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"There's a lot going on, but it's not really on the surface. So in this instance, I think this song was sort of tailor-made for me, in that it's a noncommunication." — Edge, on "Numb,"

by milesian

After not having seen a U2 concert since Syracuse in 1987, and having missed all their subsequent tours while living abroad where they've never come around (and never will) I count myself truly blessed to have had the chance to see them three times in one week in early December (Boston on Sunday and Monday, and Hartford on Wednesday) during a visit to the US. Each experience was fantastic and would have been satisfying on its own, but this band has a way of lifting me up and making me constantly greedy for more, which made the experience of three shows in two different cities, viewed from three very different perspectives, especially worthwhile.

After seeing the Boston shows from the first row behind the stage and the club section parallel to the tip of the ellipse, I had GA tickets for the final show in my little run and was pleased that we didn't have to wait too long in the GA line before they got it going. Hartford was downright freezing on December 7, and we were allowed to line up inside. With my sister's u2.com membership card we moved way up in the express lane and, although we couldn't get in the bomb shelter, managed to stake positions only one or two people deep from the tip of the ellipse.

The crowd was really into it but not going silly with sing-alongs, which I appreciated as I am all for people having a good time as long as it's not right in my ear or in my space.

And while it seemed like the band was coming off the high of Boston, Bono still nailed all his vocals and there were plenty of special moments, like the Norwegian Wood following Original and Jacob, the son of Abraham, going from being petrified to yelling "No More" with gusto in a hurry. For me, standing right below the ellipse, the magic struck me most directly as Edge sang his "and if the night runs over, and if the day won't last" part on "Stuck in a Moment," just 10 feet away from me. That and countless other moments made up for being short in GA and having to watch the screens most of the time. And seeing my sister, Zoomama, having such a blast at her first show in GA after six on this tour, was a huge bonus.

Security was slow to react to deal with the male/female couple that from even before Institute's set were clearly hell-bent on causing trouble. But they eventually got booted (and there was much rejoicing!) and there was never a question they could spoil a wonderful night.

After the show I realized I'd come full circle in a sense, having seen one of my all-time favorite shows in Hartford in April 1985, when I was a senior in high school and road tripped with a classmate after school with no tickets in hand. We're all older now, but the magic is still strong for me.

Come to Taiwan, boys. I'll treat you right!

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