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[I]t was being billed as 'The Great Rock 'n' Roll Movie.' It was enough to make a lot of people throw up. And y'know what? It made me throw up too. -- Adam, on Rattle and Hum 



30,000 rockers watch high-flying U2

- November 09, 1997

by Joan Little

The Irish band sold less than half the seats in the stadium, but that made several fans happy because they got to move closer to the stage.

Awestruck as much by the spectacle as the songs, about 30,000 fans rocked with the Irish band U2 Saturday night at the Trans World Dome.

Before the four-member band launched into a mix of classic hits and what they hope will be classics, lead singer Bono ignited the crowd with his dramatic entrance in a bright blue satin boxing robe. With the hood on his head, he danced and duked. "Bono's flexing his muscles for St. Louis," said fan Jody Sherwood, 21, of west St. Louis County. Sherwood described the group, formed in 1979, as "the consummate rock band" and not a shallow band of musicians influenced by soon-to-be-forgotten trends.

However, Saturday's show did reflect the latest trend among musical groups: striking special effects.

U2 was dwarfed by its backdrop: a gigantic television screen, touted as the world's largest at 75 feet by 155 feet. The dome barely accommodated the band's enormous set. The 100-foot golden arch that jutted out from the center of the stage just cleared the rafters.

U2's appearance marked the first major concert at the Trans World Dome.

The band kicked off its performance with a song, "MoFo" from its 10th and latest album "Pop," released last winter.

U2 then segued into one of its classic hits, "I Will Follow."

After the third song, "Dawn," Bono stepped up to the mike: "Missouri, show me. St. Louis, show me." The crowd went crazy.

The band's St. Louis appearance was the 65th concert on its 98-concert world tour called Pop Mart. The tour opened April 26 with two sold-out shows in Las Vegas. After St. Louis, the band will head to Miami.

However, the band sold less than half of the 70,000 tickets available in the dome. Tickets were $37.50 and $52.50.

The lack of a sellout was good news for a lot of fans, who were allowed to move to better seats.

The event fulfilled a dream for Debbie Neugebauer, 39, of Lebanon, Mo., and her 14-year-old son, Erik. "We're both into U2," Neugebauer said.

So were Gabe Wilkerson, 18, and his friend, Matt Lorentzen, 17. The two had driven all the way from Keokuk, Iowa, a 3 1/2-hour drive. They were driving back home immediately after the show.

"We'll keep ourselves awake talking about the concert," Wilkerson said.



© 1997. Post-Dispatch. All rights reserved.

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