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"To me the songs feel like conversations." — Bono

by Brad Morris

This show was so very special in so many ways and for so many different reasons. I attended the show with my fiance'. It was her first U2 show which made it all the more exciting for me. Finally, she would be able to realize what she had only experienced through my unbridled enthusiasm.

The opening was a complete curveball. Take it from someone who had read every spoiler rumor about set lists and intro music. I was baffled and pleasantly suprised. The way the band allowed the crowd to provide the drama was pure genius. I could not hear the music playing in the background over the deafening roar but it was great how the band renewed the love affair with the diehards and welcomed the new "family" members by taking the stage under the house lights. There was this homecoming/housewarming feel.

Elevation is the perfect lead song for this show. Bono is right, this will replace "Start Me Up" as one of the most identifiable tracks of this generation. To echo some of the other reviews the band is in midtour form in terms of timing and arrangements. I did however pick up a couple of Bono's famous memory gaffs such as a dyslexic lyrical version of "In a Little While that left Larry and Adam wondering what to use for a cue when Bono swapped the order of 2-3 verses. I even caught Larry and Adam laughing to each other on the four screens as Bono found a way bring them in without botching it. It was a nice great moment that I won't soon forget. I can't wait to see the humorous bootleg titles and how they will incorporate Bono's tumble into the heart during UTEOTW.

Another nice momemt was Edge walking up to Bono after the fall and giving him a big hug as if to say "I thought we lost you". The band intros were great and there were some great lines outside of those I've seen quoted. Here are a few:

Larry : "he hasn't changed his haircut in 20 years"

Adam : "no stranger to the catwalk"

Edge: "a man with a brain so big he has to wear a hat to keep them in his head"

The effects are as advertised. Nothing more than embellishments to the music and the songs. The sheer curtains for instance are used to project beams and girders in a 3D-like effect during New York with low level spotlights that cast giant silouhette images of the band against the textured background. I also noticed that giant TV screens are all have handles on top of them consistent with the whole Suitcase/Heart image. The black and white effect on them is very effective. In summary Willie has done it again. But, what I think is key about this show/staging/lighting is how flexible it is. For those going to multiple shows this has all kind of possibilities.

The setlist was powerful. I have read mixed media reactions to it and to an extent they are both right. Songs like "Stuck" and ST do break the momentum a bit, but they are relevant and practical because of the pace and the energy of the other songs. I don't know if it was the heat of South FL or the energy in the building but I was spent. By the way the reports of Bono's lethargy and voice problems are hereby OVER! His performance of BAD was of R/H proportions and as for the "victory laps" during "Streets", I am still amazed. NOTE: any effect of the fall were put to rest. Bono's performance reminded me of what they say about thoroughbreds working up a lather. Like a star athlete, at some point he seemed to just pick this show up and carry it. Not to downplay the performance of the others but he got "into the ZONE".

I will ask though if anyone knows what Bono was saying at the beginning of WTSHNN? It sounded like a prayer I couldn't make it out over the crowd roar. Also at the end of WO in place of the "all that you ..." verses he was saying things like "thank you for drinking"?? and other every day actions as well as the 'thanks for giving us a great life' quote. If any one else has info on that I would love to know. Th new arrangement of The Fly is awesome btw.

The best summary, I thought, came from my bride to be Wendy on the bus leaving the show. When I asked her if it had lived up to all of my fanaticism and hype she replied: "I feel like I have been run over by a truck but in a good way. I felt like I was part of the show and had a role to play just like the band. I felt like giving them what they were giving me - -which was everything". I responded: "Yep, you were hit by a truck, this truck doesn't run you over and leave you laying there, it takes you with it wherever it goes and the license plate says U2."

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