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"I'm sure the work that I do ... is some kind of Catholic guilt, but it's working, so we'll continue with it." — Bono



by mick

So it's the next day and I've had time to let the U2 show last night in Cleveland finally sink in. Bottom line: Excellent performance. The band gave all, with Bono often making laps around the heart. He seemed to spend a lot of time at the "bottom point" of the heart, and when the Edge followed him out, the interplay between the two was incredible. Honestly -- I got tired standing on the floor of the arena after two hours, I can't even imagine how Bono must have felt running around the stage constantly. The sweat that covered him, though, gave a good indication of how he felt.

The band sounded great -- incredibly tight and totally "on." I must say, however, I was/am a bit disappointed in the occasional use of backing tape ("Beautiful Day," "Stuck In A Moment," "One"). I say either hire a "multi-instrumentalist" or ditch the keyboard effect or horns for the live version.

And one other complaint. As a serious fan, I would have liked a little more album tracks (and maybe even b-sides) and a little less hits. I wish U2 would get to the point that David Bowie is at now -- throwing in a few hits but completely free to do whichever songs from his vast catalog he chooses. Indeed, it was quite a treat to hear "Stay," "Until The End Of The World" and "Kite" -- and all sounded fantastic (esp. "Stay"). I would've liked a little more, however. Thought the "hits" tour was all that irony that was Popmart. Still, there were many highlights -- esp. "Bad/Ruby Tuesday/"40"," "Where The Streets Have No Name" and "In A Little While." The Ramones cover ("I Remember You") should also be mentioned as a highlight. No songs from "Pop" though?

But all in all, really a fantastic show. Floor seats worked out splendidly -- even getting there 35 minutes prior to showtime (and seeing a brilliant P.J. Harvey, by the way), I had an excellent spot on the floor. My advice if you're headed to other shows -- aim to stand near the heart's point. You won't be sorry. I rate the show as up there with "Joshua Tree" tour (saw them in 1987 in Cleveland), though not quite as awesome as the "Zoo TV" tour, when I saw them in Pittsburgh (can anything beat that spectacle, though?) Just being able to be that close to the band undoubtedly added to the enjoyment, I must say.

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