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"I hang out with every set. ... From the penthouse to the pavement but under the pavement." — Bono



by John Price

I remember this show like it was yesterday, even though it has been more than 15 years since that night!

I was only seventeen at the time, but had been an avid U2 fan for close to four years already. I had been to other rock concerts,but this was my first time seeing U2, and this show revealed to me how powerful and spellbinding a concert could be. They did a great version of Bullet The Blue Sky that was quite different from the album version but just as powerful and compelling. New Year's Day on the other hand could have come right off of Under A Blood Red Sky, it was nearly identical.

I sat in the nosebleed seats that show, so my memories of it are much more acoustic than visual. But I distinctly remember Bono spraying some type of flammable liquid, probably lighter fluid, onto a guitar during a solo by the Edge and setting it afire. I also remember Bono staying gracious, and not throwing a temper tantrum in a situation I would have, when one of the roadies kept having problems keeping the mic lines untangled and out of Bono's way as he prowled the stage.

But my strongest recollection from that night by far is the closing song, 40, which before that night I had failed to appreciate. I know that it is a U2 cliche' of sorts, having read this in various places over the years, but it was incredible the way Bono brought the audience into this song, how many of them knew it, and the overall effect. Even after having seen the 9/11 victims names scrolled during "One" on the Elevation tour,(and in the same venue) this performance remains sketched upon my mind.

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