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"In art and love and rock ‘n’ roll, the whole had better equal much more than the sum of its parts, or else you're just rubbing two sticks together searching for fire." — Bruce Springsteen, at U2's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

by Alison Roberts

"Into The Heart"

The last time that I had seen U2 in concert was well over three years ago. It was at home in Chicago and in fact U2 was the first band that I had ever seen live. Now three years later and me being much older and wiser, I made my way to Miami for Spring Break. This Spring Break I was only seventeen and a senior in high school. For well over a decade I have been a U2 fan. Their music was played all the time in my house and that is how I grew to love them. Once the day of the show arrived, you couldn't replace my excitement with anything else in the world.
Upon arriving at the venue two hours prior to showtime I had the chance to walk around. Even though I only had one ticket to the show, my best friend accompanied me and we took in all the sights. Walking around through the crowd I noticed many different flags and languages being spoken. People came from all over the world to see U2 and that gave sort of a surreal feeling to the atmosphere. Once the doors opened my friend gave me a hug goodbye and bid me good luck. It was so close to showtime and I was expecting so much the excitement just filled my eyes with tears. When I found my seat it was on the third floor and behind the stage but I didn't really care because I was in the show and that was all that mattered. Inside I met another lone fan there and apparently he traveled all the way from California to see U2 so we were in the same boat. The Corrs came on stage at 7:30 and they really got the crowd riled up for U2. A little Irish folk music can really get a crowd moving. During the time period of the set change seemed like the longest period of time in my life. About 9 PM everyone one by one U2 walked on stage; Adam, Larry, Bono, and The Edge. The house lights weren't even dimmed as they broke into "Elevation".
It was if the 19,000 people of the venue were one that night. Each one of them was so happy that U2 were back and better than ever. About three songs into the night Bono took a fall into the crowd. He must have over estimated the width of the stage and he just fell right in. That didn't seem to stop anything, I mean even superstars can be human. The show went on and the whole atmosphere was amazing. Looking at the heart shaped stage and the lights was just something out of this world. "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of" was dedicated to the late Michael Hutchins. During the song Bono seemed very emotional. A couple of times I noticed him leaning on Adam's shoulder or singing on Edge's shoulder. Personally I was having a great time. Despite not being able to see, having eaten nothing that day, and being sick with a fever I was singing and dancing my heart out.
Sometimes during the show I would notice a little thing from past tours were just too hard to let go. TV screens were set up but not in an overabundance like ZooTV, they were placed there so that people in the rafters could see. During "Bullet in the Blue Sky" Bono had a spotlight which he used to light the stadium and towards the end of the song he focused it completely on Edge. It reminded me of the scene in Rattle and Hum when they did the very same performance. Later in the show it was great to see the other band members get recognition when Bono in the middle of the show decided to introduce each of them. As if we didn't know! Old songs such as Sunday Bloody Sunday, I Will Follow, New Years Day really seemed to please the crowd. In fact the crowd seemed to take over singing some of the songs. Songs such as Discotheque, Sweetest Thing, and New York turned out to be even better live. Some of the set seemed prerecorded to an extent. Before the band would even begin playing, the song was already going. That was somewhat disappointing. Through the course of the show the crowd seemed to be less and less interested in the show and at times I was the only one standing. When the opening riffs of Bad came on tears just rolled down my face. Finally I had made it to the show and if they only knew how hard it was for me to get there. That exact same day my sister's baby shower was going on. My whole family was attending except me, so I did feel some feeling of guilt while at the show. And I stress some. Those feelings slowly disappeared once the band went into Where The Streets Have No Name. It was just great for me to finally be apart of that whirlwind of emotion again.
Over all I would have to say that the opening show of the tour was a little disappointing but I think that it had to do with my high expectations and other outside forces. Things such as me being sick, Bono being sick and the fact that this show was mostly a show put on for the press seemed to make it not exceptional. When, at the end of the show Bono asked the crowd "Did we get the job", meaning best band in the world, I would have to say…not yet. You too will have to prove it. One show down twenty-nine to go.

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