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We want to do better; we want to compete on the highest level, and that means competing on radio. -- Larry

by Jon L.

Just got back from MSG: a great show, but an odd ending.

First off, it was a little disappointing that there was so little variation from the night before (Electric Co vs. I Will Follow, really). I wonder why there was less variation in NY than other places -- one theory is that the band wants to give "its best" setlist to NYC because a) it's one of their favorites and b) because so many of their friends/industry people are there. Right now, this setlist is the one they think is best.

Anyway, moving on -- despite the repitition, the band had GREAT energy. Bono was jumping around the whole night, goofing off between songs, in a great mood. And I've rarely seen Larry smile so much. The crowd was loud too. Really loud.

Now, about the ending. First, it was strange that during "Instant Karma" the band walked off the stage, but you could still hear the bass and guitar...and then they walked back on, still playing, for another verse! Funny, and kinda cool. So, I assumed that, once that was over, they'd say goodbye to Patti and finish up with another song or two. At the very least, "40."

(And, it turns out that "Yahweh" and "40" were on the printed setlist)

But, as the house lights stayed down, we could see behind the stage as the band and entourage hurried out. And then that was it, the end. I don't know why.

Some theories: I didn't really notice Bono grimace after the piggyback ride or move around less. He seemed really active during Instant Karma, for one. Also, I'm not sure about the Patti Smith spitting thing. She spits a lot while singing (in her set, she did plenty) -- I was there tonight and didn't see her spit at Larry.

She did, however, seem unstable -- she toppled to the ground once during her own set and seemed unsteady (drunk? sick?) during Instant Karma. Bono also had to keep prodding her to sing off the teleprompter during the song, it was clear that he took some of her parts.

So maybe that's the answer...she wasn't well, and the band ended the show. Or, they thought they had a cool ending, and considering the need to skip town, they decided that was it. That's possible, because while the show didn't have a huge number of songs, a lot of them went long. It was 2 hours, 10 minutes with only 20/21 songs. However, they barely said goodbye -- just some quick waves. For the last NYC night, I'd have expected something more.

That said, still an amazing show. My 6th and final of Vertigo and I miss them already -- I didn't think they could ever top Elevation and I believe they did. I can't wait for the next tour, whatever or whenever it might be.

Thanks, boys.

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