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I'm not afraid to be ugly or to be myself. -- Bono, 1981


by jboy

I'll keep this one a wee bit briefer than my reviews of the three Boston gigs in May.

Solid show, typically enthusiastic Beantown crowd with reliable call and response. Two excited women pulled out of the crowd, one briefly near the beginning, holding some sort of sign ("Hot Momma"?) and another during With Or Without You. Bono's Miracle Drug speech dedicated to two top AIDS reseachers in the audience. Also several shout outs to good ol' John Kerry, who was there. A positively electric "Electric Co." - the crowd appreciates the rocking early stuff. However, The Ocean - spooky but still a bit of a momentum killer - I was hoping they'd finally retired this one for the tour - so many other great choices.

Most of Joshua Tree side one played, including a decent Still Haven't Found - replacing Running to Stand Still which was simply amazing in May. Long explanatory prelude to a soft Miss Sarajevo by Bono (beauty pageant as mortars fall), which helped set the crowd tone (he's not exactly Pavarotti, but the operatic part was respectable). Pride started strong but Bono later muffed some lyrics toward the end (we still love him). Streets energizing of course, followed by a fairly clunky, uninspired-sounding One. It's such a delicate song for the most part that it really requires intense band coordination -- it can't be chugged though, as it was last night.

1st encore - The Zoo TV stuff (and visuals) were gone, but in their place was a powerful acoustic First Time followed by a very satisfying acoustic Wild Horses, which compared surprisingly favorably to the muddled electric versions of the May shows. Who knew. Finally, With Or Without You - such a moving song in concert and it's great to see it back in encore rotation.

2nd encore - Bono praises the hometown team ("Up the Red Sox!") before Yahweh and Larry later strides up to the mic and puts on Bono's discarded Sox jersey as he leaves with the "40" sing-along going strong.

All in all, another fine show from the best band in rock and roll, except for my usual gripe about the sound system being noticably below Elevation-tour quality. Was randomly told afterwards by someone in the elevator of my building that you should do whatever you possibly can to see U2 live. Excellent advice! Of course I had to tell her that I just saw them and had a ticket for tonight's (Tuesday) show as well. Review on tap tomorrow.

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