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"People have been coming to U2 shows for 20 years now. It's almost like the Deadheads at this stage." — Adam

by C

You know something's up when you leave a U2 show and think that, on balance, Edge was the better vocalist. That being said, some brief background.

'Twas my 5th U2 show dating back to Joshua Tree. Have been on the floor and close three times (JT, Popmart, Elevation), in the rafters twice (Zoo TV and Monday's Vertigo [pun intended]). Surprise: the floor shows were best.

Last tour, a colleague was front row at Notre Dame. He said he can't return to the fold now because he knew the summit had been reached. Came to mind on the way home.

So, to yesterday. The sound quality was not worthy of the band itself. A veritable overload of bass/drum and background synthesizer-type strains (you know, the kind of hum we love lingering at skillfully-moderated levels behind our band's tunes). Bono spoke of equality during the show, and the mixers really took it to heart. Wouldn't you agree that Mr. Vox and Edge should be a bit more of the overall focus? Giving us above all crisp vocals and razor sharp guitar? "Hey buddy," you say, "We were in Michael Jordan's house, not Park West." Point well taken.

When Edge kicked in, the good vibes flowed. These are songs for the ages, and in some way a part of most of us there.

The visual effects were absorbing on a grand and consistent basis. Truly a magnificent display.

The show got better with age, Bono clearly trying harder. Hometown boy William Corgan gets some props, Adam helping out his likely under-the-weather lead man by strolling to greet the masses, the little girl on the ellipse, the guitar-playing Party Girl - in total, a definite fine time.

Sometimes $50 gets you floor, sometimes the sky. But just being there might be all that you need. Or, more likely, all that you can't leave behind.

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