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"The [music] industry is in a slump because it's boring and people aren't taking risks." — Bono

by Darren

Just got back into Phoenix after seeing the show last night. We had GA tickets and got in line at about 7:40pm the night before the show. I was number 53. As was rumored on atu2.com, U2's staff decided to do a lottery to get into the ellipse. A major, major disappointment for those of us that waited. What's most disappointing is that the GA situation could have easily been communicated beforehand, but wasn't. Anyway....that's a different topic.....on to the show. After not getting into the ellipse, we stood on the rail of the ellipse, a bit towards Adam's side. Kings of Leon sounded OK...not my style of music and strange vocals. Bring on U2!

U2 arrived onstage at about 9:00pm and opened with City of Blinding Lights. I quickly noticed Bono's voice was strained. He definitely wasn't in top form, both vocally and interactively. The band seemed underrehearsed and disjointed. Another huge disappointment was the deja vu feeling. It really did feel like Elevation II. There were no real exciting surprises. I'm confident this will change. I've seen over 20 shows and I'm well aware that they don't always start strong. The setlist needs revamping, Bono's voice needs healing, the band needs to interact more and solidify their playing.

Normally "Streets" is a climax of a U2 show; the red lights in the background, the houselights cranked up and Edge going crazy on guitar. Even this classic was clunky. No red lights....instead it was talk of Africa that just didn't flow well into "Streets". The magic was not there.

Overall, it was a great concert, just not a great U2 concert. By the time they make it back east, I'm sure they will be back on top of their game. Hopefully by that time they will have also decided against the idea of doing a lottery for access into the ellipse.

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