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"If you can break out of Dublin, you can break out of anywhere." — Bono

by Mary Scallon

First off, I only scored great seats for the second show and was planning on going with some fans I met five years ago but I couldn't resist the urge to see the opening date in Boston, U2 city! So I searched high and low for scalpers (I know, I know) but even they had only 2nd tier available, which is fine by me. I just wanted to be there! The people I plan to go with for tomorrow are one of the new longtime fans who are now very reluctant to go because of their immense dislike of POP. But besides the point that I love that album, I think longtime fans should support U2 anyway because they have given us the best music and concerts of our lives. And we owe them to be there! So enough with the criticism, we should be thankful that they still care enough to tour and bring us a spectacle and music that continues to challenge or senses. Okay, I'm getting off the soapbox now and on to the review.

Okay, I caught the show in Arizona and Dallas and when Popmart arrived to Boston it was a totally different show! Let me just say that the best crowd in the world is here. I mean Bono could have done two hours of lip farts and everyone would be lipfarting with him! The crowd was so inspiring that I forgot all the negative comments I've been hearing from fans lately about the new album. Mofo and Gone, easily the best songs on the album were jaw dropping. The first highlight was during Pride. At the end of the song when Bono leads the crowd through the "uh oh oh oh uh oh oh", it was like we were all in church or something. A very loud church in perfect unison. Bono and co. was really taken aback that they stopped their playing. The whole staidum kept singing "uh oh oh oh uh oh oh" as the band stayed quiet. It went on for what seemed like years. We would not stop! It was so much fun. We refused to shut up and the band just bowed in defeat and stood in awe.

As the concert went on, the screen started to misbehave and actually went blank for four or five songs, emerging with visuals now and then. But nobody cared, they were even more enthusiastic.

I swear Popmart Boston was like being at the biggest rave. Everybody singing and dancing their heart out. But then I just read that U2 decided to trim down their visuals and scale back more. So maybe there weren't technical difficulties. Whatever the case, U2 kept it coming, full force. New Year's Day found me nearly toppling over due to the energy of everyone. I could "feel the ground give way". The next highlight was All I want is You. Again, it was a big sing along with Bono and Edge on the ministage. I couldn't believe they were playing this and apparently neither did anyone else because it took everyone a few seconds to recognize what was happening before all hell broke loose. I heard earlier reports that fans felt that Bono didn't seem as "wearing his heart on his sleeve" like he used to be. I don't understand that at all. How could you not be moved by his rendition of Please, which were astounding in Arizona, Dallas, and the Tibetan Freedom Concert. At this point in the show, it's like the eighties again. The song obviously means alot to him and I suspect when they come back it will surely get the support of the crowd it so deserves like the likes of Sunday Bloody Sunday. I was singing, trying to get my section into it, nonetheless.

However, Miami gets my vote for the best new song of the evening. People who hate that song found themselves smiling to that one! The encore with the lemon entrance was as usual hilarious and Discotheque was even better than the album version. I was probably the only one in the stadium who was mesmerized and singing along to If you Wear that Velvet Dress. But that's okay, at least they made one fan deliriously happy. With or Without you got the fans in an uproar again. Mysterious Ways had all of us shaking our booties as we got another chance to decipher if the belly dancer on the screen was a man or woman. U2 then said goodbye with One. And I don't need to tell you for the upteenth time how the crowd received U2. But then the biggest surprise of the evening came at its closing minutes. We were all thrown for a loop when Bono started serenading us with MLK. It was simply beautiful. I was shellshocked. This is one great band.

As we filed out in our cars, all the radio stations (4) who gave us non stop U2 songs and reports coming there did the same as we were leaving. No other band could raise such a fervor and unite radio stations that compete w/ different kinds of music on a daily basis together like that. No band. WBCN rebroadcasted the Dublin concert from '93 promptly after the concert was over. And the same emotions I felt back then were still in me today. I can't wait until tommorow to make the feeling linger some more. Go see them when they return! If you give them the chance, they always make it worth you while.

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