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"She will not be worn like a brooch. We have a stormy relationship because she is her own woman." — Bono, on Ali



by Luke Harris

What can I say? Frankly, ZOO TV would have been better, but POPMART was SPECTACULAR.

wasn't as loud as I expected. I imagine they adjusted the volume because the acoustics are so bad in the Montreal Stadium. They screen really was unbelievably large, and the 100-foot golden arch with its massive speaker array was super. My favourite part in terms of the spectacle was probably towards the end when they left the stage and came back in to the B-Stage in the Mirrorball Lemon. I think it was supposed to resemble an alien arrival (since the image on the screen at the time was a UFO), and it worked. It was truly impressive.

They played very well, but Sunday Bloody Sunday, Staring at the Sun, If You Wear That Velvet Dress, and Wake Up Dead Man were unfortunately either acoustic or very electronic, and therefore anti-climactic. I think U2 used them to attempt to make such a big event more intimate than really possible, and it didn't work. However, the concept of poking fun at playing in such a huge space really worked. These men were tiny, truly dwarfed by the enormity of the screen, the arch; these enhanced they vastness of the stadium.

There were various live or animated images on the screen during the songs: during Pride of Martin Luther King; of air warfare during Bullet the Blue Sky while Bono walked around in military fatigues and spun an American flag umbrella inside out over his shoulder; of people shopping and killing each other during Last night on earth; often of the band during some songs; a huge red heart during One, the last song. So much is lost: I really can't remember so much because I was so caught up in the intensity of the music: I would think that under these circumstances most of the time I would remember more clearly, but I can't.

At one point, early on, Bono draped himself around Adam while he sang. Later he did his famous ZOO TV hopping on one foot routine. When he finally took off his red goggles, he came to the camera and brought it slowly right up to his face and the entire immense screen was filled with two intense, green eyes; then he backed off briefly and kissed the face of the camera wetly. It was beautiful! During With Or Without You, he took a girl out of the audience and she sat with him (on his lap, if I remember correctly) while he sang it; she was crying so hard, and all the girls in the audience were going nuts, of course.

Some more details: There were a few animations of Lara from Tomb Raider during Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me, as well as of the classic BonoMan iconic face and at the end various dead celebrities from years ago, like Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Marilyn Monroe (the central one-three screen sections of her at the end of the song). During Where The Streets Have No Name there was this crazy image on the screen of rushing through this trippy maze or tunnel, kind of like in a video game.

At the end, I couldn't quite believe that it was finished. To have seen in person, however small, these men whom I have admired so much for so many years, and their almost horrible creation: They have become so famous, so rich, so powerful, in fact touched so many lives, yet in their attempt to do something always bigger, always better, they have created something they cannot control. It was a bit sad to see how they have been so swallowed by commercialism and consumerism, exactly the elements they've been poking fun at, but the music was INCREDIBLE, and the show was FANTASTIC.

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