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The biggest bodyguard of all has to be our manager, Paul McGuinness. -- Bono

by bbe

Don't know what show people were watching, but I disagree completely with those who say Sunday was stronger than Saturday. Band sounded great and were far more entergetic and vocal on Saturday (especially Bono, with his band intros before 'Still Haven't Found..." and reference to the Irish putting "...the 'Wind' in the Windy City". Just more jovial and interactive than Sunday). Plus the overall vibe and flow of ths show, and the excitement/anticipation level for the North American opener the previous night was significantly more palpable, in my opinon.

Additionally, I thought the set placement and addition of 'Your Blue Room' was a borderline disasterous. Reason? Starting off the show with four songs off NLOTH, U2 didn't have the Sunday tea-going crowd fully up off their collective arses until 'Beatiful Day.' By the end of the B-Day, Still Haven't Found, Elevation, trificeta, the stadium was finally lathered up and "ready for liftoff." Then came YBR, a mellow Passengers tune that 99% of the crowd didn't even know (I was one of the few in my area who seemed to know it, but even I was left thinking "with their extensive catalgoue of songs not previously played or long retired, THIS was the one they chose???"). Anyway, the almost immediate mass exodus of people for beer/bathroom breaks had the stadium resembling more of a working ant colony than a frenzied rock show. And, unfortunately, from my perspective, the show really never fully regained momentum the way it should have (except for a brief moment during a rousing rendition of 'Until the End of the World', which the band summarily followed up with another splash of cooling bath water via an acoustic version of 'Stay' (which was phenmenal anyway).

Being my 23rd show dating back to Amnesty Int'l in 1986, I personally didn't miss Pride all that much. But it's ommission was a huge disappointment for a friend of mine, who was attending his very first U2 show ever. Luck of the draw, I guess.

Overall, a beatifully produced, fun set of shows in Chicago. But nowhere close to replicating the intimacy and energy and excitment levels achieved during the past two arena tours for Elevation and Vertigo.

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