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I slept beside my father with the sound of the audience ringing in my ears during his dying days. -- Bono, on being at his dad's bedside before he died, 2001 (Sun)

by Greene

Of course this was a good show. This was about my ninth show that I have seen over my long tenure as U2 fan. The band is incapable of putting on a bad performance. Even on an off night, the band is able to make a 20,000 capacity arena seem like the local pub down the street...as if your the only one listening. The days of good live shows are few and far between. If you thinking about going, catch a good act while you can. You'll kick yourself in the pants in twenty years if you don't. However, as a follower over the years I have a couple of critical comments:

1. The show is still chained by technology. There is still a sea of video screens behind the stage. Bono still has to walk to all the "arranged" places during songs. All of the improvisational stuff is contrived. I can tell you at what point he'll run around the stage...go into the audience etc. etc. This to me isn't that "Return to Roots" stuff they were talking about.

2. I play in a band and we have to play four hours of music a night (and we do this part time). U2 does this for a living...I'm tired of seeing the same ol' tunes over and over again. Isn't it possible to change its set list by...5 or 6 new songs? Play some older tunes...or just different stuff. You can still play the hits...just vary the hits. I mean for 130 bones a ticket is that too much to ask(because I know its not that hard)? And remember...this is what they do for a living. Again, to call this a "Return to Roots" is a farse. Take a page out of the Grateful Dead Book and make the set lists more exciting.

3. I understand the law of supply and demand. In U2's case, the demand is very high...therefore, the prices are a bit steep. I can't get pissed at that. I can get pissed that they are unwilling to stay out on stage more then 2 hours. Springsteen (3 hours), Crosby Still Nash and Young (4 hours)...These acts charged a fortune to see them but they gave a bit more in return. U2 should follow this example. Get rid of PJ Harvey (not a bad act...just out of place in a giant arena) and play longer. People would appreciate it. Again, U2 is doing this for a living...making lots of money...is 1 extra hour for 130 bones asking too much?

It is a wonderful show that is a must see if your only going once. In my case, I am regretting going to multiple shows, paying hefty prices and getting the same exact non-improvised show. To use a very bad and cheezy band cliche..."I still haven't found what I'm looking for!" What I'm looking for is simply the four band members playing energized sets drawing from not only its new stuff but songs from the past (not the same ones) without needing special lights...screens...etc etc. But as I live in my contradictions, I'll see you at the DC show in June.

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