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"I distrust anything that's obvious, like someone saying, 'Let's be original.'" — Bono

by Richie

I am not a religious man. Nor are my two friends who attended this show with me.

But then U2 have a unique way of making even the most jaded of us BELIEVE for more than two hours whenever they take the stage. No, cancel that...whenever they first announce a tour.

The journey starts with getting tickets nearly six months in advance. From then until the show is anticipation like no other and the boys did not disappoint. From the massive tailgate parties to our orderly entrance into Giants Stadium, U2 fans always show why they are some of the greatest people. Always on the journey together. Always a pilgrimage. Common purpose realized. If only the world were designed to work that way!

The power of the music of U2 and the shared experience cannot be overestimated. The Claw has to be the most amazing piece of engineering brought to bear on the concert-going public. As this was my fourth U2 tour at Giants Stadium (14th with them overall)I have seen them evolve sound-wise into the best sounding experience I will probably ever experience.

The setlist was amazing. Admittedly, they could play ukelele ditties for two hours and I'd be enraptured, but hearing "Unforgettable Fire" again after 20 years absent from the setlist was pure joy, as was "Ultraviolet" which they nailed! "Crazy Tonight" I was expecting to loathe but they used the remixed version to connect in a big way with everyone and it became a standout. Bono sounded amazing all night as did Edge, Adam and Larry.

Bono's flub during "Stay" was another pure Bono moment, revealing U2's most enduring characteristic...they are HUMAN. This is why we refer to them as "The Boys" whenever we discuss U2 amongst ourselves and what makes seeing them, now my 14th experience since 1985, a pilgrimage of love. And that is exactly what Giants Stadium was this night.

The claw shone lights directly up into the night sky and reminded me of the lights that beam into the sky commemorating the World trade Center, the outline of which I used to see whenever seeing U2 in NJ. A powerful reminder of the passage of time and the time spent growing up with this band.

Multiple generations of fans congregated to see "The Boys." We saw children dancing and singing their hearts out alongside grandparents rocking out and teenagers NOT embarrassed to be rocking out alongside their parents! I met people from Russia, South America, and Asia on line for T-shirts who were ecstatic to be there sharing in the experience and local fans greeting them with open arms, sharing stories of THEIR journey to this night. Nowhere else is this feeling of the human community more on display than at a U2 concert.

Point in case for me: In the buildup to the show my best buddy of 20 years and I had been planning to make the day special by arranging our "elaborate" coolers and foodstuffs and everything we'd need to tailgate. Oddly enough we ended up in a heated argument on the drive in to the show from Long island to NJ, bitter and nasty on both sides, each wanting to make the day special but not agreeing. It wasn't pretty at all. Stupid as are most arguments between friends.

Then the lights went down and David Bowie's "Space Oddity" came on over the amazing sound system to tell everyone in attendance it was SHOWTIME! We saw the pure joy in each other's eyes and the stupidity of the argument was erased once we'd realized where we were and what we were about to experience. Once we realized that we were seeing U2 together we realized that there was no one else we'd rather share this experience with all was erased.

There was no more argument, there was only U2.

"Only love can leave such a mark."

Such is the power of U2.

Absolutely Magnificent.

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