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the lady sparkler has wanted to see U2 since she was twelve, and when they announced the were coming to DC — er, suburban Maryland — earlier this spring, absolutely nothing was going to stop her from being there.
fast forward eight pregnant months later, i gave her every chance humanly possible to back out if she felt like she needed to. heck, *i* even tried to convince her that she needed to.
but she was undeterred.
based off our last horrific fedex field experience (real madrid v
dc united) we left a gazillion hours early, and were in the parking lot by 5 pm for a 7 o’clock curtain.
if there were seats farther away from the stage (and speakers) I’m not sure where they were, but that was definately by design. we also got tickets on the club level, so the lady sparkler was hanging out in cushy seats in the lobby for the two hours before the show.
… or should I say the three hours before U2 came on stage, because we made if it through about 10 minutes of the opening act (“Muse”) before retreating to the cushy seats. their music was hard to describe, but Bono later said “I’ve never heard three people make so much noise.”
the main event itself was incredible.
a lot of the reviews i’ve read about the tour has focused on the giii-normous spaceship stage thing, and argued that it overwhelmed the show … but from where we were sitting (opposite endzone, three sections up) it was the perfect extension of the ant-sized band, and brought the show into our living room.
the band spanned just about the whole breadth of their catalogue (25 years worth, shockingly) and the audience vibe was great (considering we were in DC). there was a decent amount of politics — Bono introduced his band as a “cabinet,” referred to himself as U2’s “well-turned-out” Speaker of House, and praised Bush for his work in Africa (?) not-once-but-twice.
a couple of interesting tweaks to the show through the stage’s media boards … they turned “Sunday Bloody Sunday” into a song supporting Iran’s so-called Green Revolution, and “Walk On” into a song for imprisoned Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
my beloved was over the moon through out. she came in without hoping for a particular song for fear of being let down, but came out with all of her favorites checked off — “city of blinding lights”, “ultraviolet (light my way)”, and “with or without you” — none of which did i think she had a chance in hell of hearing.
(fwiw, one i heard them plow through “where the streets have no name” i decided that i could die happy…)
but the big takeaway? the Edge is every inch responsible for the band’s musical success. Adam Clayton plodded on his bass guitar, Larry Mullen Jr hit some things (including a bongo) and Bono pranced around the stage … but the Edge drove the show the whole evening long.
SET LIST: no line on the horizon · magnificent · get on your boots · mysterious ways · i still haven’t found what i’m looking for / stand by me · elevation · your blue room · beautiful day · blackbird / new year’s day · stuck in a moment · breathe · city of blinding lights · vertigo · you know i’ll go crazy … tonight · sunday bloody sunday · mlk / walk on · one · amazing grace / where the streets have no name · ultraviolet (light my way) · with or with out you · moment of surrender