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"[I]t's an attempt to paint a picture that is real, that is not advertising. You enjoy the light by contrast with the dark." — Bono, on Pop

by NealP

After seeing 4 of the first 6 shows of the tour in Southern California, I was anxious and excited to see my first European show ever to compare to how it is in the States. As such, I was the type of fan who would get a special thrill out of a song I hadn't heard (Whose gonna Ride...!) or something that would be unique to the experience, Well,,,,WOW,WOW,WOW! First, the stage and visuals are just AWESOME-Bono did a shout out to WILLIE Williams tonight and he deserved it. NEXT, I felt the sound, from just outside the b stage was great. I hadn't seen an outdoor show since Popmart and it was exceptional. NOW FOR THE SHOW-I've read enough reviews to know that there are always a few who say it was average, why did they play Vertigo twice...etc. I just dont get it! I'VE SEEN THEM SINCE 86 AND THIS SHOW IS IN MY TOP 5. It just seemed to be a show that mattered and the fact that the set list was shaken up makes fans like me glad they flew 7000 miles for a rock show. Next, my cousin who is at best a mild fan said at the end-"that is the coolest band ever"-high praise indeed and lends credence to the argument that this is a show for those that haven't seen them before (a younger crowd than I would have expected, many of those I met hadn't seen them before) or will only see them once this tour. It isn't for those of those who see them 7 times and I get that. THIS SHOW WAS HOWEVER, FOR BOTH GROUPS. First, Vertigo in the total dark (only the last half hour of the show really is dark here) is a kick-you-in-the-face visual knock out and had the crowd singing all the way to the cars. LOVED IT. Next, (and this is for those who like the silly little things that happen that make each U2 show unique) at the beginning of COBL Bono takes a baloon from a fan, bites off the weight, lets it float to the sky and spends the show watching it, waving to it, pointing it oud to Edge-just seemingly having fun. Besides, LOVING the song it reminded me of my first outdoor u2 show at the LA COLISEUM where he took balloons from a fan during BAD and made it quite theatric-I guess you had to be there..... Next, surprisingy WOWY was played and the fan Bono danced with had the moment of her life-always special. I could literally give a highlight for every song but again it was ZOO STATION that was worth the price of admission alone! Of all the songs, but I equate Achtung Baby with a whole European vibe anyway and when Bono does the intro JUST LIKE ZOOROPA but with aviator glasses and hat with all the same moves it doesn't feel nostalgic it just felt perfect. It's the only tour I couldn't see and it felt like 1993 again and in a good way. For me, the new album is the highlight, so hearing ABOY second was great, not a buzzkill, and Miracle Drug truly made me cry (my oldest daughter is ill). FINAL THOUGHTS-it was almost a full moon and hotter than hell so it really felt like the beginning of summer-BONO PROCLAIMED IT SO-so all the shout outs to "London Town", Steve Lillywhite(birthday), Geldof-the special mentions of Live Aid and Live 8 in the city where it all started,Walk On snippets, London Calling snippets-hell, even "Hot in heere" snippets made for an incredible night for a yank in a city that I love-on to Dublin-how does it top this?

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