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"I sometimes think I have a kind of Tourette's syndrome, where if you're not supposed to say something, it becomes very attractive to do so." — Bono



by Paul Andersen

As in Las Vegas, the band entered from the rear of the stadium to the sound of "PopMuzik." This appears to the standard M.O. so people with seats in the center aisle, be ready!! They came out at 8:45 PM.

Bono was clearly going to give a serious show. He jabbed the air in his boxing costume and zig-zagged back and forth on the catwalk. "Mofo" kicked in and he laid any concerns about his voice to rest in the first w-3 lines of the song, shifting his tone with ease. For reasons I do not remember, we were chanting "No!" in response to him towards the end of the song.

"I Will Follow" was next, with some new lyrics at the beginning that I could not make out. They are similar to the ones from the rehearsal RA's at Mike Haight's site. Towards the end they shifted to down-tempo as Bono egged the crowd on in repeating "I Will Follow!" Real cool.

Then he kinda slammed Vegas. He said, "Do you like what we've brought from Las Vegas? You're the first real people we've seen this tour!" Then they launched into "EBTTRT," and he hit the full vocal range. Towards the end he did a couple of pushups in a fully sexually suggestive manner. The sound was amazing!

"Do You Feel Loved" followed, and again he exhorted the crowd to chant "Loved" at least five times. Bono had a new ending with him repeating "I wouldn't hurt you..." in falsetto a few times.

"Pride" was kinda humorous because Adam busted a string and had to get a new bass so the first 45 secs or so were with no bass. The audience was really into the "Oh-ohoh"s and this made Bono REAL happy. You could see the "pride" in his face and at the end he simply said, "this is great -- thank you!"

"It's going to be one of those years." -- look for Bono to say this for the first few weeks. The he got personal with the crowd. He repeated, "Thank you, you're great!" and talked about their visit during Joshua Tree. He said, "San Diego wouldn't let us sleep 10 years ago -- Hundreds of people sang to us and us to them. This one is for the people who stuck with us through our mutations..."

Then they kicked into "ISHFWILF," and again, Bono got the crowd to sing along. It was pretty humorous because -- at one point -- the crowd was a little off and he says "in tune please...": CLASSIC! Then he tells the band, "you can end now" after an extended jam.

Then it was time for what I've dubbed the "End of the World" extended jam session:

Following was a cartoon that was at the Vegas show, but this time it had sound. I'm not sure who the artist is, but it started with a 1-2 minute deal with a character going to the corner store. It gets "nasty" -- as Bono would say -- and then the song begins. There appeared to be some sound problems, but the band played with such an intensity that it didn't really matter.

But then it was time for "Gone." I was dissapointed in the Vegas version (cause it's my fave song on POP), but in San Diego it was all I was hoping for. Bono started out, "Turn it up, I'm not coming down!" and the music kicked in -- WOW! They sounded really tight and Bono's voice hit the full range.

"UTEOTW" followed with Bono taking up residence on the B-stage. By the time that the ending jam came, Edge was performing as he walked the catwalk to the B-stage. He was ponding his guitar and the lighting did a lot to compound the pure anarchy of the piece. Bono had some problems with his guitar (namely, it didn't work) so I assume that's why they cut "IGWSHA" short.

Bono sang the stanza "Jesus never let me down..." then he walked back to the main stage. "It's a long way back here," he said as he moved, we're such small fellas..."

Then a little confusion -- "what is it -- what song?" Then "we screwed this one up the other night, so be patient..."

"Staring at the Sun" started and, while it was much improved over Vegas, ti still ain't quite there. At one point, Bono simply said "drums" and looked at Larry. Also, Edge's guitar (the wah-wah sound) was too light to break through the drums and bass. At the end, Bono seemed to be trying to get out of the spotlight pretty fast and nearly waxed it on a cord. Then he was behind one of the sound boards talking to techie. Then he went over to Larry and said something (?)

At this point, Edge says "Let's cut the crap -- let's rock!" and then "We all came to rock tonight" and launched into the karioke version of "Daydream Believer." The crowd sung along.

"Miami" was amazing. Just wait until you hear what they've done to it. It is a rocker, almost completely different from the album version. Bono seems to have created a new cabaret-like character and he was in full bloom last night. It started out with a drum machine (Larry was sitting on the side of drums drinking water) and Bono comes out struting around the stage. He took a flower from the audience and twiddled it as he sung the opening lyrics and tossed it away when the "assault" kicked in (for lack of a better explanation). Bono was all over the catwalk, prancing back and forth, toying with the audience.

As the song winded down, they segued into "Bullet the Blue Sky" very nicely. Bono shouted "jump!" a few times and we did (play on Rage Against the Machine?). This version was very funky -- Adam really did it up. Bono toyed with Adam like he does the Edge. He ended the song with " I want to live in America" very mockingly to the sound of the song.

"Please" is obviously a continuation of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" -- Bono undid his top to reveal a red shirt. It was a good version and a good place for it -- people needed a little down time and contemplation. Cool point: the flags of South Africa, Bosnia, Israel, Great Britain and China flashed on the screen towards the end; all trouble spots in the world where groups are seeking independence. Again, Larry pounded out "SBS."

"WTSHNN" was probably the highlight of the show, IMHO. Bono started out saying, "it really is good to be back!" and then the light came up as the song hit that point. I looked back and it seemed like the entire stadium had their hands in the air clapping. The band played an extremely extended version of the son, almost as if they never wanted it to end!

U2 retreated to occupy the Mirrorball Lemon. They played the video of the hermaprhordit woman again, but his time we didn't get a chance to see "the package" -- a pretty quick change of clothes. The Lemon is quite impressive up close -- it was humorous watching the guy who was "driving" it -- he looked a little concerned. People in the area where I was sitting seemed like they weren't sure WHAT to make of it.

"Discotheque" was much better this time around. Tighter. Not quite there though. At the end, I THINK Bono was singing "Slave to the Rhythm" but I'm not sure. If anyone has any ideas, please share. They were on the B-stage again.

They then played an extended version of "With or Without You" -- it was great. The band clearly seemed to be enjoying themselves. They played the ending part twice; it seemed like Edge just wante dto keep playing it forever.

Then it was back to the main stage for"HMTMKMKM." Bono was acting the full villain/casanova as he made his way back out to the catwalk (AGAIN!). Hi s "bubble suit" -- which is actually black iwht deep blue "bubbles: is way cool.

"Mysterious Ways" followed -- and again, the sound was amazing! The bass was driving hard and Bono was stage left, stage right, everywhere!

They closed again with "One." I'm still not sure this is the best song to close with. After the song ended the lights came up gradually; they played a Pavarotti song; then the video screen flashed and people got all pumped. Then they never came out. People actually started to "boo!!" -- not a good scene. So, hey guys, change the closing song already!

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