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"I think the supposed power [of celebrity] . . . is really the power of the audience you have, it's not actually your power." — Adam



U2 soars on power of rock

- May 27, 2005

by Christopher Blagg

Being dubbed biggest band in the world may rattle some well-adjusted rock bands. You get a sense that Bono and the lads don't get rattled. Ever. That burdensome title proved hard to refute at a near-exploding FleetCenter last night, as U2 absolutely slayed the adoring masses for the second of three sold-out performances.

U2 may have played a near replica of Tuesday's show, but fans didn't come to be surprised by classic and rare nuggets. They came to be lifted, to be overwhelmed by the power of rock and roll, and that's what U2 does best. A deluge of anthemic rockers began the night, the grand "City of Blinding Lights" folding into the somehow still fresh-sounding smash "Vertigo." A wonderful detour from the setlist than reared its head with the Latin-spouting classic "Gloria," thrilling the crazed, fist-pumping audience.

Among the hysterical masses could be found several celebrities, including Tom Brady and a casually attired Al Gore. In one of the most poignant parts of the night, Tedy Bruschi brought the house down, the recovering stroke victim walking unassisted to his seat seconds before the band came on, giving the entire FleetCenter several pumps of his meaty fists.

Even the star power filling the seats couldn't distract from the imperial presence and playing of the veteran Irish rockers. Bono stalked the stage throughout the set, his deliberate, feline lope making laps around the oval stage as his husky tenor showed remarkable power on the emotive tear-jerking ode to his father, "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own," and the epic martial assault of "Sunday Bloody Sunday."

Of course, Bono didn't shy from his pontificating ways, but he preached with such passion and with such delivery that even red state leaning fans must have whooped along in assent. The double inspirational assault of "Pride (In the Name of Love)" and "Where the Streets Have No Name" were prefaced with an impassioned plea for world leaders to end poverty and hunger. Amnesty International will most likely see a spike in donations throughout the Boston area this week. When the biggest band in the world asks you to do something, what choice do you have?

© Boston Herald, 2005.

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