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"It's the most un-rock 'n' roll thing you could do, so I never ever talked about it, but that was actually my obsession before rock-and-roll." — Bono, on playing chess



by jboy

To me, it was quite a turnaround. Initially it seemed even more rote and programmed than Tuesday, with Bono plowing through a fairly static setlist, reciting his standard speeches, and generally going through the motions without real energy. Elevation, Running, and Streets were standard highlights; however, the surprise Gloria really kicked it up a notch, and the night took off from there.

Then came the first encore: The Fly (killer), Until the End of the World (1st time this tour, I think), With or Without You (unbelievably good, one of the only instances this tour), Out of Control (1st time this tour, totally impromtu - Edge missing the cue and scrambling to jump in). Second encore - ABOY, Original of the Species (rare and good - although I wish Edge would've brought out the ringing guitar for it), and the total highlight of the night, a fantastic Bad that left everyone breathless. For a true fan, the night was saved, and some of the incandescence of the Elevation tour was recaptured.

It's cliche but true to say that a mediocre U2 concert is still better than 90% of any other shows you'll see, and that was the case tonight until the encores. Then it became a real U2 show.

I have to say the sound is still problematic -- the speakers above seem smaller and sound muddier than other tours. Yet it is still too loud, and for the first time I wished I had earplugs at times. Joe O' - what's going on - bring back the Elevation sound system!

Stood not far from the Aerosmith guys - but they split before the encores. Dream On, indeed!

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