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"It's for all the world like a piece of some fairground from outer space that's landed on planet Earth." — Edge, on PopMart

by Steve Raines

As one who has seen U2 a half dozen times since the joshua tree tour, let me just say that the show on wed night was not their best. It must be said that U2 on an off night blows most other bands away at their best. But I think U2 holds themeselves, like I do, to a higher standard.

- The sound was a bit muddy and I found that some of the songs got lost in the mix. The Edge's guitar sounded crisp but the rhythem section kind of droned along. Bono's vocals had some good moments like during Gloria but at times his voice sounded a bit forced and harsh.

The San Diego Sports Arena, like most arenas isn't the best acoustic venue for loud music. However I have seen hundereds of bands there since my first concert when I was in 7th grade (Eagles - Hotel California Tour) and the way the concert is mixed has as much to do with the sound quality as anything. I have seen the same band at that venue with wildly diffent levels of sound quality.
Pearl Jam is a good example. The elevation show sounded WAY better and much more vibrant.

- Speaking of the Elevation Tour, not only was the sound much better but so were the dymanics between the band and the audience. They made much more use of the elipse last tour when Edge and Bono would come out together to the catwalk and play off each other and the crowd. The Edge only came down stage a couple of times during the show and then only half way down. I know they are still getting their sea legs again and I suspect they will loosen up as the tour progresses.

-As observed by another post, I too agree that the band lost the audience a couple of times during the set. The middle encore being one of them. During the last tour, the electricity in the areana was palatable and sustained throughout. It had a charged and epic feel to it as though you were witnessing one of the world best bands playing historic songs as though they had a life of their own. This show was simply flat by comparison.

All in all a solid, not classic performance. I hope and expect the show to evolve into something much more dynamic as it goes along.

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