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[M]eeting the fans and being a man of the people -- I'm not very good at it." -- Larry



by Kumar Ramanathan

I came all the way from Pittsburgh, PA to see these guys. My friend came from Boston to see them, and we were joking around thinking it would be really cool to run into U2 on Miami Beach watching them indulge in the bliss of alchohol, and it happened.

So, a friend and I arrived in Miami on Friday night walking through the Art Deco district of South Beach. We were walking past a hotel called "Tides" (probably one of the most expensive in Miami Beach). I am walking and what do I see, but Larry Mullen Jr. drinking a glass of wine, and I tapped my friend on the shoulder to confirm if that was him. My friend walked back the length of the restaurant to get a better look, and there he saw Bono and Edge speaking with each other. This could not be happening. My friend and I got a table at this Tides hotel, and the wait staff informed us that Bono, Larry, and Edge did not want to be disturbed. We still sat down at our table, and decided to wait for them to leave. After all they have to walk out. As we were sipping on our 20$ glasses of wine and 15$ vodkas and cranberrys, my friend and I were thinking that we had to approach them. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet three fourths of U2. As my friend and I were talking and debating as to what kind of action we were going to take, my friend tells me that Bono is standing about three feet away from us. He was giving the valet his ticket to pick up his car. I had no idea what to say except, "Bono." He turned around and I extended my hand and we shook hands. He then shook my friend's hands. My friend said to him, "Good luck, tomorrow night." Bono said, Thank you. I said, "I was trying hard not to blow your cover." Bono responded and said, "Sometimes I don't mind blowing my cover so that way I can escape the bullshit."
We met Edge and shook his hand. My friend said good luck to him, and I just said Dirty Day to him and Edge smiled. And finally, Mr. Mullen, my friend said good luck to him, and I asked him to use his weight to push Dirty Day on the other guys for opening night. We got pictuures of Bono, Edge, and Larry. My friend got two pictures with Edge and I got one with Mr. Mullen. I told Mr. Mullen Dirty Day again, and Mr. Mullen said, "Alright man, Dirty Day, I hear you," or something to that effect. I have been listening to U2 for over 17 years, and to finally meet them was something special. All right, on to the show:

After meeting Bono, Edge, and Larry, I was super excited for U2, as was my friend.

Elevation, the show opener, had the crowd hopping. Half of it with the house lights on, and the other half in full concert form.

Other highlights: New Year's Day, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Stuck in a Moment

In a Little While: a song intended as a ballad and U2 really captured the spirit of that song on the first night.

An awesome rendition of the Fly with Bono exiting through the crowd to the back portion of the arena (Only Bono).

My only criticism though was the show closer. I heard Bono mumble bits of 40 with Walk On. Does anybody know if U2 had to leave the stage because there was a curfew at National Car Rental Center? No Pride, 11'Olock, or 40. (Don't count the lame Walk On version of 40, but Walk On Live is incredible) As usual, Bono screwed up the verses of a few songs, I will Follow was just butchered lyrically, and some other mistakes In a Little While. Bono's voice is man is alive and kicking. He might like the falsetto, but he was hitting his Wide Awake's in Bad. Edge was awesome as always. A few minor screw ups, but U2 was in top form. You could tell that they took rehearsing so much seriously this time round, and learned a great deal from the mistakes of the kicking off POPmart (Pop is U2's most underrated album, Critics suck) This show will get better and better, and there is no telling what will happen. Hey Bono, Edge, and Larry, thank you for taking the time to speak with a bunch of U2 fans at Tides on Friday night, it meant a great deal to me. And Bono, if you ever read this, I would like to challenge you to a game of chess. One Last show comment: I highly advise all U2 fans to see the Elevation show at least two or three times because chances are U2 might be playing with various set lists. It must be really hard for them to choose set lists.

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