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Some stupid U2 fans think that we have all the answers and that maybe we can save their world. But the majority of U2 fans are much smarter than that. -- Bono


by Paul Machnick

6:45 PM, Kennedy Expressway, next exit Ogden Ave. Temperature 67 degrees F. Sky line clear, Billy Goat open, boys in blue on every corner. Arrival. United Center. Tee shirt $30, I'll settle for the key chain, $8.

Inside, only 25% full. Section 308, row 3, seats 1 and 2. Price $185, view, perfect.

PJ Harvey walked on stage at 7:30 PM and played a good set. I was happy to hear Fish/Daughter song. Bad thing, listening to her guitar playing tuning between each song. I loved the silver dress. Time 8:15 PM. Once off, it was time to turn our attention to who we all came to see that night.

Watching the stage hands prepare for a concert is like watching paint dry. It's those few minutes that bug you as the guitars are tuned, mics checked, etc. As they cleared the stage, I was ready for the show. Time 8:45 PM.

I was disappointed in the rumors that U2 just walked on stage with no real played up intro like during ZooTV or Popmart. I like that. I think that for $185 there should be a spectacle. I love a good concert, I love a spectacle even more.

The intro started and the crowd went wild, as we do in Chicago. We are a U2 town. If U2 can sell out four shows in a few hours at a venue as large as the United Center, we are a U2 town.

U2 did walk on stage as promised, casual, quiet. First Adam, then Edge, then Bono, and finally Larry. They picked up their instruments and blasted into Elevation. Everyone was up. Everyone was dancing.

Half way through the song, the lights went off and everyone who couldn't see the four of them on the stage could now with the help of video screens. Pretty intimate, pretty in your face.

The concert played on and my fears of not seeing a spectacle were put to rest. The heart shapped stage that I thought was going to be cheesy, wasn't. The fear of being lulled to sleep during Kite and New York were also unnecessary. They rocked, they really did.

The only part where I got really upset was when the video of the director of NRA was talking. People were cheering him. Come on, he's the bad guy. But rocking into Bullet the Blue Sky with the image of the little girl holding a gun was scarey as well as honest.

What did I learn from my experience. Bono can not wear a hat given to him by a fan, it will cause feedback. Even though Edge is a great guitar player, all the technology in the world can't save you if your equiptment fails during Walk On. You should get a seat where no one sits next to you or in front of you, where were all you people going during the concert. Park near the exit, the boys in blue don't care if you work the next day.

Time 10:45 PM, Damen Ave and I-290, temperature 54 degrees F. My ears are rining but I'm not ready for bed. Thought I write a review. I just keep thinking, what's next. Where do we go from here. Whatever it is, please, a spectacle.

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