audience and received ovation after ovation for "Elevation," "I Will Follow," "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "Beautiful Day," during which Bono sang to a female fan he lifted out of the crowd to the stage.
As for the stage, it was similar to the 2001 tour, with a runway that not only surrounded the main stage but also jutted into the middle of the Delta Center arena. Fans on the inside and outside of the runway were treated with up-close-and-personal views of Bono and The Edge, which turned the massive arena into an intimate venue.
Extravagant lighting design featured an array of strobe, spot and curtain lights which set the mood for other songs such as "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" and the Grammy-nominated "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own."
"It's not much as Bono's political activism as much as it is his spirituality that I like," Jeff Jones said. "Bono and the band are very spiritual. They don't go on tour for the money, even though it appears that way sometimes. U2 goes on tour because they have something to say and they want to change the world. They don't need the money, unlike the Rolling Stones who go on tour every four years to make a quick buck."
Grammy Award-nominated Kanye West opened the show amid cheers and jeers.
The rapper/rhythm and blues singer offended President Bush supporters earlier this year during hurricane relief efforts by saying, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
A group of U2 fans near the front rows brought a sign that read, "Kanye West doesn't care about white people. Go Bush."
West replied with a smile and prolonged dance segment in front of the sign holders.

Review posted at URL: http://deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,635169796,00.html

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