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"One of the central ideas of Zooropa is that it is of the moment, it's catching the stuff that's in the ether at that time." — Edge




U2 has a little something for everyone

- April 16, 2005

by Sarah Mauet

GLENDALE - There's no doubt that Arizona concertgoers expected great things from U2 - they scooped up every ticket for the back–to-back shows in less than 50 minutes.
 
U2 did not disappoint Thursday night at the first of two concerts at Glendale Arena.
 
The night was geared to both longtime fans and new recruits, with most songs coming off 2004's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" and 1980's "Boy." Singer Bono wore his expected wraparound sunglasses and slipped into nostalgic jackets and hats during the show, while guitarist The Edge donned his customary black skullcap.
 
The mixed crowd included many who were not yet born when the Irish quartet released its debut album 25 years ago, as well as others who may have grown up with Bono, The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr.
 
The show started with the newest songs - "Love and Peace Or Else" and "Vertigo" - followed by "Elevation" off 2000's "All That You Can't Leave Behind" before the band plunged deeper into its past - "An Cat Dubh," "The Electric Co." and "Into the Heart," off "Boy." U2 performed older songs with as much enthusiasm as the band had for the newer ones.
 
The live performance was about the music, not the spectacle. The only effects were a screen that projected close-up band images and film clips and the giant curtains made of light bulbs that flashed colorful designs, as well as acted as huge video screens. Confetti showered the crowd during "City of Blinding Lights" from the newest album.
 
The Grammy-winning "Beautiful Day," off "All That You Can't Leave Behind," transitioned into a snippet of Paul McCartney's "Blackbird." "Miracle Drug" and "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own," off the 2004 album, followed Bono sharing his experience of meeting the pope two years ago.
 
U2 may be known as much for its rock 'n' roll as for its dedication to social causes, and the band's social commentary often dovetailed songs' messages. The band followed Bono's pitch for the band's One campaign, which aims to fight poverty and AIDS, with "One," from 1991's "Achtung Baby."
 
Off 1987's "The Joshua Tree," the band played "Bullet the Blue Sky," which morphed into "When Johnny Comes Marching Home." Bono dedicated "Running to Stand Still" to the men and women of the U.S. military while the articles of the Declaration of Human Rights scrolled across the screen. The flags of foreign nations appeared on the light curtains during "Pride (In the Name Of Love)," off 1984's "The Unforgettable Fire."
 
The Edge smoothly covered both keyboard and guitar without missing a beat on "New Year's Day" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday," both off 1983's "War."
 
Bono accepted a cowboy hat from an audience member and wore it during "Where the Streets Have No Name," off "Joshua Tree."
 
The extended encore stretched the band's set to more than two hours and included "The Fly" and "Mysterious Ways," from "Achtung Baby," and "All Because of You" and an acoustic version of "Yahweh," off the newest album.
 
The band played "40," off "War," for the final song and had the crowd singing along as the members left the stage one-by-one. The last thread of music in the packed arena was the dedicated audience singing, "How long to sing this song? How long . . . how long . . . how long . . ."

© Daily Star, 2005.

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