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"Between songs people look at you, so I'm thinking when I'm holding the sticks, 'Do I look bored? Should I have an expression on my face?'" — Larry

by Dawn S.

My third Vertigo show and I was really excited for this one. I first saw U2 in Cleveland back on December 9, 1984 on the Unforgettable Fire tour 21 years and a day from the date of this show. My husband came along with me for this concert and we drove up to Cleveland early in the day in order to make a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The day began with a thrill as we drove into downtown along Lake Erie and spotted U2s private jet parked on the tarmac at Burke Airport. I took that as a good omen for the day. The R&R Hall of Fame was great Its an incredible museum. There is lots of great U2 stuff to see, starting with the neon sign and the little cars from the ZooTV tour, which are hanging in the main lobby. It was the perfect way to get warmed up for the concert that evening. If you are ever going to be in Cleveland, its definitely worth a stop. We met two really nice U2 fans in the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, we didnt ask their names, but they were a nurse from Madison, Wisconsin and her 75-year-old mother. The mom had a t-shirt that read something like Oldest U2 Fan and they were on their 10th show, I believe. They had GA tickets and we spotted them in the ellipse later during the concert. I hope I have half this womans stamina when Im her age! We went to the sports bar in the arena to grab a couple of drinks and some food before the concert. While we were there, a guy with a two-way radio and crew credentials sat down near us at the bar. We asked if he was with U2 and he said he was on their crew. He joined the tour about a month ago, filling in for someone whod gotten hurt. He said U2 was the best organization hed ever worked for and they really treated their people well. He introduced himself as Pinky and said he was getting something to settle his stomach because he hadnt been feeling that great. He told us he usually wears a kilt while hes working, but he wasnt sure he was going to wear it because he wasnt feeling well. He must have been feeling better because we think we spotted him on stage in the kilt! during the changeover between Institute and U2. Our seats were okay, but not great. We were right beside the stage on Edges side but up in the 200 level. We were far enough to the side that we could not see the front of the stage, including the big video screens and the images on the light curtains. Plus the side video screen seemed kind of dark During City of Blinding Lights (ironically), I thought Larrys section of the screen wasnt working because it was so dark. It was a little bit of a disappointment after being in much better lower-level seats in Philly and Pittsburgh. I felt more like a spectator, instead of like I was part of the energy of the show. But, I dont want to make it sound worse than it was. The show was awesome and we did have a great time! Personal highlights for me were the songs that hadnt been in the set lists at my previous Vertigo shows - Gloria (which I last heard live at that show in 1984), Original of the Species, Mysterious Ways, Instant Karma, and especially Until the End of the World. That song was INCREDIBLE. Bono and The Edge did two full laps around the ellipse at full speed in the middle of the song! I couldnt believe Bono had any breath left to start singing again and I was blown away watching The Edge play this intense, intricate guitar solo while running! Random Thoughts: During one of the encore songs, Adam was behind Bono, who obviously didnt see him. Bono back up and bumped right into Adam. It was amusing, although I was too far away to see their reactions so Im not sure if they were amused or annoyed. I thought Bonos voice was a little strained, especially during the second half of the show. He still nailed the high note in Sometimes and the opera portion of Miss Sarajevo, but his voice did sound raw and scratchy at times. I was hoping for Bad during the encore, but I figured his voice wasnt up to it. During SBS when Bono brought the young girl up on stage to sing the no more part, the first time she said it, it didnt sound very clear. Bono told her to spit out her gum, which she did into his hand! He gave it back to her before she went back into the ellipse! I wonder if shell keep it? One advantage of being in the upper level is that the constellation of cell phones looks even more amazing from above. It was really beautiful from that vantage point. Overall, another incredible evening and I am sad that this will be my last show of the Vertigo tour. Lets do it again soon, boys!

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