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All we can do is simplify, strip away and just make shiny, bright music. -- Bono

by Matt McGee

Los Angeles is a second home for me -- I lived in the area for close to 7 years; and it's my wife's first home -- she grew up there. U2... well, one of the first things out of Bono's mouth tonight was a loud and definitive "Honey, we're home!"

This was by far the best of the three California shows, no Ifs, Ands, or Buts. The Coliseum is enormous, and despite all the reports of slow ticket sales, this place was as close to being packed as anyone should expect. Just like in Philly, I never made it to my seat in section A5. Instead, I veered left into section A4 and worked my way around the B-stage until I found an empty section along the rail with my wife and fellow Wireling Mike Cummins. It was practically a Wire reunion in no time flat -- Sharee was nearby, Otto was nearby, Claire was nearby, and Paul Andersen joined us as soon as the band walked on-stage. What a blast we had!

U2 was crisp, they were clicking from the get-go. The set list, as you know, was largely the same as it's been in recent shows. One thing I haven't mentioned yet is "Gone" -- Edge has been filling the chorus with a "Noooooooo!" in between Bono's chants of "I'm not coming down!" and it just sounds terrific. Great addition to the song.

Two notable treats tonight:

As "Until the End of The World" ended, Edge immediately segued into the opening guitar of "If God Will Send His Angels," just as he's done the whole tour. It was he and Bono alone on the B-stage, about 8 feet in front of me. Bono turned toward Edge, put his hand on Edge's shoulder, and whispered into his ear for about 5 seconds. Just like that, Edge switches from "If God Will Send ..." into the guitar part of "All I Want Is You." Amazing, even better than in Oakland somehow, probably because I saw the spontaneity right in front of me. They did a fuller and longer version of "All I Want Is You" than they did two nights ago in the Bay area ... but it wasn't the full song. How much did they do? Sorry, I was floating away at this point!

After another solid, acoustic version of "Staring At The Sun," Bono took off for backstage and Edge started us into the karaoke version of "Daydream Believer." I saw a guy in blue and white walk inside the rail right in front of me -- he looked familiar, but I didn't pay him much attention. As soon as Edge finished the first chorus, he stops and says "Oh no, I've been caught" or something like that. Up on the B-stage walks Monkee Davy Jones, grinning from ear-to-ear, mic in hand and ready to sing!!!!! Absolutely hysterical -- we were all laughing our asses off as Edge got down on his knees and bowed before Davy Jones in the "I'm not worthy" pose! Davy took us the rest of the way through a looong version of "Daydream Believer," with Edge chiming in for the chorus. This will no doubt be one of the all-time POP Mart tour highlights! Just awesome!

The whole show was terrific ... but with a wink and a nod to Mike, Ken, and Cari, it still doesn't surpass for me what they did in Philly a couple weeks ago. Two things keep LA just one rung below that show: Bono's mic went out for the beginning of "... End of the World." And Bono butchered the lyrics to "One" worse than he did a couple nights ago in Oakland. I don't think this is a case of changing lyrics, I think this is a case of messing them up. Other than these two things ... a PERFECT show.

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