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"One of the most valuable things about [Bono's] lyrics is that you can adapt them to any particular situation." — Larry

by Chris Bautista

WOW!! It started back in February when I was concerned about getting tickets for my fav band of all time. As it turned, between my brother and I, we wound up with 32 tickets all over GIANTS Stadium for the first show. We asked all our siblings, significant others and a few friends and before we knew it, we actually had more than 40 people who were going to head down for the show together for POPMART 97! We met at my parents house which is about a 1/2 hour drive from the Meadowlands and ate burgers and played wiffle ball while listening to U2 classics old and new!

When the day started, my brother Matt and I were both sitting in the upper deck which was fine by us, but his buddy from work who knew what kind of a fan he was traded his two seats with us. Next thing we know it's 9pm and we're sitting six rows back from the stage, directly to the right of the B-Stage! I actually had the chills and spent the first few minutes in awe at the prospects of what we were about to experience. We were actually able to look around throughout the stadium full of 70 to 80 thousand people and find all of the friends and relatives that we had gotten tickets for. They were waving like lunatics for us to see them and my wife looked like she was going to fall out of section 315. They were all a blur, but we knew it was them and that they happy for us, but also a bit jealous!

The show! As an honest critic, there seemed to be a few problems with the sound during the first half of the show and Bono kept waving his hand down for the sound crew to lower the bass and rhythm sections. His voice was often drowned out by the other instruments. Once they got rolling, they really tore the place up and it ranks up there with some of the greatest experiences in my lifetime. As I've read from other posts, sitting up close does not offer a great view of the video wall, but then again I didn't spend much time looking at it. My friends also added that the arch blocked their view of the wall and that it really wasn't that great. All in all the number one thing was the music and they didn't disappoint.

1- The Lemon! Transforms any stadium into a disco hall and everyone in the crowd was staring in disbelief as the band descended onto B-Stage!
2- The Sing Alongs! ISHFWILF/Stand By Me, Pride, Daydream Beliver, etc.. Bono really gets the crowd going when they sing along and its sounds awesome!
3- The Music! When it comes down to it, that's what it's all about and U2 is still the best. POP is incredible(Buy it and Love it!) They rock and don't need any lights or effects to put on a great show, just their talent and emotion.

Personal Highlights:
1- The Entry! Approaching the stage through the crowd like boxers do is brilliant and they do it with great style. I could practically touch them as they walked the B-Stage towards the main for MOFO!
2- Still Haven't Found! Bono sang it right in front of us and we could see every emotion in his face.
3- Until the End of The World! The Edge is outstanding and he seemed like he'd never stop playing at the end and Bono was loving it. This was also performed directly in front of us and everyone that we knew could see us between them as they rocked!
4- The Crowd! Yeah they were a little quieter during the new stuff, but very well behaved and the tailgating before was a great experience. Every car had a different song playing and it was like U2 heaven! I walked around on my own for a while just soaking it all in!
5- The Edge! The best of all time. Once when he passed us he was looking straight ahead and my brother and I screamed, "Edge, you rule!" He turned immediately, smiled and nodded his head in agreement. The crowd around us flipped out. High fives all around!

Well in four hours I'll be heading back for the second night and on Tuesday for the third. I'm looking forward to the different perspective. I'm in the lower tier this time. One note- there was definitely no Sunday, Bloody Sunday at the end of Please and they didn't end the concert with Unchained Melody or Falling in Love after One. My next reviews won't be as long so check back. Enjoy POPMART 97! It's a blast.

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