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"It would be wrong for me to say, yes, we can change the world with a song. But every time I try writing that's where I'm at. I'm aware of the futility of rock 'n' roll music, but I'm also aware of its power." — Bono



by David Rhee

Okay, okay! So Bono didn't hit the notes he usually hits. So he didn't sing the 'yeah, ho ho' intro to 'New Years Day.' So there wasn't as much "movement" from the boys that fans are used too. So transitions from one song to the next seemed awkward at times.
That being said, let me just say U2 have renewed my faith in keeping music real as opposed to the pop music out today (maybe just a generation gap). I've been a fan of U2 since 'The Unforgettable Fire' cd, and have seen them in concert six times. I flew out from New York to San Diego just to see their opening show. I must admit that after the POP cd I was dissapointed by 'All That..." and their new cd 'How to Dismantle...' (I know I know, send all complaints and disagreements to rheedavid@hotmail.com). That being said I chose to forgo seeing U2 during their last tour, but was coaxed into coming to see the VERTIGO tour by a friend of mine in L.A. So I flew in for the night. And what an unexpected surprise.
I had on a full coat of cynicism before the show started, but by the end I was re-converted into a U2 fan. Their opening night was more of a spiritual experience than a song and dance show (aka Madonna which I admit I payed $400 to see, and completely not worth it. So U2's prices are very low if we're talking about seeing something iconic). To see Bono, who couldn've been easily jaded by being a 'star' by now, wiping away tears during 'Sometimes You can't make it on your own,' or the choir like-ending from '40' where the majority of the stadium stayed to sing the chorus of "How long to sing this song" even after the band had left the stage, or the time when Bono seemed too choked up to sing the lyrics to 'One', and the stadium chimed in to fill in the gap. This wasn't just a concert, but a night where it was about something bigger than 'high notes,' 'ticket prices,' or counting the amount of 'movements' from the band members. That night thousands of people became one congregation supporting a band that has been able to 'keep it real' when they have no reason except their own convictions about their music and their fans.
Also, at first it seemed the transitions from one song to the next seemed awkward at times. 'Pride' for their first encore number seemed strange. But after getting used to having them play the song at the end of a set, I realized that I had gotten used to U2 playing certain songs at certain times in their set list. Leave it to U2 to keep their fans off kilter and as the old adage goes expect the unexpected.
Yes, Bono is now 44 - almost 20 years older than when I first saw U2. Yes there's not as much 'movement' on the stage - but hey, less is more. And it was so much more because the music spoke for itself. I was in tears during 'Sometimes you can't...' 'Into the Heart,' 'Yaweh,' and '40' (Again comments can be sent to the above e-mail address). But that's never happened before. Yes, I was in tears at the Madonna concert but so would you if you had spent $400 for a ticket.
Thanks U2 for keeping music real over the years! What a night. What a show (Meph.)

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