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With punk, you could pick up a guitar and you didn't have to play it very well. But with hip-hop, you didn't even have to play badly -- you just got a record of somebody who could play. -- Bono


by L. Vandegrift Davala

First of all, I love these lads. I lived in Ireland for the first 15 years of their career, and remember hanging out my window on St. Mary's Road in Dublin and listening to them practice at Lansdowne Road.

How can the sound mix have been better that night, from a block away, than it was on May 14th, with costly tickets inside the arena?

We sat in section 213, and even the event staff were complaining that they could not hear. The opening act was an inaudibly painful blast. I spoke with several of the audience members in our section who stood in the hall to hear the show, concerned that they would not be able to view the main show.

My husband, a U2 Concert veteran, assured me that as soon as the lads took the stage the sound would be impeccable. We hoped...

During "City of Blinding Lights" I saw Bono gesture to the sound people and thought - "O.K. this will be sorted out". Like a beacon, the audience carried the tune throughout most of the show, while what was coming from the stage was a super hot mix with barely discernable treble and staggeringly visceral reverb and no melodic middle. The result was abstract molten sound - and a sense of musical disconnect. The concert was carried by fans pumped on adrenaline. We saw U2, we signed the petitions, bought our tour gear, and went home truly disappointed that what stood between art and people, was someone asleep at the sound board.

I still love you, lads - but please be as attentive to those who worked hard to get into the arena as for those still waiting for tickets.

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