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"In art and love and rock ‘n’ roll, the whole had better equal much more than the sum of its parts, or else you're just rubbing two sticks together searching for fire." — Bruce Springsteen, at U2's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction




by Matt McGee

This was my second Elevation show and after a great time in Tacoma 3 nights earlier, I was pretty heavy with anticipation for this one. Got to the Rose Garden in early afternoon and joined friends near the front of the GA line. Felt a little guilty about 'cutting' in like that, but the reality of the situation is this: U2 fans travel in hordes and pretty much everyone had friends join them in line at one point or another during the day. I didn't sense any real complaining from behind. The day moved quickly - great weather and great company out in front. Getting in was a bit of a mess, though not as bad as Tacoma. They opened the front doors, but only had two small tables where everyone was receiving the floor wristband. Very slow process and somewhat messy with everyone in a hurry. I ended up, with the rest of my group, along the front railing inside the heart. Bono's microphone stand was about 4 feet away. Is this really happening? The show itself was marvelous, even better than Tacoma. The intensity of being right at the front like that -- you'd have to be dead to not have a great time. The best part about being so close is being able to watch the communication, the facial expressions and signals between each band member. It really is amazing to watch them do what they do. And the next best part of being so close is being able to get some great pictures, which I'll attach with the review. Before U2 came on, we spotted Paul Allen hanging out on stage with Edge's guitar tech, Dallas Schoo. Allen of course is the owner of the Rose Garden, the Blazers basketball team, the Seattle Seahawks, the co-founder of Microsoft, and the creator of the Experience Music Project in Seattle. He's also a fledgling guitarist and has performed publicly with his own band. Dallas spent about 5 minutes showing Allen Edge's guitars and his guitar rack system; Allen looked impressed. One of the things that happens when you spend all day driving and then in a GA line is that you lose touch with the real world. We were all shocked when Bono announced near the end of the show that Joey Ramone had died earlier in the day. He and Edge did a cover of 'I Remember You' and from up close, you could see the emotion on Bono's face and hear it in his voice. A very sad moment, but it's these impromptu songs and setlist changes that really make a show special, and this one certainly was. Onto San Jose next.

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