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"The Latin Americans have the sexy end of Catholicism. They have carnivals, which we don't have in Northern Europe. We have all of the denial but none of the celebration." — Bono



by John "frkyu2" Kahler

U2 at the Staples Center, Tuesday November 13, 2001 I woke up around 10 a.m. completely hung over from the night before in the heart at the Staples Center. I called my friend Craig and we both agreed we needed the hair of the dog that bit us (2 Bloody Marys) to get us back into that u2 frame of mind. At about 12:30 we were ready to start are trek back to the Staples but this time without any tickets. We had met a fellow by the name of Chris on Monday who advised us to get in line at the box office and they may release tickets around 2 p.m. The line was long when we arrived and when 2 p.m. came and went, it didnt look like we would be successful. Frustrated I went to the car for some refreshments when my cell phone rang, it was Craig telling me that a girl had two tickets she would sell us at face value up in section 206 at the back of the stadium. So I rushed back and after a short conference we decided not to take any chances in line that this was a sure thing so we bought them. Next we tried unsuccessfully to find someone who might want to trade floor GAs for them. At about 7 p.m. we entered the Staples Center. Going from inside the heart on Monday 11/12 to the back of the stadium was a huge change, but after No Doubt took the stage the sound quality from the back was more than adequate. No Doubt was again a good warm up for u2. As on Monday the Beatles songs All You Need Is Love and then Sgt Peppers signaled the start of what we all came here for and the crowd was anxious. With all the house lights up u2 strolled up from a staircase behind the stage as the intro to Elevation played, by the end of the song the entire standing crowds were thrilled. U2 then broke into Beautiful Day which was harmonious; they followed with Until the End of the World. The quality of the music and Bonos voice sounded as good as the night before. From the back of the stadium I really appreciated the 4 large suspended screens that were each focused on a member of the band. U2 then played one of my favorites New Years Day which Edge played (electric piano and guitar) and Bono sang impeccably. They then played a song that they omitted from Mondays set list I Will Follow and to those who think they should remove this song from the play list forget it because this is still one of their greatest songs that 20 years later still rocks. The full band then played Sunday Bloody Sunday during which Bono brought a fan up from the crowd. Next they played Stuck in a Moment and Kite. Edge and Bono played the song I longed to hear the night before off the new CD Wild Honey on acoustic guitar along with Please as they did the night before and it was amazing. U2 then played All I Want Is You which I had not experienced live before. They broke into Streets and the whole place went wild. They played another Joshua Tree song, I Still havent Found and finished the set with another crowd pleaser Pride which had the entire crowd singing for joy. After a short intermission u2 came back to play as they did the night before Bullet the Blue Sky, Edge again electrified the crowd. Next was the Marvin Gaye tune Whats Going On with Gwen Stefani of No Doubt joining Bono for a solo at the end of the song. New York was then played with curtains dropped from the ceiling and spot lights rolling which gave the illusion of the New York skyline which was more effective from the back of the stadium. One was played with the names of the victims of the 9/11/01 tragedy scrolling from screens that were raised from behind the stage. Next Bono sung a verse from Peace on Earth which broke into Walk On which signaled the end of the show to those that were there the night before. Overall I thought this show was great but I would have liked to see Bad and With or Without You instead of the cover song they played during the encore. U2 had come along way since I saw then back in April at the Arrowhead Pond and miles ahead of Pop Mart in 1997 (My first u2 show Las Vegas). As I walked back to my car I had a great feeling knowing I had tickets for the next L.A. show 11/19/01.

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