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"The root cause of a lot of the problems in politics is hardness of the heart. Music and the light that goes with it is the best thing to thaw that out." — Bono

by Dave

A great show, which could have been greater had the venue had better acoustics. Staples Center is such a cavern that it's impossible to get the balance right for the loud, energetic concert that Bono and the boys put on. From my seat up in the rafters, Bono was generally not clearly audible. It didn't matter much, since I and everyone around me knew the songs, but it's not ideal. In fact, I've learned a ton about what Bono said in between songs by reading these reviews.

High points:

Bringing "Jack" onstage -- a very sweet moment, and perfect for the song. As the father of a little boy myself, it was especially touching.

Electric Co. -- this and An Cat Dubh may bore casual fans, but this song takes me way back to when I wore out my U2 tapes (yep, that long ago) through constant use. Plus, they played it exactly the way they always have, resisting any urge to "update" it with some odd arrangement. The song rocked, and it was an honor to hear a song live that I never thought I'd get to hear them do again.

The opening of the concert -- very strong. Big-time energy, and a good opportunity to blow out my vocal chords right away.

Ending with "40" -- classic. Should've kept the lights out longer.

Weak points:

The venue.

The three song set from Achtung Baby. I love those songs, but for some reason they didn't work very well, especially Zoo Station. I blame the acoustics, and maybe my seat location. Bono's vocals in particular were indistinct, and the arrangements seemed to be too thick with extraneous sounds. Again, Zoo Station was the worst offender. A terrific song that simply wasn't at its best, in my opinion.

The video presentation had some glitches.

That's about it for weaknesses.

After not having seen my heroes live for 17 years, I was thrilled with this show. They can still bring it like nobody else.

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