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"Flood is a fan of my guitar playing; he thinks I'm the only punk in the band, because I don't want to know everything about the instrument that I'm playing." — Bono



by scrittoresabino

I went to Saturday's rehearsals! I was sooooooo happy. I got a call out of nowhere... A friend of a friend, of a friend, who knew somebody... what luck! Highlights: “Love and Peace” - Now I am somewhat biased because I knew from the moment I heard this song that it would be phenomenal live... but it may have been THE performance of the night. It blows “Bullet the Blue Sky” away completely! And like “Bullet”, the live version ALREADY far exceeds the album version, but unlike “Bullet”, I feel the album version is actually very good (“Bullet” on JT is slow, clumsy and cumbersome IMHO) With “Bullet”, Edge was obviously the star of the show. On “Love and Peace”, EVERY member shines like they never have before - Larry's drumming takes more of a prominence than even War era “Sunday Bloody Sunday” performances. Adam's bass has an extended intro and is really rockin and felt and heard very well within the mix. And the Edge is already making this song come alive. Bono really preens and becomes playful during this song. The lighting is also already very well done here, although I am sure they may add or change some things about it. It was a true highlight, and as expected they really extended the song longer, and into much more! “Stuck” & “Yahweh”: You will be surprised. These 2 songs weren’t quite nailed yet, but they are NOT the album version at all. “Zoo Station”, “The Fly”, “Vertigo”: U2 tours sometimes bring about an amazing pairing, combo, segue or whatever of songs. ZooTV saw “UTEOTW” go right into “New Year's Day” as well as “Running To Stand Still” segueing into “Streets”, and “Elevation” gave us “Bad” going into “Streets”. But this combo of “Zoo Station”, “The Fly”, and “Vertigo” really is something to experience. 1st of all they all sound great next to each other just on record. Live this miniset rocks harder than U2 ever has! Plus the transition from “Fly” into “Vertigo” is great, as well as “Vertigo's” extended ending. Plus “Zoo Station” and “Fly” (esp. “Zoo Station”) are played so extremely well in comparison to the past. I am listening to the ZooTV from Dublin right now and the band plays it with sooooo much more fluidity, funk and drive now. These performances were amazing In general the set seems to have at least 3-4 marked areas that take us through peaks and valleys 1st part = The exuberance and freshness of youth from several different perspectives: “City of Blinding Lights” captures the feeling of looking back on those times, “Electric Co”, “An Cat Dubh” take us right to the heart of that mood and feeling also showing its fragility as well as its brashness and exuberance and blind ambition. “Beautiful Day” is the recapturing and rebirth 2nd part = Now we have a valley that is vaguely about conquering struggles in life with “Miracle Drug”, “Sometimes”, and “Love and Peace”. hmmm it appears to be a section about personal survival, death, and survival and death on a wider scale. 3rd part = this is about getting back to basics and essence of life and spirit. Simplicity... it is a stripped down part “Elevation” is a simple song that gets your spirits up, followed by “Stuck” which approaches hardships/struggles in uncomplicated terms, and then “Yahweh” which brings everything back to the spirit, soul and a higher power. 4th part = this seems to be about immersing yourself into the world and discovering what is out there. The temptation, sin, pleasures, and discovery... some things that scare you but some that you find you enjoy. It starts out as an outsider's look of what is wrong with the world (“Bullet” and Running) and then the storyteller starts to experience these things for himself (“Zoo Station”, “Fly” and “Vertigo”) 5th part = After being out in the world and experiencing it for himself there is a re-centering and refocusing of the dreams, goals, and what can be accomplished. The exuberance of youth is there, but the naive-ness is gone. Now is about making real commitments, seeing the troubles and difficulties, but though mature eyes and finding a way to live with them, move on and even fix them. It is really about unity and respect, even though we are all different (“Streets”, “One”) 6th part = again we go back to the spirit, but not just the spirit of a higher power... also the spirit of unity and coming together as a community. All Because of you isn’t just about a lover, and individual or God, its about a community. I think here it is a message to us the fans that U2's lives are all because of us, but also Drop the debt and Africa Aide is all because of people coming together. Unity is a big theme towards the end of the concert There really is a nice narrative flow here... and it will grow as the tour goes on I just drove into Vegas back from LA. It was GREAT seeing the band put the show together - messing up a few times like on "Stuck" and "Pride" and esp. seeing them improvise esp. Bono not knowing quite what to do during the middle section of Bullet. Some songs were AMAZING live, mostly the harder ones: Vertigo, Love and Peace, Zoo Station, The Fly, COBL and ABOY. Vertigo and Love and Peace esp. were nailed. They really worked on these and extended these songs out. For 40 I am pretty sure Edge and Adam traded instruments! Edge took Adam's side on the right, and Adam took the Left. From where I was standing it definitely looked like Edge was playing bass! Bono's voice was GREAT! Even Pride was sung really well. The crowd definitely does help make the show. Many people around us seemed lost during the Boy songs, Zoo Station, and pretty much all the non-singles. The flags during “Streets” was a great gesture but didn’t do much for the song itself. There were a lot of visuals on the hanging lighting curtains that seemed very Popmartish... bright colors and simple cartoonish graphics but they didn’t do much for the songs (IMHO) maybe they are still working on that part. But “Vertigo”, “Love and Peace”, and “COBL” were not only nailed down musically, they were nailed down visually as well. Outside of these songs, the lighting and visuals used were not very good at all. The stage itself lights up nicely and has some cool effects but elsewhere (aside from the aforementioned songs) there was no movement in the lighting and the graphics used were lame. I really hope they do drop Bullet in favor of something else. Certain songs still needed some work but you could see/hear that every new song had enormous potential. “Miracle Drug” was very good, but hasn’t reached greatness just yet. Sometimes was just good… it will improve. Almost every older song was played excellently if not better... esp. “Zoo Station”. It was a little cumbersome before but now it is really tight and has more groove and flow to it. It was a great experience and you can see that this will really turn into an amazing show.

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