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"Johnny Cash doesn't sing to the damned, he sings with the damned, and sometimes you feel he might prefer their company." — Bono



by Jerry L

First, I want to state that I am a long-standing U2 fan, and I do believe that they are one of the best stadium acts today. Even though they've been around since the 80's, they still manage to make strong records and put on excellent concerts.

That being said, I was left feeling a bit disappointed by this show. First (and most surprisingly), the sound was simply aweful in our section. More than anything else, the sound played the biggest role in hindering the performance, but in all fairness, the band and their sound crew aren't to blame as much as our seating arrangements and the Wachovia Center's awful sound system. Getting U2 tickets has gotten harder with each tour and unfortunately, we were stuck in the nose bleeds this time around. This wasn't the first time that I've watched a U2 show from the rafters, but it was the first time that it affected the sound. All thumping bass and piercing treble with nothing in the middle. No volume variation throughout the entire set - soft parts were just as loud as loud parts on tracks like "Miracle Drug". I think what we were hearing was the reflection of the sound system off the walls at the Wachovia center, as there were no speakers facing our section at all. Again, this isn't the fault of the band.

What is (or was) the fault of the band was the somewhat lackluster performance. It wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainly lacked the high-energy level and enthusiasm of previous shows. Bono wrestled with a handful of vocal issues throughout the show, but nothing terrible. The biggest drawback of the evening was the bands somewhat "mailed in" performance and what can only be described as a somewhat disappointing set list. I don't quite understand some of the set list selections (or more accurately, some of the deletions) and felt for a little bit "cheated" (I could have done without "The First Time", "Miss Sarajevo" and "Fast Cars", especially since "New Year's Day", "I Will Follow", "Out Of Control", "Gloria" and almost all of Actung Baby were deleted). The first encore was also a bit of a puzzler, as it was nearly completely acoustic.

I've seen this band in the past and the shows have been nothing short of religous experiences. Tonight's ranked no higher than a nice evening out with friends, watching a truly great band put on a decent show. But hey, everyone has rough days at work. It won't stop me from coming back again.

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