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I'm not a big CD person myself. I like the crackles. -- Bono


by Phiip Fleming

I'm from Dublin and flew from Ireland with a group of fellow Irishmen to see the boys in Fort Lauderdale. We are all huge fans. Our admiration is mostly due to the music yet largely due to the pride (excuse the pun)we have in our hearts that four "neighbours" from a once quite poor city with a population of no more than one and a half million, can evoke so much emotion and electricity from not just the good people in America, but all over the planet!

We had seen the Popmart and ZooTV tours and, although enjoying them immensely, sometimes felt we were part of a Las Vegas hotel show. U2 were starting to look smug and it showed! They were lost in their own little 'Lemon' world and it seemed as if they cared little for the audiences' feelings in the whole affair. If it wasn't for the fact that these homegrown lads were great musicians with great songs, Popmart may have seen them disappear forever.

But what a surprise we all got when on Saturday night they simply strolled onto the stage and began playing with the arena still lit up completely. It was as if 20,000 people had gate crashed their sound-check. We loved and U2 loved it!

Saturday's audience was full of VIPs, friends and family of the group, band ego-massagers and journalists on freebies. You could sense it. For every true U2 fan, intent on standing in his/her seat and screaming themselves hoarse, there was a guy next to them who looked bemused by the whole scene and desperately tried to mumble the words he didn't know like a child in mass during a prayer. The show's success was down to the band. The show's real success was down to the fans!

Monday night however was reserved for the pure followers. It was like a religious event. U2 could sense the change in atmosphere from Saturday and they grabbed it with all their gusto and fed off it for two hours. When Bono forgets the words of a song such as 'Angel of Harlem', you know he's in awe of the crowd as much as they are in awe of him. Thank heavens they dropped 'Ground Beneath Her Feet'. Where was 'Pride' and why didn't that night last forever were the only doubts we had when we left the arena that night in Florida.

We're planning to go to the Columbus show.........anyone up for a beer with a few Dubs?

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