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I'm not a big CD person myself. I like the crackles. -- Bono


by Daniel Maher

NOT COMING DOWN!

The stage was in place, the people were there to rock, and all was in readiness. As the Popmuzic remix thundered through the speakers, the crowd reached feverpitch. This euphoria was carried on through the first two songs, Mofo and I Will Follow. Gone was a song many didn't seem familiar with, as, sadly, was the case with most of the new songs. But those who knew this brilliant piece of music no doubt saw it as a highlight, but the majority were waiting for the hits.

Even Better Than The Real Thing gave the uninitiated something to sing along to, but the performance of Last Night On earth, whilst as always brilliant, left a few sitting there wondering if U2 were going to play anything that they knew. The climactic ending of this tune appeased many, and it actually received a fair round of applause after the almost apocalyptic ending. But if it was apocalyptic endings the crowd wanted, then they certainly received it in large doses with End of The World. It was almost tangible as Bono and the Edge did their usual cavorting on the catwalk that the whole crowd was starting to warm to the boys, who were giving it their heart and soul. And just as the music died down, Adam chimed in with the famous New Year's Day bass riff, and that was it, they had gained control of the crowd. Many who were sitting were now on their feet dancing and screaming. Pride, I still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and Bad were almost Euphoric in nature, and had many screaming themselves hoarse.

At this point Bono and the Edge took a wonder to the B-Stage and performed a very well received version of Staring At the Sun, and the Edge took the reins for a chilling version of Sunday Bloody Sunday. Just as the fans thought they could relax - BOOM - Bullet The Blue Sky, with Bono ranting about the Gulf Situation, "A man breathes into a saxaphone, Bill Breathes into his saxaphone, as through the walls Iraq moans!". The show stopping guitar solo by the Edge was once again a highlight.

As Bono introduced the "Irish song" - Please, the crowd were still rocking from Bullet. A wonderful performance of this song, with the great man's voice being an absolute highlight of this tune kept the crowd on their feet, until Streets got them jumping and clapping wildly, and chanting for more as U2 prepared to enter the "Lemon" to the tunes of the Morales Remix of "Lemon".

As U2 Discothequed their way onto the B-Stage, many were in awe of what they were seeing. Surely this had to be the best rock and roll stage show of all time. If You Wear That Velvet Dress cut through the dense atmosphere, it was as though all were at peace, getting prepared for the timeless With or Without You, which was absolutely amazing, with the PopMart coda sending a wave of Euphoria over the 40,000 strong crowd. As U2 said goodnight, people were already screaming for more, and although it is clearly a contrived encore, the fans would not have let them get away otherwise.

'Hold me, thrill me, kiss me, kill me," rocked the crowd, with Bono staring at the camera, using his fingers as MacPhisto horns and asking, "Remember Me?" to the delight of all in attendance. Mysterious Ways absolutely rocked the crowd, with the choruses sung so loud that they nearly drowned the band out. All that was left to do, the only thing that could top this, was to play One.

If any member of the crowd was not emotionally involved by this stage, they would have to be very hard. U2 were on fire tonight, it was one of those special nights where they worked a little while to gain the crowd, and they certainly triumphed. U2 said Goodnight to the crowd, who were surely all satisfied that they had seen something very special, something of the like we may never see again.

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