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[T]here are so few artists owning up to what it's like to have both fears and faith. -- Bono




by Tom

What a treat to see the first Canadian stop of the Vertigo tour! I flew in from out of town so I missed the video shoot the day before - but the Killers concert I saw instead made up for that. ;) This would be my 9th or 10th U2 show I think and certainly a good one. We were on the floor to the left of center - Edge's side.

Tonight we started off with "City of Blinding Lights" as they are still filming the video so here's hoping we make it onscreen! There was a bit of delay to start the show because one of the projectors wasn't working. (They had to delay because that was the one featuring Bono all night.) So when we did start the crowd was READY! The lights went up brightly and down came the confetti to light up the whole room - nice effect. We were bouncing up & down to "Oh - you - look - so - beautiful - tonight!".

This show was essentially the Second-night set, so we were treated to a great sampling of classics. After COBL, Beautiful Day & Vertigo went over really well. Unlike reports of the video shoot on the 27th, everyone around us knew the new songs pretty well. Next, Elevation saw the crowd singing a very extended "wooo ooo" opening.

For me though (being an old skool fan) it was the classics that I came to hear. Gloria rocked !! What a treat to hear Edge on slide guitar and the crowd sang the chorus really loud! I mean if you weren't rocking to Vertigo earlier this one woke you up! Bono introduced Adam & Edge, just like on the old Red Rocks version.

Right after came the other song I really wanted to hear "The Ocean". The crowd got quiet, and the video screens went off as the Edge's guitar chimed across the big room. Bono ad libbed some words at the end and then spoke: "This is a song we played, when we first came here. The building is knocked down now. We've watched this city grow & grow. I always liked walking the streets of Vancouver ... taking a dip in the bay ... freezing cold." The crowd cheered at the mention of Vancouver and laughed at his quip. The weird thing is, U2 first played here in '81 at the Commodore and it's still there so I guess his recall isn't perfect. :P

A few comments about the band moving around the stage tonight. Adam clayton shocked us by doing a complete trip around the elipse at least twice tonight! What a pleasure to see him up close, he never does this! Bono was the most active of course, but I felt they didn't spend anywhere near as much time on the ramp as they did during the Elevation tours. The Edge didn't venture out to us until the Achtung trilogy at the encore. :( Much too late into the evening I thought, but it was nice to finally see him (see the pics!) I didn't really get to see Larry except on the video screen but his drumming is SO impressive. He is like a rock, keeping a solid beat going all night long - impressive to say the least.

Some more highlights from tonight including Miracle Drug where Bono commented that he believes God can inspire scientists to do great things and he gave a very nice compliment to nurses & doctors who save lives. This song & Sometimes (from my Dad "Bob") right after it sounded sooo good live. It kills me that people don't think these new songs are as good as the classics - sorry, I disagree!

Bono and Larry came out to play the drum for Love & Peace or Else at the tip of the stage. It was pretty hard to take pictures tonight because you get swamped everytime they come near... oh well! SBS was good and then Bullet ripped the sky open with blazing guitar. I LOVE it when the Edge plays his interludes leading into The Hands That Built America, sounds so sweet. Running To Stand Still had the crowd mesmerized and singing along. Nice to see Bono on harmonica for this one.

The next highlight of the night was Bad!! I think I enjoyed it even more than The Ocean. Found myself screaming the words and Bono put as much energy into "I'm wide awake!" as I've ever seen him do. He may be more protective of his voice than before but he still puts a lot of passion into his performance. I really noticed that when he sang One.

As you heard from media reports, Bono gave the Prime Minister some grief during the show (well deserved I might add). In the end he said he believes Paul Martin is a good man - meh. It was a good chance to plug the end to poverty program though.

After the encore, we got the Achtung Trilogy which was exciting. Bono & Edge played right in front of us for Zoo Station and it felt just like old times. That along with the Fly & Mysterious Ways were another great time of the night. Bono pulled two girls up on stage during MW, one had been holding a sign that says "I ditched my wheelchair please dance with me". Bono took it and said "It pays to advertise" before pulling her up onstage (gently) to dance with him. "Leave us alone, we're just young and in love" he said as they slow danced together and Edge's Rickenbacker screamed through the solo they use to wrap up the song. It went on much longer because he picked another girl out of the crowd and they danced on the ramp before walking to the front of the stage and then all the way around the tip again. If you're out there, I got a nice picture of that! :)

All Because Of You went over grrrrreat and then the band stopped to talk amongst themselves. You could tell they were going to switch things up a bit because Bono was talking to Larry and then Edge about something. Finally he spoke up and said they were going to play a song they'd only played a few times now and they played Original Of The Species. Bono dedicated it to a lady who started Greenpeace (Judy?) and said she was here tonight. I liked it live, thought it was decent.

Finally the end came, Edge & Adam switched guitars and the band launched into 40. I knew it was the last song but it was a gentle goodbye, with Larry keeping the beat and Adam letting the guitar ring. Edge crunched out solid bass and Bono disappeared with a "God Bless". Of course we carried the "How long to sing this song" for sometime after.

Can't wait for show #2 from the floor tonight, I hope I get into the elipse this time.

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