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“He is a superb showman, but there is something more going on . . . Something to do with politics, kids, freshness and breakthrough. And love." — Joan Baez, on Bono's Live Aid dance




by The Fly Guy

After a 2 day break, we were back at the United Center to take in Chicago's 3rd U2 i & e show.  There was a feeling in the air that tonight was going to be special.  Earlier in the day, the Pride Parade took place in the city, and you just knew it was going to carry right into the show ... and it did (more on that to follow).  

I was back in reserved seating (Section: 121 - Just to the side of the stage on Adam's Side).  Amazing seats, close to the action and perfect view of the both the stage's visuals and close to the band.  The sound in these seats was great as well.  Much better than in the 300-Level and a little better than on the floor in GA.  

The show started a little later ~8:20pm and lead off with "The Miracle".  The crowd was very into it and exploded when U2 launched into "Gloria".  It was the first time played on the tour and first time in about 10 years - since the end of the Vertigo Tour (though Bono said it was about 20 years ago since they last played).  The remaining first set was similar to the previous 2 shows.  During "Until the End of the World" Bono threw in a "She's a Rainbow" snippet.  

In the second set, the band played a full version of "Desire" and pulled 3 people on stage.  The first was pulled up during "Mysterious Ways" was a girl called "Julia".  She would Meerkat the "Desire" performance and it was stated before that she had met Bono before the show and that this was her second time on stage...the first being at the Vertigo show in Cleveland in December 2005.  The band then brought up a guitarist named Sean and a vocalist name Kevin.  Kevin and Sean did a great job with "Desire".  Before leaving the stage Bono asked Kevin to repeat what he whispered in his ear...he had beaten cancer this year, and just welcomed his first child.  Kevin then proceeded to state "Never stop making the music..." which made the crowd erupt.  "Desire" was then followed up by the second performance of "Lucifer's Hands".  Wow, this song is amazing live.  The crowd seemed to be into it and Bono ended it be stating "Very professional" as Adam and Larry headed back to the 'i' stage.  Bono then continued with a story about his father.  The short version of the story was that it was about his father's first time seeing the band in concert.  During the show, Bono mentioned he was there...the spot light shined on him, and he responded by flicking off Bono (yes…he made the gesture).  After that show, Bono said his father came back stage, and did a few “unusual things” … like smile at him, shook his hand, and stated "Very professional".  

The show continued as normal, during "Pride", Bono grabbed a Pride flag and draped it on the stage.  This was a very powerful version of "Pride" and one that was needed on this day....it was amazing.  "Beautiful Day" followed and Bono threw out a "Two Hearts Beat As One" snippet at the end of it.  The song was sound checked earlier...hopefully this makes it into one of the remaining Chicago setlists.  

Later, Bono stated that the band have been joined in Chicago by their families and specifically spoke about the band members’ boys as well as Allison Stewart Hewson.  "All I Want Is You" was performed and dedicated to Ali....and wow was it great to hear live again.  It has become somewhat of a rarity, and it was very nice to hear.  

The encore was extremely loud.  "City of Blinding Lights", "Streets", and ending with "One".  "One" was mainly sung by the crowd and was a fitting conclusion to the show.

--- Other Notes:

- After "Gloria" Bono talks about the Park West (the first venue the band played at in Chicago in 1981).  He went on to say we need to play there again...take a note of that.  Not sure if that leads to anything but if so....it would be amazing.  Capacity for the Park West is 900 people.  

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