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"I'm not built for the schmooze. I'm not good at small talk. I'm cautious by nature." — Larry

by pao6cs

Last nights Vertigo Show reminds me of a story.

One of the great composers (Beethoven, Mozart, whoever) was trying to sleep while one of their house guests was practicing a piece on the piano. The house guest decided they were finished, but ended playing on the dissonant chord before the final concluding chord of the piece. The great composer heard this, and the ending of sound bothered him so much that he could not sleep. Finally, the great composer got out of bed, walked to the piano, played the final ending chord and, satisfied with the completion, went back to bed to sleep soundly.

Thats how I feel about last nights show. U2 did not play 40. Dont let the other reviews or reports of the set list fool you. A two line snippet of How Long? / To Sing This Song does not constitute playing the song. Theres no rolling base line. Theres no dramatic pause between I will sing / Sing a new song and How Long?. In effect, theres no song and no conclusion to the show.

To be fair, this could have been one for the ages. The show started out Blinding and gave us a dizzying performance of Vertigo. Then U2 Elevated the crowd, which is where we stayed the remainder of the main set. The main set had no surprises. U2 has either been playing Gloria or Electric Co. in the 3rd, 4th or 5th slot. Theyve also been playing either An Cat Dubh or The Ocean immediately following. So upon hearing Gloria (which was fantastic), even odds could have been placed that The Ocean was following. A funny moment for me in the show was when the Human Rights video came on and my neighbor (great guy I met last night) exclaims What the F--- is this sh--? I just cracked up.

Now we get to the encores. This is when the concert began to Fly and the crowd went into orbit. Think of this. The first encore was The Fly, Until the End of the World (rarely played this tour), Out of Control (an audible from Bono) and WOWY (rarely played this tour). WOW! All of the performances were awesome. After UTEOTW, when Bono said, Adam, Out of Control. Adam, Adam, Adam, Adam, obviously stopping him from beginning the base line to WOWY, I looked to the other side of the stage and saw Dallas and The Edge having a Keystone Cops moment trying to figure out what to do, which guitar to use, and what kind of torture they were going to subject Bono to at the end of the show. Checking out the monitors toward the end of Out of Control, you could see Larry laughing hysterically at the whole thing, obviously having as much fun as the crowd.

Now the second encore of All Because of You, Original of the Species, and Bad (no 40). Original was another audible from Bono, and The Edge completely unprepared, plays his part on the piano. He struggles through the whole song, and the song is horrible, just horrendous. Bono even apologized to Edge in the lyrics during the song. But knowing that the band hadnt planned this venture makes the whole thing great. As horrible as the performance was, the vibe was there and so the crowd was appreciative. Then comes the opening segment of Bad and my reaction is Oh, my F------ word! Weve just left the solar system. The performance is awesome! The best theyve given at any of the shows Ive been to. Toward the end, Bono quiets the band and sings the two line snippet from 40. The crowd sings the words three or four times. The band fires back into Bad.

Then the concert is over. The band leaves the stage, but not to the roar they should have had because the audience is confused. They want 40. As the band leaves the stage (pretty quickly I might add), they look a little confused themselves. Bono and The Edge look back toward the crowd with questioning faces before leaving the stage. It looks like they know theyve done something wrong and are trying to get away without anyone knowing. The crowd, wanting the band back to play 40 starts singing How Long?/To Sing This Song over and over and over. The lights stay off, so there is hope. Soon, there is no conversation in the hall, only the crowd singing and hoping. Hope is dashed as the lights go on. It seems they were off only to give the band time to get to their limos and leave the building to get to their jet and fly to wherever theyre staying.

Being my only show of the tour, Im VERY DISAPPOINTED. Hearing they were ending the show with 40 was something I was looking forward to, and now Im stuck with choosing one of the few shows they dont play it. Thanks guys! You ended the show on a dissonant note. The concert wasnt concluded. I cant get the ending out of my head. Unfortunately, I cant even go to the piano to play the final chord and complete the show. Im left with an impression that the show, tour, and band didnt deliver the goods.

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