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'Tis better to be drunk on the spirit; however, a bottle of Jack Daniel's is sometimes handier. ---- Bono

by Dream Out Loud

This was my first e+i show of the tour, 26th overall. I brought 3 of my kids and we had GA tickets. It was the 2nd show for my 20 year old, 5th for my 15 year old (lucky boy!), and first ever concert of any kind for my 14 year old. We arrived at the arena at 7:30pm and without much effort ended up 10 feet from the main stage, Edge's side, leaning up against the Red Zone rail. We all had a blast. Having seen the i+e tour 4 times and following along with the setlists since Tulsa, I had a pretty good idea about what was going to happen but it doesn't change the fact that seeing the boys live is a thrill every time I do it. 

I thought The Blackout sounded great and the visuals were spectactular. My only complaint was that I felt that the band spent a bit too much time in the screen and not 100% visible to the audience. I went completely nuts when they launched into The Electric Co. I didn't realize it had been rehearsed earlier in the day so I was totally surprised by it. The Edge crushed it on that song. 

I do enjoy this version of Sunday Bloody Sunday for the variety of it but in a setlist with not a ton of hits, I did miss the comraderie with the fans that would have been there with an album-version performance. I also think the visuals that followed didn't quite work as a bridge to Until The End of the World. In 2015 it bridged SBS to Raised by Wolves and it worked perfectly. If I was in charge of the visuals now, given that they're not playing RBW, I would have moved the car bomb visuals to before SBS. It was a bit of an awkward transition to UTEOTW. 

The intermission visuals w/ HMTMKMKM were fantastic. I really enjoyed it. When the band returned to the stage, Elevation and Vertigo sounded great. I like Desire as a song but I didn't love this performance. I'm not sure what it is but it sounded a bit off. I'm not a musician but it felt "too electric".  I'm sure there's a much better description of what it is but I wanted a stronger acoustic sound. It just didn't work for me. 

The rest of the main set was brilliant. I was bracing not to really enjoy Staring at the Sun but it was fantastic. The only bizarre issue was when the Charlottesville video appeared on screen during the song. I felt myself get angry, I joined the chorus of people giving the middle finger to the screen, but all of this was happening during a song I really enjoyed. It was a bizarre contradiction of emotions. But it worked.  And it worked all the more when they transitioned beautifully from the hate of Charlottesville to the love of Martin Luther King on screen as Pride started. It was a fantastic pivot.

I join all those who have said that American Soul is far better live than on the album. It is brilliant. City of Blinding Lights seems to be fighting above it's weight class in the main-set closer spot. I understand the band's reluctance to play anything from The Joshua Tree but Streets would really work here. COBL is a great song but I don't think it has the oomph needed for that spot. 

The encore is beautifully peaceful and full of love. It's odd not to have one real rocker in there but it's a serene 10-15 minutes of love. It works. 

2 more shows this weekend in Washington. They can't get here soon enough.

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